Taiwan Masters increases prize money

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 14 (IANS) The long-running Mercuries Taiwan Masters will celebrate its 28th edition in October with a record prize fund of $650,000, officials announced Thursday.

Taiwan Masters will return to its traditional home at the fabled Taiwan Golf and Country Club’s Tamsui course from Oct 2 to 5 as the richest Asian Tour event in Chinese Taipei this season, said a press release.

Asia’s top stars will once again showcase their talents at the event which was inaugurated in 1987 and modelled after the Masters Tournament in the US.

George Wong, chairman of Mercuries Group, is confident the company’s flagship sporting event, which also presents the winner with a green jacket, will continue to unearth world-class players from Chinese Taipei.

“We are delighted to further pledge our support towards the Mercuries Taiwan Masters by increasing the tournament’s prize money by $50,000 this year. We hope the record prize fund on offer will continue to push the growth of golf in Chinese Taipei and across the region,” said Wong.

Past winners of the Taiwan Masters include local heroes Lin Wen-tang and Lu Wei-chih, Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant, who is a 17-time Asian Tour champion, Indian veteran Gaurav Ghei and last year’s champion Scott Hend of Australia, who claimed three victories to finish second on the 2013 Order of Merit.

Golf in Chinese Taipei has been on a rise over the past decade with the emergence of great champions such as Lin, Lu, Chan Yih-shin, Hung Chien-yao and the latest sensation Chan Shih-chang, who has claimed three victories on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) this season.

The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is one of two Asian Tour events held in Chinese Taipei annually.

The Asian Development Tour, which was launched in 2010 as a gateway to the premier Asian Tour, will also stage a total of three events in Chinese Taipei this season.