Chonburi [Thailand]: Nicholas Fung is wary of the challenge posed by Amata Spring Country Club as he gets ready to tee off Thursday in the Thailand Golf Championship.
The national number one made a decision to forgo the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Maybank Tour Players Championship to play in the US$1 million Asian Tour event in a bid to continue his good form on the region’s top circuit
Having already cemented his second consecutive Order of Merit title on the domestic circuit with a haul of RM221,311, Fung felt that he could build on his tied fifth placing at the Resorts World Manila Masters and runner-up finish at the Indonesian Masters in recent weeks.
“Well, it was really 50-50 because I would have liked to have played in the PGM Tour season finale – it would have been my coronation party but I feel that I should challenge myself at this moment,” said the 23-year-old Sabahan.
“My lead on the PGM money list is unassailable and if I can improve on my current placing in the Asian Tour Order of Merit before the end of the season, that would be great,” noted Fung, who is ranked 38th.
He however understands that it will not be a walk in the park as he will have to overcome the stern challenge posed by the Amata Spring layout as well as a terrific line-up of stars who include world number three Henrik Stenson of Sweden, US Open winner Justin Rose of England, title holder Charl Schwartzel of South Africa, former Masters Tournament champion Bubba Watson, Spaniard Sergio Garcia and American Rickie Fowler.
“The golf course is playing tough and the wind is really going to be a factor this week. I lost a couple of balls in the rough as well as the island par-three 17th, so I have to be a little more conservative with my shot-making.
“But even if I don’t do well, I’m going to take the outcome positively. I’m here for the experience because playing in such conditions and in big-money fields like the Thailand Golf Championship can only mean improvement to my game, given that 2014 will be my first full season on the Asian Tour. I know I have to take my game to another level if I’m going to compete week in, week out on the Asian Tour,” added Fung.