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Golf: Liang aids typhoon relief after win at Resorts World Manila Masters

Liang Wenchong beat Prom Meesawat in a playoff to win the Resorts World Manila Masters, then donated half his winnings to victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: Asian Tour.

Liang Wenchong beat Prom Meesawat in a playoff to win the Resorts World Manila Masters, then donated half his winnings to victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: Asian Tour.

November 17, 2013: China’s Liang Wenchong marked his return to the Philippines after more than five years by defeating Thailand’s Prom Meesawat at the first playoff hole to win the inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday.

 

Liang, 35, was suffering from a sore wrist but closed with a three-under-par 69 to finish 16-under and force his way into a playoff with Prom at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club.

 

The Chinese player’s third Asian Tour win was made even more significant as he decided to donate half of his winnings to victims suffering from the aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

 

“Before coming over to the Philippines, I was really affected by what I saw on television of the damage and victims suffering from the aftermath of the typhoon,” said Liang, who won US$135,000.

 

“I’ve decided to donate 50 per cent of my winnings to do my part and support the relief efforts.”

 

Liang, who held a one-stroke lead after round three, extended his advantage after birdies on holes three and four. He then dropped a shot on a par-three fifth and suffered a double-bogey six on the ninth, before turning his game around.

 

The 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner decided to drop his cautious approach and opted for an aggressive style of play instead. His attack paid off as he fired birdies on 11, 13, 15 and the all-important 18 to force a playoff.

 

At the first playoff hole, Liang seized the advantage when Prom’s second shot found the bunker. The Thai could only blast his shot out of the bunker while Liang was in prime position for an eagle opportunity. Liang’s putt from the edge of the green stopped inches away from the pin for a simple tap-in.

 

“I’m really thankful for all the great support this week. I had Ali on my bag and he did a great job,” said Liang, who was using Danny Chia’s regular caddie.

 

“The Asian Tour physiotherapist, Muk, also did an excellent job in taping my wrist, which really helped a lot. I guess it’s the combination of all these factors which led me to my win this week.”

 

Prom was denied his second Asian Tour win despite a flawless 65 that put him on the brink of ending his seven-year title drought.

 

“I had a bad season in 2010 when I lost all my confidence,” he said. “I’ve been working very hard since. My friends and my team have been a great help. My wife and family have been supporting me too. I am glad I am starting to play good again.”

 

Canadian rookie Richard T. Lee enjoyed another solid result in the Philippines after posting the day’s lowest round of 64 to share third place with fellow Asian Tour rookie Carlos Pigem in equal third on 273.

 

Lee, who finished second in the Asian Tour Qualifying School in January, capped another memorable week in the Philippines after finding similar success with a tied-second finish in Manila in April.

 

“It has been a steady year for me,” Lee said. “I came here this week looking to retain my Tour card and also to get that first win. I managed to achieve my first goal and I guess the next target now would be that win.”

 

Resorts World Manila Masters (Round 4), Manila Southwoods G&CC, Philippines

272 – LIANG Wenchong* (CHN) 67-69-67-69, Prom MEESAWAT (THA) 67-67-73-65

273 – Richard T. LEE (CAN) 65-68-76-64, Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 68-66-74-65

274 – Stephen LEWTON (ENG) 70-66-71-67, Sutijet KOORATANAPISAN (THA) 67-71-68-68, Jazz JANEWATTANANOND (THA) 64-69-72-69, Nicholas FUNG (MAS) 70-64-70-70

276 – Charles HONG (PHI) 66-70-75-65, Mithun PERERA (SRI) 69-67-71-69, David LIPSKY (USA) 66-69-69-72

277 – WANG Jeung-hun (KOR) 67-74-68-68

278 – Carlos SAINZ Jr. (PHI) 66-71-74-67, Jyoti RANDHAWA (IND) 72-69-71-66, Chris RODGERS (ENG) 68-66-75-69, Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA) 69-68-71-70, Adilson DA SILVA (BRA) 68-67-72-71, HUNG Chien-yao (TPE) 68-68-71-71, David LUTTERUS (AUS) 68-70-69-71

*Liang defeated Prom on the first playoff hole with a birdie

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