Malaysiaâs Nicholas Fung will take a relaxed approach in his quest for more success at the inaugural KG S&H CITY Asian Golf Championship which gets underway at the Kaikou Golf Club in XiamenÂ on Thursday.
The 27-year-old Malaysian, who claimed his Asian Tour breakthrough in June, will be biding his time as he adapt to a recent swing change at the event jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the China Golf Association (CGA).
Fung will headline the US$350,000 event alongside Thailandâs Prom Meesawat, Australian Marcus Both, Chinese Taipei duo Lin Wen-tang and Chan Shih-chang, who holds a combined total of 13 victories on the regionâs premier Tour.
The Asian Golf Championship, which offers a winnerâs prize purse of US$63,000, will be another opportunity for players vying to break into top-60 on the Order of Merit to earn for themselves playing rights for the 2018 season.
Young talent Liu Yan-wei will spearhead the local charge alongside Qualifying School graduate Ouyang Zheng, as well as He Shao-cai and Cao yi, placed 12thÂ and 17thÂ on the current China Tour Order of Merit.
The KG S&H CITY Asian Golf Championship will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and China Golf Association (CGA) with a field breakdown of 56 Asian Tour professionals, 48 China Tour professionals and four special invitations.
Players from the China Tour will be eligible to take up associate memberships with the Asian Tour, with the top-five non-exempt players from the China Tour Order of Merit at the end of the season receiving spots into the Final Stage of the 2018 Asian Tour Qualifying School.
Did you know?
- Fung claimed his first victory at the 2017 Queenâs Cup as a Father’s day gift for his father.
- Fung sits in 28thÂ position on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He missed only six cuts in 18 starts on Tour so far this season.
- Prior to claiming his breakthrough win on the Asian Tour, Fung won his third title on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) in April.
- Fung was crowned the ADT Order of Merit champion in 2013. He earned playing rights on the Asian Tour for the following season and has not finished outside top-60 on the Merit rankings since.
- Fung will represent Team Asia for the third consecutive time at the 2018 EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM after being selected as one of the captainâs pick.
- Lin is a six-time winner on the Asian Tour. He broke into top-50 on the Official World Golf Ranking in 2008 and earned a trip to the Masters Tournament, the first Chinese Taipei player to qualifyÂ in 20 years.
- Placed 68thÂ on the current Order of Merit, Lin needs a good showing at the Asian Golf Championship to break into top-60 and retain his playing rights on the Asian Tour for the 2018 season.
- The Kaikou Golf Club is the first Greg Norman-designed 36-hole facility in China.
Nicholas Fung (Mas)
Itâs been a long time since I last came to China. I am very happy to get the opportunity to come and play here at the Asian Golf Championship this week. I am feeling really excited about this new event. Itâs also my first time here in Xiamen so Iâll be looking forward to a good week.
I just want to enjoy my game this week. I donât want to think so much about winning. I havenât been playing well recently. I have been trying to change my swing and I think thatâs the reason why I have to be patient with it before I see the results.
After winning Queenâs Cup and gaining the two-year exemption on Tour, I thought I should change my swing as I want to gain more distance. I know I just have to practice more and hopefully I can see the results soon.
I think I have managed to achieve my goal for this year. I always wanted to win on the Asian Tour and I finally did it at the Queenâs Cup in June. Itâs been a great year so far but I hope to do even better next year. Thatâs why I am making changes to my swing now.
Lin Wen-tang (Tpe)
Itâs good to see the Asian Tour back in China. Itâs been a long time since I last played here. China is a huge market and golf development in China has been on a rise over the past few years, looking at the likes of Li Hao-tong, Liang Wen-chong and Wu Ashun.
I am sure all the other players are happy to see the Tour back in China too. For us, itâs very easy because we can communicate with the people here easily, given that we all speak Mandarin here. The people here are really friendly too.
I have waited very long for this day to come actually. I hope to play in more Asian Tour events in China in future. I am looking forward to this week. I will do my best and hopefully I can cap a good result.
Quincy Quek (Sgp)
The Tour didnât have an event in China when I turned professional in 2009. I played on the China Tour for two years and the courses that we play are really nice. The set-up was good and the conditions were nice.
It felt like the Asian Tour will be a good fit in China. Itâs great to be back here and hopefully there will be more events here moving forward. Itâs good that we are back in China.