Chang Hwa, Chinese Taipei: Local sensation Chan Shih-chang survived a five-way play-off to win a fourth Asian Development Tour (ADT) title at the US$160,000 Taifong Open.
The 28-year-old Chan was the last man standing against Chinese Taipei’s Sung Mao-chang and Hsieh Tung-shu, the overnight leader, Thai Suppakorn Uthaipat and Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines. The quintet tied on four-under-par 212 in regulation play at the Taifong Golf Club.
The play-off, which was conducted on the par-five 18th, saw Sung, Suppakorn and Tabuena bow out at the first extra hole after making pars while Chan and Hsieh birdied.
The duo matched each other with birdie-fours on the next two occasions before Chan sealed the deal with a five-foot eagle putt on the fourth extra hole to defeat Hsieh, who birdied the hole once more.
Chan, who won his first career title at the Taifong Open when it was a local event in 2010, overcame a seven-shot deficit with a flawless five-under 67 to win the richest ADT tournament in 2014. He earned US$28,000 to extend his lead on the ADT Order of Merit to US$56,816 and received six Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) points.
Chan, who wore his lucky polka-dot shirt in the final round, was ecstatic with his third ADT victory which will likely cement his position inside the top-five on the Order of Merit and earn him a Tour card for 2015.
“I was still asking my caddie if I should wear my lucky shirt this morning as I was quite far off the lead but I’m glad I did,” Chan laughed.
“I was quite confident that I could eagle the last play-off hole. Coming from seven shots back, I thought I’ve already done my best. The aim was to keep the trophy on home soil and I’m glad that I did it,” he added.
Having won three titles on the ADT and two on the local circuit so far this year, Chan admits that he felt the pressure of doing well on home soil.
“Honestly, it was quite stressful for me in the first two rounds. I was really hoping for an ADT win on home ground and this is a course where I’ve won before. I didn’t do as well in the first two rounds so I thought I should just take it easy in the final round. I’m glad I played better today,” said Chan.
Thai Suppakorn, who traded six birdies against two bogeys, praised his playing partner. “Chan played very well. I felt very motivated to play well because of him,” said the 24-year-old, who has notched two top-10s on the ADT this season.
The Taifong Open was reduced to 54 holes because of the adverse weather conditions caused by Typhoon Matmo on Wednesday. The tournament was rescheduled to start on Friday and was a three-day tournament.