Malaysia’s Danny Chia is hoping to pull off a miracle as he seeks a hat-trick of victories in Chinese Taipei when he returns for the Mercuries Taiwan Masters which starts on Thursday.
Despite having to grapple with injuries and limited playing opportunities on the Asian Tour, the 46-year-old is still clinging on to hope that he can find his lucky charm again at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club where he won his second Tour title in 2015.
Chia ended his 13-year title drought with a two-shot victory then. However, he has yet to conjure any winning formula again since that triumph four years ago.
“I know this golf course well and I feel I have the luck here in this country. Both of my wins on the Asian Tour have come from Taiwan and hopefully miracles can happen again,” Chia said.
Brazil’s Adilson Da Silva also returns to the scene of his historic breakthrough last year, ready for another shot at glory.
With a proud track record at the Mercuries Taiwan, the Brazilian believes the favourable playing conditions at the oldest golf course in Chinese Taipei will be advantageous to him.
“The win last year was absolutely stunning. Especially when I wasn't really playing well before that … Over the years, I’ve found a way of playing this course,” Da Silva said.
RIGHT: Hend is hoping to close the gap between himself and Jazz Janewattananond at the top of the Order of Merit. PHOTO: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images.
Queenslander Scott Hend is also relishing his return to the longest-running full-field event on the Asian Tour, having etched his name in the roll of honour in 2013.
Hend won his 10th Asian Tour title in Malaysia earlier this year and was atop the Order of Merit for 13 weeks. A win again at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters for the big-hitting Hend will allow him to close the gap between him and current leader, Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand.
“It’s an exciting period now with many big events coming up and will be interesting to see how things shape up,” Hend said.
Backed by the Mercuries Group, the Mercuries Taiwan Masters is the last qualifying event for the lucrative CJ Cup and WGC-HSBC Champions in Korea and China respectively.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters, which was inaugurated in 1987, has been held annually on the region’s premier Tour since 2004. The event offers an all-time high US$900,000 of prize money in 2019, a US$50,000 increase from last year.