Photo - Asian Tour
RISING STAR HSU AIMS FOR SUCCESS AT YEANGDER TPC
Taipei: Chinese Taipei’s prospect Hsu Chia-jen hopes to emulate the success of countryman Lin Wen-tang when he competes in the inaugural Yeangder Tournament Players Championship on home soil next week.
Hsu, a former Taiwan Amateur Open champion, has big dreams and hopes to take full advantage of the opportunity to compete in the US$300,000 Asian Tour event at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club from September 16-19.
Born into a family of golfers where his grandfather Chi-san is a multiple winner in Asia, the 29-year-old has shown that the family’s rich pedigree is in his veins as well with a solid run in the Asian Development Tour, the region’s secondary circuit.
Surprisingly though, Hsu looks up to Malaysia’s Danny Chia, who has somewhat become his mentor. “I met Danny last year and we have been good friends ever since. He is like a coach to me and he helped change my swing. He often advises me to strengthen my mental game,” said Hsu.
Hsu came desperately close to victory at the recent Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship on the Asian Development Tour last month, losing to Lin by a single stroke.
“It was disappointing to lose but I guess those are lessons you learn. Danny called me after the third round and told me to keep calm and just play my game. I did that and almost won! It would have been sweet if I had defeated Lin because we all look up to him in Taipei,” said Hsu.
He has lots of catching up to do in regards to bragging rights during family gatherings as his grandfather won multiple titles, including the 1968 and 1978 Philippines Open, 1977 Singapore Open, 1978 Bali Open and 1983 Indonesia Open.
While his grandfather and father have constantly encouraged him to shoot for the stars, Hsu draws motivation from Chia, who was Malaysia’s first winner on the Asian Tour with victory in the 2002 Taiwan Open. Chia also became the first Malaysian to play in all four rounds at the British Open in July.
“What Danny has achieved is fantastic. He has inspired me to play better and to fight for a card on the Asian Tour,” said Hsu, who missed his card at Qualifying School in Thailand early this year.
He is presently second on the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit and needs to remain in the top-three to earn his card on the Asian Tour next season.
However, victory at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship, one of four new events on the Asian Tour this season, will propel him straight into Asia’s elite Tour.
Lin, a five-time Asian Tour champion, believes Hsu will become a better player with more experience. “He is a young golfer and in time, if he works hard, I believe he will become a good golfer. He really gave me a scare in the final round and he really pushed hard for the title,” said Lin, who finished second in the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit in 2008.
“I told Hsu before the final round that he is still young and that he should allow the older ones to win!” quipped Lin. “I’m sure he will bounce back and we will see more of him soon.”