Liang stays on world’s radar with Thailand victory

Liang Wen-chong of China celebrates his success at the 2010 Thailand Open.

CHONBURI, Thailand – Two weeks after Liang Wen-chong’s splash at Whistling Straits, the Chinese golfer showed the world that his contention at the PGA Championship was no fluke.

Liang, 32, claimed his third OneAsia title Sunday at the Thailand Open. He held off a spirited challenge from young Thai star Namchok Tantipokhakul and veteran Australian Michael Wright for a one-shot victory at Burapha Golf Club.


270 - Liang Wen-chong (CHN) 67 67 67 69

271 - Michael Wright (AUS) 70 66 67 68, Namchok Tantipokhakul (THA) 69 66 67 69

272 - Kang Sung-hoon (KOR) 70 69 68 65

273 - Udorn Duangdecha (THA) 72 60 75 66, Matthew Griffin (AUS) 68 65 70 70, Terry Pilkadaris (AUS) 72 63 67 71

274 - Simon Yates (SCO) 72 70 65 67, Pijit Petchkasem 69 67 69 69, Thaworn Wiratchant 71 70 67 66

275 - Shingo Katayama (JPN) 70 71 68 66, Andre Stolz (AUS) 67 69 72 67, Michael Hendry (NZL) 70 70 65 70

276 - Stephen Allan (AUS)70 66 70 70, Neven Basic (AUS) 70 68 68 70

278 - Chinnarat Phadungsil (THA) 73 66 72 67, Brad Kennedy (AUS) 68 67 73 70

279 – Anthony Summers (AUS) 75 68 68 68, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 70 74 65 70, Danny Chia (MAS) 70 68 71 70, Poom Saksansin* (THA) 71 72 66 70, Kwon Sung-youl (KOR) 69 70 70 70, David Bransdon (AUS) 69 70 66 74

*denotes amateur

Liang, who started the day with a one-shot lead, closed with a 3-under 69 for a tournament total of 18-under 270. Namchok, 23, shot 69, while Wright fired 68.

In a close finish during which the leaders were tied on several occasions, Liang made a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-4 16th to seal his victory. Namchok just missed a 45-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to force a playoff.

“I was very tired when I arrived, as my schedule has been hectic,” said Liang, who finished joint eighth in the U.S. PGA Championship. “So I wasn’t very sure how this week would go. It gives me a lot of confidence to know I can play at this level after such a busy stretch.”

Liang, who won US$180,000, played steady golf in the final round but had just three birdies. The victory moved him to the top of the OneAsia Order of Merit, overtaking Y.E. Yang, with earnings of US$439,200.

Namchok, the Mercedes-Benz Tour’s top player last year, was bidding to become only the third Thai player to win his national open.

“I am very proud of my achievement in my first Thailand Open,” Namchok said. “The spectators were great; they were willing me to win. This is my best performance in an international tournament, and I want to go on and represent Thailand in overseas events.”

Wright had a chance for an upset victory after his eagle on the par-5 14th. “I am usually the first to beat the hell out of myself mentally if things go wrong, but this week I made sure I did not do that,” Wright said.

“I have been working hard, and this is the reward. It would have been nice to win, but I am very happy at my second place.’’

OneAsia contributed to this report.

Welcome to's comments section.
Please review the posting guidlines here: Community Guidelines.
All accounts must be verified using Disqus email verification