Liang eyes more magic in return to Delhi
This handout photo taken and released by Lagardere Sports on Jan 30, 2016 shows Liang Wenchong of China gesturing during round three of the Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. [Photo/VCG]
Liang Wenchong is returning to Delhi Golf Club for the first time since his triumph in the 2008 Hero Indian Open, looking for lightning to strike twice when he tees off in this week's $400,000 Panasonic Open India.
Liang inked his name in the record book when he carded a course-best 60 en route to winning in the Indian capital eight years ago.
The 38-year-old would like to repeat the feat in his debut in the Panasonic Open, which launches its sixth edition on the Asian Tour on Thursday.
"I haven't been back to the Delhi Golf Club since 2008, so I'm really looking forward to it," said Liang, who became the China mainland's first winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2007.
"It is a very impressive course. India is a country with rich history and culture, and I had a great experience last time I was there.
"I remember hitting my 5-wood well and putting well and shooting an opening round of 60. That's still the best round of my career so far.
"This week I'm just going to enjoy my game and experience more of the challenging course."
Liang will form part of an elite field at the Panasonic Open, which includes defending champion Chiragh Kumar, Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng, England's Steve Lewton and Singapore's Mardan Mamat.
The event is the penultimate tournament of the season, with players vying to break into the top 60 in the final Order of Merit rankings to ensure retention of their Tour cards for 2017.
Australian Wade Ormsby (2013) is the only non-Indian to win the event.
Meanwhile, at last week's World Cup of Golf in Australia, Wu Ashun and Li Haotong finished tied for second place, eclipsing Liang and Zhang Lianwei's 17th-place in 2008 as the best by a China mainland tandem.
Wu and Li closed to within one stroke of the lead at Kingston Heath before Denmark recovered to win by four strokes over China, France and Sweden.
The World Cup continued an encouraging run for Chinese golf - in particular 21-year-old Li, who followed up his 23rd-place finish in the European Tour's Race to Dubai standings with a brilliant individual performance on the final day in Melbourne.
Wu and Li were disappointed they did not push the Danes till the final holes, squandering birdie opportunities on the 17th and 18th.
"We almost got the trophy," Wu said.
"Playing with my partner Li was very exciting. After four holes and making two birdies, I thought we had a chance to win because we were only two behind.
"My partner is a great player. We'll keep in touch, keep practicing hard and I know we can do better next time. Chinese players can win this tournament."