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Golf: Liang headlines Chinese charge at Venetian Macau Open

Liang Wenchong will compete at the Venetian Macau Open for the first time since 2007. Photos: Asian Tour.

Liang Wenchong will compete at the Venetian Macau Open for the first time since 2007. Photos: Asian Tour.

September 26, 2013: Chinese No. 1 Liang Wenchong has confirmed he will compete at next month’s US$800,000 Venetian Macau Open, which will be held at Macau Golf and Country Club from October 17-20 and again offer free entry for spectators.

 

After a string of solid performances this year, including top-five finishes in Russia and Austria over the summer, the Chinese star believes he’s in the sort of form that can help him win his maiden Macau Open title.

 

“I played the Macau Open back in 2007 and remember it well. I’m looking forward to going back as it has been a while,” Liang said. “Competition will be fierce this year, especially with so many world-class players already confirmed. I hope I’ll be able to play well and bring the trophy back to China for the first time since Zhang Lianwei won it in 2001 and 2002.”

 

Currently sixth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, the 35-year-old’s impressive career has included a number of ‘firsts’ for China. In 2007, he became the first mainlander to play at the PGA Championship and the first from his country to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

 

The following year, the Zhongshan native was the first Chinese golfer to make the cut at a major before finishing 64th at The Open Championship. In 2010, he finished tied eighth at the PGA Championship, comfortably the best-ever result by a Chinese at a major. Liang is also the first, and so far only, Chinese golfer to have entered the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking, and reached 57th in 2010.

 

Liang is now relishing the opportunity to compete alongside Zhang, Liang’s mentor and a long-time supporter of the tournament. Zhang’s participation was announced earlier this month, along with 16-year-old Yang Zihao, winner of this year’s 13th Zhang Lianwei Cup International Junior Invitational.

Chinese golf’s pioneer Zhang Lianwei (second right), 48, will also compete in Macau, along with Yang Zihao, 16, winner of this year’s Zhang Lianwei Cup.

Chinese golf’s pioneer Zhang Lianwei (second right), 48, will also compete in Macau, along with Yang Zihao, 16, winner of this year’s Zhang Lianwei Cup.

“It’s always a pleasure to be on the course with Zhang Lianwei, who obviously had a big influence on my career,” Liang said. “His efforts and achievements meant that people in China understood more about golf, which in turn created a lot of opportunities at a time when I was a junior and looking to turn professional.”

 

Four-time major champion Ernie Els, an Asian Tour honorary member and international ambassador, will headline the Macau Open along with title holder Gaganjeet Bhullar of India.

 

Jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau, the tournament is sanctioned by the latter and the Asian Tour, and promoted by IMG.

Along with title sponsor The Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel, event sponsors include Rolex, Srixon, Air Macau, Blue Girl and Bonaqua, as well as first-time sponsors Lamborghini, Maui Jim, Subway, Hytera and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection and Munsingwear.

 

Since its inauguration in 1998, the tournament has attracted international stars including Lee Westwood, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Padraig Harrington, Fred Couples, Ian Woosnam and Mark O’Meara.

 

For more information, please visit www.thevenetianmacauopen.com

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