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New Delhi, India, February 9: China’s Liang Wen-chong has expressed his strong desire of getting his season off to a winning start by sacrificing his all-important annual Chinese Lunar New Year reunion dinner to compete at this week’s inaugural Avantha Masters.
The Chinese Lunar New Year falls this weekend and while it has always been a tradition for Liang to celebrate the auspicious occasion, the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion has decided to give it a miss in pursuit for glory at the €1.5 million (approximately US$2.1 million) tri-sanctioned event between the Asian Tour, European Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) from February 11-14.
“As a professional, there are sacrifices to be made and this week’s event will be one of them. Hopefully I can bring home a big red packet for the family,” said Liang whose target is to take home the winner’s prize purse of €250,000.
Liang came close to winning his second Asian Tour Order of Merit title last season but was piped by Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee. Although the 2010 Asian Tour season has just started, Liang believes that a win at the DLF Golf and Country Club will give him a good head start.
“This is a big event and I like to get my season off to a good start. I had a top-25 finish at the Sony Open in the US back in January and I’m feeling good about my form,” said the 31-year-old Chinese.
India has been a happy hunting ground for Liang as he won his second Asian Tour title here in 2008 and he is looking forward to another happy return.
“It’s always nice to return to the place that brought you fond memories. I hope I’ll leave here with sweet memories again at the end of the week,” said Liang.
India’s SSP Chowrasia, who is one of the great success stories of Asian golf in recent times, is delighted to return and play in front of his home fans again.
It has been two years since the 31-year-old secured his maiden Asian Tour triumph at home and he is looking to produce another memorable win over Asia’s and Europe’s best at this week’s marquee event in India.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing at the DLF Golf and Country Club. I’ve changed my swing a little and I’m experiencing a better feel to my game. My form is very good,” said Chowrasia.
Meanwhile in the absence of three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Thongchai, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant will be seeking to equal his compatriot’s record of 12 victories.
Thaworn is just one victory short of matching Thongchai’s decorated record and will be looking to extend his winning record since his last victory in Macau last year.  
“It’ll be nice to match Thongchai’s record, but I do not want to put too much pressure on myself now. I’ll go out there and play my best this week,” said Thaworn.

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