Liu looking to shine in Xiamen

By China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-21 07:21

Liu looking to shine in Xiamen

Liu Yanwei in action during the first round at the Shenzhen International on April 20, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

China's Liu Yanwei hopes to continue his rapid ascent when the inaugural Asian Golf Championship tees off in Xiamen, Fujian province, next week.

The 20-year-old, who shot to prominence by tying for 11th place in his European Tour debut at the Shenzhen International in April, has the added incentive of trying to secure his Asian Tour card for next season.

Placed 87th in the Asian Tour order of merit, Liu needs a strong showing at the $350,000 event at Kaikou Golf Club (Nov 30-Dec 3) to break into the top 60 and earn his 2018 card.

"I am looking forward to this event. It will be my first time going to Xiamen so I am very excited," said Liu, who was part of the elite field at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in October.

"I am very happy to be able to play an Asian Tour event in China. It's a great development for both the Asian Tour and the China Tour.

"I just want to play as many events as possible to build my experience.

"The Asian Tour has been a great platform for me to hone my skills and my current aim is to secure my Asian Tour card for next season.

"I have only two more events to go, I think, so I need to finish strong."

Liu looking to shine in Xiamen

Liu first showed signs he could be destined for great things with a top-10 finish on the Asian Tour in Bangladesh in February.

He heads to Xiamen in good form after tying for 13th at last week's Resorts World Manila Masters and with four top-10 finishes on the Asian Development Tour under his belt this season.

He sits 18th on the ADT money list and has reached No 636 in the world rankings, up from No 1,092 at the end of 2016.

Liu can expect some stiff competition in Xiamen in the form of Thai veteran Thaworn Wiratchant, who holds a record 18 Asian Tour titles, China's Zhang Lianwei, Nicholas Fung of Malaysia and Thailand's Danthai Boonma.

The Asian Golf Championship is jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and China Golf Association.

The field is comprised of 56 Asian Tour professionals, 48 China Tour players and four invites.

Currently celebrating 50 years in golf, Rolex is the official timekeeper for the tournament, which is also part of the Asian Tour's strategic partnership with the CGA to grow the professional game in the region.

Players from the China Tour will be eligible to take up associate memberships with the Asian Tour, with the top-five non-exempt players from the Chinese order of merit at the end of the season receiving spots at the final stage of the 2018 Asian Tour qualifying school.

Sunday's winner will earn an Asian Tour exemption for next year, while Chinese players' earnings will count toward both the Asian and China Tour money lists.

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