KUALA LUMPUR: Nicholas Fung is hoping for a taste of success again when he defends his title at the US$300,000 Queen’s Cup presented by Bangchak, which will be celebrating its 10th straight edition on the Asian Tour next week.
The 2013 Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit champion endured several near-misses for his maiden title before finally breaking through with a one-shot victory at the prestigious event 12 months ago.
The 28-year-old Sabahan is determined to add another victory to his resume at the storied event, which will be played for the first time at the highly-rated Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya from June 28 to July 1.
A total of 150 players from 25 different countries, featuring over 40 Asian Tour winners, will be vying for top honours and chasing the winner’s prize purse of US$54,000 when the tournament gets underway next week.
Fung, who turned professional in 2010, is a proud graduate of the region’s secondary circuit, where he has recorded three victories. He represented Team Asia in all three editions of the EurAsia Cup and was hailed as Malaysia’s number one through his Order of Merit success on the Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) Tour in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
After missing four cuts in 10 starts on the Asian Tour this season, Fung sits in a current 41st place on the Habitat for Humanity Standings, with his best result being a tied-14th place finish at the Panasonic Open Golf Championship in Japan two months ago.
“I love playing in Thailand. It’s pretty similar to Malaysia, be it the weather or the people. I have been playing well. I did some work with my coach and I’m gaining more distance than before. I am not a long hitter so I have to work on my distance if I want to better my game.
“I waited very long for that first win. I came close so many times and I finally got the job done at the Queen’s Cup last year. That victory has given me a lot of confidence. I am looking forward to defending my title next week,” said Fung.
A year after his breakthrough feat, Fung remains confident of putting up another title run albeit on a different course. He believes a hot putter will fuel his charge for a successful title defence when he steps up to the tee next week.
“I have played at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club a couple of times. The course doesn’t seem long for me so putting will be the key to score.
“This is my first time defending a title on the Asian Tour. I have done it on the local Tour and on the ADT before. It’s going to feel different because the field is stronger and there are a lot of young players out there looking for their first win as well. I am, however, more than happy to take up the challenge,” added Fung.
Other notable players in the field include Chinese Taipei’s Chan Shih-chang and Shiv Kapur of India, who have triumphed on the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in 2016 and 2017 respectively.