Taiwan test awaits Senior Tour stars

11/5/2012 5:12:09 PM
 Chien Soon Lu  (Getty Images)
Chien Soon Lu (Getty Images)

The European Senior Tour heads east this week as Miramar Golf and Country Club in Taiwan hosts the penultimate event of the 2012 season, the Fubon Senior Open.

Home favourite Chien Soon Lu defends his title following a comfortable five stroke victory in the inaugural edition of the tournament 12 months ago.

After heavy rain affected play at the event, Lu completed the remaining 14 holes of his second round on the Sunday morning, carding a one under par 71, before adding a closing 69 in the afternoon to capture his maiden Senior Tour victory.

That was the first occasion the Senior Tour had visited Taiwan and the tournament returns this year with an increased prize fund of US$450,000.

The 96-strong field will again comprise 54 Senior Tour Members and 42 players from the Senior PGA of Taiwan, which is co-sanctioning the event, and there will again be a cut of the top 60 and ties after the second of the three rounds.

Joining Lu in the field will be another star of senior golf in Asia, Thailand’s Boonchu Ruangkit, the winner of the Senior Tour Order of Merit in 2010.

Ruangkit has suffered an injury plagued campaign to date, playing only seven tournaments with his best performance coming in the first of those, a share of 12th position in the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid.

He will hope to improve that record having finished tied sixth in last year’s Fubon Senior Open.

Englishman Paul Wesselingh will travel to Asia in search of more glory as he attempts to build on a season which yielded a maiden victory at the ISPS Handa PGA Seniors Championship. After earning his card at Qualifying School, Wesselingh is on course to win the Rookie of the Year award and can strengthen his claims with a strong showing in Taiwan.

His compatriot Gary Wolstenholme and American Tim Thelen, both two-time winners in 2012, will be looking to become the first player to claim three titles this season.

Another American, Mike Cunning, will be confident of his own chances having enjoyed plenty of success in Asia over the years. The two-time Senior Tour winner captured the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 1998 and heads to Taiwan on the back of his best performance this season, a share of eighth position in the French Riviera Masters. 

The Fubon Senior Open is the last event before the Senior Tour season concludes at the MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius from December 7-9.