China’s Zhang Lian-wei is hoping for a taste of success again when he makes his debut at the €2,205,000 (Approximately US$2.8 million) Ballantine’s Championship which begins at the Blackstone Golf Club on Thursday.
The sixth edition of the Ballantine’s Championship will be the first event to be played in Korea on the Asian Tour this season and is once again sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Korea PGA.
It has been 10 years since Zhang last won on the Asian Tour but even at 47 years old, the desire to win again is still very strong for the Chinese ace.
“I’ve been to Korea several times but this will be my first time playing at the Ballantine’s Championship. This is a very significant event in Asia and I hope to play well. I’ve a strong inclination that my sixth victory on the Asian Tour will come very soon,” said Zhang, who is playing on a sponsor’s invitation this week.
Zhang has blazed a golden trail for Chinese golf since he broke onto the scene in the mid-1990s.
The self-taught Chinese is the country’s most successful golfer with five Asian Tour victories and his sixth win on the region’s premier Tour could possibly come under very testing weather conditions this week.
“It’s colder than I had expected. The weather will play a part in deciding the winner but it’s still a level playing field for all players. As for myself, I’ll try to stay warm, play well and hopefully get that result,” said Zhang.
Zhang is among the four Chinese players who will tee up at the Ballantine’s Championship this week.
Others include Liang Wen-chong, who earned the distinction of being the first mainland Chinese to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2007, Wu Ashun and Hu Mu, who is touted as the next great Chinese hope.
Hu took up membership with the Asian Tour this season as he seeks to establish himself on the Tour, which is celebrating its 10th season this year.
The Ballantine’s Championship was established in 2008 and builds on Ballantine’s long-standing association with golf.
In addition to the Championship, Ballantine’s sponsors several top-flight players and events, as well as invests in grass-roots activity such as the Golf Fund in China and the Road to the Ballantine’s Championship in Korea.