Photo - Asian Tour
ASIAN LEGEND HSIEH FORESEES BRIGHT FUTURE FOR ASIAN GOLF
Taipei: Asian golf legend Hsieh Min-nan of Chinese Taipei believes the standard of golf in Asia has improved tremendously over the years.
Hsieh, who was victorious in the 1972 World Cup of Golf where he won the team and individual titles, hailed Korean Yang Yong-eun’s Major victory at the US PGA Championship last year as the pinnacle for Asian golf so far.
“His victory was just amazing and if you look at the current crop of players, you will see so many talented players from Thailand, Korea, Japan and of course from Chinese Taipei,” said Hsieh, who started his campaign at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters today.
“Last time, it was the American golfers who dominated the game but it has changed over the years and now you see many Asians playing abroad and doing well,” he added.
Hsieh put himself in prime position of becoming the oldest player on the Asian Tour at age 70 years and 51 days old to make the halfway cut at the US$500,000 after shooting an opening four-over-par 76 on tough scoring conditions.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is the second Asian Tour tournament to be held in Taipei in the span of three weeks after the inaugural Yeangder Tournament Players Championship. The Ballantine’s Taiwan Championship, an Asian Development Tour event was also held for the first time in August.
Hsieh was delighted to see the vast development of golf in Chinese Taipei and in the region and hopes the growth of golf in Asia will continue to blossom.
“When I first started playing golf, there was only one golf course in Chinese Taipei but now there are roughly about 70 golf courses here,” said Hsieh, who has won numerous titles in Japan.
“The younger generation are also beginning to take up the game of golf and many have turned it into a career. Hopefully they will succeed and make their country proud,” said Hsieh who tipped Lin Wen-tang to successfully defend his title at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club this week.
Despite his age of 70, Hsieh has no plans of retiring as he continues to play on the Seniors Tour in Japan and hopes to write a slice of history this week.
“Everyone in Taipei is hoping for me to make the cut and I’m going to try my best and do it,” said Hsieh, who is also the chairman of the Taiwan Seniors Tour.
With stamina and willpower that belies his age, Hsieh revealed that constant jogging and light workout keeps him on his toes.
“You have to be disciplined and exercise a lot. Obviously I’m lacking in distance now compared to the younger players and need to work out more often to ensure I can hit my ball further. I still hit the ball straight and that’s my strong point,” said Hsieh.