CHINA'S Liang Wenchong beat Thailand's Prom Meesawat on the first playoff hole to win the to win the inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters on Sunday - then donated half of the champion's purse to relief efforts in the Philippines for victims of super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
Playing through a painful wrist, the former Asian Tour No. 1 and overnight leader caught an in-form Prom with a closing three-under-par 69 at Manila Southwoods' Masters course then won with a two-putt birdie in the par-5 playoff hole after the Thai found the bunker.
The Chinese pro, however, provided the highlight of the day after the playoff when he announced that he was donating half of his first-place purse of US$135,000 - US$67,500 or close to P3 million - to the victims suffering in the aftermath of Yolanda.
“Before coming over to the Philippines, I was really affected by what I saw of the damage and victims suffering from the aftermath of the typhoon on television. I’ve decided to donate 50 percent of my winnings to do my part and support the relief efforts,” Liang told asiantour.com.
A simple tap-in for birdie on the first playoff hole was enough for the 2007 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner to win in his first tournament appearance in the Philippines in five years.
“I’m really thankful for all the great support this week. I had Ali on my bag (Malaysia’s Danny Chia’s regular caddie) and he did a great job. The Asian Tour physiotherapist, Muk also did an excellent job in taping my wrist which really helped a lot,” said Liang.
Prom looked as if he had done enough to end a seven-year wait for his second tour victory when he finished with a 65 for a 16-under 272 total, only to be caught by Liang behind a late blitz.
Canadian rookie Richard Lee scored the day’s lowest round of 64 to share third place with fellow Asian Tour rookie Carlos Pigem at 273.
Charles Hong closed with a fiery 65 to barge into the Top 10 at joint ninth with a 12-under total to become the best-placed Filipino in the event as two-day joint leader Angelo Que fade badly with weekend rounds of 74 and 73 to fall to joint 25th at eight-under.