Liang aims to roar home in lion city

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 March, 2006, 12:00am

China's Liang Wenchong is ready to step out from the shadows of his more illustrious compatriot Zhang Lianwei when he takes aim at the US$1 million OSIM Singapore Masters starting today.

The 27-year-old Liang has often been touted as China's next big thing in golf and as he settles into his seventh season in the professional ranks, he feels the Lion City could be the launchpad to greater feats and ultimately lead him to play against Tiger Woods on the US PGA Tour.

With five consecutive seasons where he has finished in the top 50 of the Asian Tour's UBS Order of Merit and two fairly good seasons in Japan on his resume, Liang feels ready to land his first major win in the region.

A return to Laguna National Golf and Country Club, this week's venue, has added to Liang's growing confidence.

In last year's Singapore Masters, he finished as the top Asian, tied for fifth place.

'Mentally, I'm feeling good,' said Liang, whose best finish on the Order of Merit was 12th in 2002. 'I've got more experience now playing on both the Asian Tour and in Japan and I feel like my game is where I want it to be. I would certainly like to win a big title soon and I hope to play well this week.

'It's a big compliment that people refer me as the next Zhang but I still have to do it [win]. I feel I could win in Japan as well,' said the 27-year-old, who has posted 15 top-10s from 69 appearances on the Asian Tour.