Chan Shih-chang has placed winning an International Series tournament at the top of his list of priorities, speaking ahead of this week’s inaugural International Series Oman at Al Mouj Golf.
The Chinese-Taipei golfer is a five-time champion on the Asian Tour – two of those coming last year and one at the end of 2021 – but so far he has not been able to win one of the new upper tier events that made such an important and memorable debut on the Asian Tour last year.
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“It is my goal to win one of the International Series events,” said the 36 year old.
“I really hope I can do it one day. I have already won five times on Tour so I would really love to add one International Series title to my records.”
He came close to winning the International Series Singapore last year but made a costly double-bogey on the 18th at Tanah Merah Country Club to finish two behind the winner Nitithorn Thippong from Thailand.
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He said: “I had a good chance in Singapore last year but unfortunately, I let slip the opportunity on the last hole. I hope to redeem myself by winning one International Series title this season.”
Chan claimed The Royal’s Cup in Thailand last year and the Mercuries Taiwan Masters, for his first Asian Tour win on home soil, to become one of only three golfers to win twice during the season.
“Looking back at my career so far, I think it hasn’t been easy getting to where I am today,” said Chan.
“I started playing on the Asian Development Tour more than 10 years ago. Won a few times, got my status on the Asian Tour and then won on the Asian Tour. It has been a lot of hard work really, considering how late I picked up the game. I started learning only at the age of 15 so it’s tougher than others. But it was good to see my hard work pay off over the years.”
He took part in a photo call today at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in downtown Muscat with Sadom Kaewkanjana from Thailand, Oman’s Azzan Al Rumhy and Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell and is embracing the chance to travel more and play in new destinations which The International Series has provided.
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“It’s great that we get to play the International Series on the Asian Tour. We get to travel to many new places, from Morocco to Egypt last year to Oman and Qatar these two weeks. If not for these events, we probably wouldn’t get to travel to these countries,” said Chan.
“I hope to follow what my seniors have done and set a good example for the next generation of players at home – that if you want to be a professional golfer, you need to get out of your comfort zone and compete in international events. Don’t limit yourself to just playing in your country because there is so much to see out there and you get to play alongside better players as well. It will definitely help in your game.”
This week’s US$2 million event is the second event of the season on the Asian Tour and boasts a stellar field that includes Major winners American Brooks Koepka, Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen from South Africa.