Roger Chapman is looking forward to helping “spread the gospel” of golf in Taiwan when he takes part in the inaugural Fubon Senior Open from November 18-20.
The Englishman has never been to the island nation but has played numerous times on the Asian continent and has been massively impressed with the enthusiasm and hospitality each time.
With the game of golf booming in Asia in the years since his heyday on The European Tour, where he played for 24 years, Chapman is thoroughly looking forward to his journey to Miramar Golf and Country Club in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital.
“I played a few Asian events when I was on The European Tour and it was always good and they were always really hospitable people,” said the 51 year old, whose sole European Tour win came at the Brazil Rio de Janeiro 500 Years Open in 2000.
“The courses were good, the greens were difficult to get used to but on the whole you can’t fault anything really. They always try really hard in Asia and the crowds are very enthusiastic.
“It’s huge now over there, especially with the Korean girls coming through, and YE Yang and those kind of guys.
“The game has grown a lot in Asia, probably with the help of The European Tour going out there first. I know they have their own Asian Tour, but now you have more worldwide, better quality, players going out there so they’re spreading the gospel.”
Chapman has been in good form this season, bouncing back from the bitter disappointment of his play-off defeat to David Frost at the Mauritius Commercial Bank Open last December to claim four top ten finishes in nine Senior Tour appearances this year.
However he is yet to winon the Senior Tour, having come agonisingly close on a number of occasions.
Chapman is confident that the four week break following the Benahavis Senior Masters in Spain will do him a world of good this week.
“I'm quite happy with how I’m playing and I have four weeks off where I get to go and see my coach Gavin Christie and work on a few things so hopefully I can take some good form into the Fubon,” he concluded.
Chapman will be joined by a strong field at the Fubon Senior Open, which includes former Open and Masters Champion Sandy Lyle as he returns to the Senior Tour for his first appearance since the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open.
The Scotsman remains in 13th spot in the Senior Tour Order of Merit, helped by his first win on the Senior Tour in March, which also happened to be in Asia at the ISPS Handa Senior World Championship presented by Mission Hills China.
American Jerry Bruner will play the penultimate tournament of his long career in Taiwan as he retires at the end of the season, while 2010 Senior Tour Order of Merit winner Boonchu Ruangkit of Thailand also takes part.
Englishman Gary Wolstenholme will be hoping to take another step towards winning the Rookie of the Year award with a good finish, having come agonisingly close to victory in his last two tournaments, first at the Belas Clube de Campo Senior Masters where he finished third and then at the Benahavis Senior Masters where he was runner-up.