Taipei: Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Chen-chih defied testing conditions caused by the approach of Super Typhoon Songda as well as the challenges from compatriot Lin Wen-tang to win the Transcend Open after the third play-off hole on Saturday.
Lin and Chiang signed for matching four-over-par 76s to end regulation play on identical three-under-par 285 total to force the Asian Development Tour (ADT) event into a play-off.
At the 18th play-off hole, Chiang parred his shot from two feet to edge out Lin who bogeyed his shot to win the US$130,000 tournament which had to be suspended for close to an hour in the morning due to heavy winds and rainfall that battered the Tong Hwa Golf and Country Club.
Overnight leader Kao Shang-hung had to settle for equal third place alongside Japan’s Takafumi Kawane and Lee Wei-lin after carding a 80 for a 288 total at the Transcend Open, which is also the fourth leg of this season’s Asian Development Tour (ADT).
Starting the day in tied-second, Chiang marked his card with one birdie on the opening par-five first before signing for three bogeys on the second, fifth and sixth holes to turn in 38.
With the gusty winds sending scores soaring, Chiang continued to mark his card with another three bogeys against a birdie.
However, the contest had to extend into a play-off after Lin also managed to keep himself in contention with seven bogeys against three birdies despite the stern conditions.
“It was definitely not an easy day for golf today but I’m glad I made it. Now, I’ve got extra money for my young daughter’s needs,” said a jubilant Chiang who took home the winner’s prize purse of US$22,750.
“It was wet and windy but I guess you’ve got to learn how to play in all weather conditions if you want to win a golf tournament,” added Chiang.
Lin conceded that the testing conditions made play very difficult and he applauded Chiang for being the deserving winner.
“It’s disappointing at the end but I take consolation in the fact that I managed to force the contest all the way down to the wire. It was Chiang’s day and not mine and I congratulate him for being the deserving winner,” added Chiang.
Meanwhile it was a day to forget for Kao who had started the day with a one-shot lead over Lin and Chiang.
He got off with a double bogey on the par-four second before another calamitous triple bogey-seven on the par-four fourth followed by four bogeys on holes 10th, 15th, 16th and 17th caused his overnight lead to slip away.
“The rain and winds were really affecting the game and I think the scores reflected that today. It was pretty rough out there and I struggled,” said Kao as he battled against the winds which blew to nearly 48 kilometres per hour at times.
The ADT was launched last year as a platform for players to gain access on to the elite Asian Tour. The top-three finishers on the Order of Merit will gain promotion for the 2012 season.
Leading final round scores
285: CHIANG Chen-chih (TPE) 69-71-69-76, LIN Wen-tang (TPE) 68-71-70-76
(*Chiang won in the third play-off hole)
288: KAO Shang-hung (TPE) 69-70-69-80, LEE Wei-lin (TPE) 76-65-73-74, Takafumi KAWANE (JPN) 74-70-70-74
290: LIN Wen-Hong (TPE) 69-73-74-74
291: Naoto NAKANISHI (JPN) 75-72-71-73
292: CHOU Hung-Nan (TPE) 68-73-71-80, WENG Young-Tien (TPE) 75-67-71-79
293: HSU Mong-Nan (TPE) 71-71-71-80, TSAI Chi-Huang (TPE) 70-73-70-8
Photo - Asian Tour
Asian Tour www.GolfGreedy.com