Liang Wenchong, SSP Chawrasia head cast as RW Manila Masters begins at Southwoods
Liang Wenchong looks to add to the Manila Masters title he won in 2013.

CHINA’s Liang Wenchong returns to familiar winning ground, hoping his run at the Resorts World Manila Masters will come full circle as the richest tournament in the Philippines tees off on Thursday.

Liang, the inaugural Resorts World Manila Masters winner, along with three other past champions - Mardan Mamat (2014), Natipong Srithong (2015) and S.S.P. Chawrasia (2016) return to Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club for the US$1 million event.

Liang claimed a thrilling play-off triumph over Thailand’s Prom Meesawat in 2013 and Chawrasia, who celebrated his first victory abroad last year.

In between those two victories, Mardan marched to a commanding six-shot win in 2014 while Natipong defied all odds by winning the 2015 edition shortly after turning professional.

“I’m really happy to be back for the Resorts World Manila Masters because this event holds many fond memories for me. That win in 2013 was special as Manila holds a special place in my heart,” said Liang.

“This event has played an integral role in transforming tourism in the country and has changed the golfing landscape here. It has raised the profile of the Asian Tour in the Philippines and given players playing opportunities which we greatly appreciate. My form has been good this year. I won in Japan and had a couple of good finishes which I can be proud of. It’ll be nice to win again and I’ll try my best.

On the home front, Filipino legend Frankie Minoza will spearhead the local challenge alongside 2011 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Juvic Pagunsan, former Philippine Open champion Miguel Tabuena and Antonio Lascuna.

“I’m excited to be back. Obviously last year’s win was my first outside India and it is very meaningful. That win showed that I have what it takes to compete globally and not only in India,” said Chawrasia.

“I won another event in India earlier this year and it’ll be fantastic to get another win here before the year comes to a close. I finished second at home in India just last week so my form is definitely good.”

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