Asia's top golfer Kyi Hla Han received a hero's welcome on his return to Burma for this week's London Myanmar Open. Hong Kong-based Han, winner of the Davidoff Tour Order of Merit last year, is the country's most famous sporting son and is instantly recognisable on the streets of the capital, Rangoon. Since he arrived in Burma on Sunday he has been besieged by reporters looking for one-on-one interviews, was centre stage at a press conference and has attended a reception organised by the tournament sponsors. Although Han's father, former diplomat Kyi Han, was at the Omega PGA Championship at Mission Hills Golf Club, China, last December to see his son lift the money list title, the veteran golfer is making his first trip to Burma since being crowned Asia's number one. It is a real family affair, with Han staying at home with his parents and brother Chan Han, the chief organiser of the tournament which tees off today at Yangon Golf Resort. 'It's been a pretty amazing few days,' said Han, who took a break from competitive golf last week after a run of five straight tournaments on the European Tour. 'My Order of Merit win has caused a lot of interest and I have been asked to give interviews for lifestyle magazines and newspapers - I did not realise there were so many publications here. 'I attended a press conference for the London Myanmar Open on Tuesday and I have been at a couple of receptions. It has been a bit hectic but I have enjoyed it.' Burma, a former British colony, has about 100 golf courses dotted around the country and there has been a re-birth of interest in the sport since Kyi Hla and brother Chan were instrumental in staging the first Myanmar Open on the Asian PGA circuit in January 1996. Kyi Hla and Chan both learned the game while their father was posted overseas and when their talent blossomed both received his blessing to turn professional on the condition that they 'make a success of it'. While Kyi Hla has played on the Australasian, European, Japan and Asian PGA Tours for the past 19 years, Chan returned to Burma after a spell as a teaching professional in Malaysia and has been involved in numerous projects to popularise the game. Kyi Hla, who won the Volvo China Open and was runner-up three times last year on his way to the money list title with earnings of US$204,210, has never played well in his home Open and wants to perform better this week. 'I'm looking forward to playing my own national open and doing my best. I have not had a good record here but hopefully I can change that,' he said. 'I started playing too early this season, after a heavy schedule late last year to keep ahead in the Order of Merit race, and only made one cut in four events in South Africa and Australia. 'But I had a couple of 68s in the Benson & Hedges Malaysian Open [he finished tied 29th] and feel my game is coming back,' said Han, who was named the Players' Player of the Year at the Asian PGA's gala dinner on February 13, his 39th birthday. 'I have taken on Sam Frost [brother of South African tour professional David] as my full-time coach and I will be working on a few swing adjustments with him. I will be playing a lot of big events this year and want to do well, starting this week in the Myanmar Open.' Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng, the winner of last week's Casino Filipino Open, Burma specialist Boonchu Ruangkit, also of Thailand, and European Tour regular Jeev Milkha Singh of India will give Han stiff opposition for the title. Prayad showed signs last week that he is regaining the form that won him two titles in 1997, Boonchu is going for a third Myanmar Open crown after his victories in 1996 and 1997 and Singh needs one more victory to match the record five Asian PGA titles held by Korea's Kang Wook-soon and Gerry Norquist of the United States. Taiwan's Wang Ter-chang, the defending champion, and Japan Tour regular Zaw Moe of Burma are also in a strong lineup for the third event on the 2000 Davidoff Tour.