Fung eyes Manila redemption

Nicholas Fung© Paul Lakatos|Asian Tour

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung will have some ‘unfinished business’ to attend to when he tees off for the popular Resorts World Manila Masters which starts on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Fung hopes to take advantage of his impeccable track record at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club to finally win the US$1 million event this week for his second Asian Tour title this season.

Fung, who secured his breakthrough victory in June, has claimed three top-10 results in his last four appearances at the Manila showpiece.

He came agonisingly close to winning the tournament last year, closing with five successive birdies for a nine-under-par 63 to make the play-off but eventually settled for a joint runner-up finish after losing to S.S.P. Chawrasia of India.

With his maiden Asian Tour win already in his bag, Fung will be riding high on his confidence and ready to take on the starry line-up assembled at the Resorts World Manila Masters, which is celebrating its fifth edition as the richest tournament in the Philippines.

“I am really happy to be back here. It’s one of my favourite events. The golf course is looking great this week. I hope I can win this time, having finished inside top-10 thrice in my last four starts here,” said Fung, who arrived straight from New Delhi after a T46 finish at the Panasonic Open India on Sunday.

“This year, I am coming into the week with my first Asian Tour title already in the bag so I am definitely feeling more confident than previous years,” he added.

“I believe I have an advantage this week because this course suits my game a lot. It is not too long and is similar to the course in Koh Samui, Thailand, where I won earlier in June. You can use a mid-iron for every approach shots as the greens are soft here,” shared the Sabahan.

In-form Ajeetesh Sandhu of India, young Thai talent Poom Saksansin and local hope Miguel Tabuena will also be amongst the talented 132-man field from over 25 countries challenging for honours this week.

Tabuena will spearhead the local charge alongside living legend Frankie Minoza, 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Juvic Pagunsan and Antonio Lascuna and they will all be vying to become the first Filipino to win the prestigious event since it was inaugurated in 2013.

Order of Merit leader Gavin Green of Malaysia, as well as all four past winners of the tournament, namely Liang Wen-chong of China (2013), Mardan Mamat of Singapore (2014), Thailand’s Natipong Srithong (2015) and Chawrasia (2016) are also set to feature in the Resorts World Manila Masters this week. ASIAN TOUR