Thursday

HSBC Champions - Lady Luck & Liang Wen-Chong

.
"I tried my best but lady luck eluded me"

That's what Liang Wen-Chong said last week at the Barclays Singapore Open. As you probably remember, Mr. Liang finished just one shot behind winner Ian Poulter after a particularly valiant final round charge.

The record breaking Chinese player is decidedly the hometown hero this week at the HSBC Champions and certainly hoping that the elusive Lady Luck appreciates that fact.
As China's highest ranked golfer and the only one currently in the top 100 in the World Golf Rankings, Liang Wen-Chong is in a pretty awesome position.

August 2007 Liang became the first golfer from the People's Republic of China to play in the PGA Championship, and in July 2008, the first to make the cut at a major, The Open Championship at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club. He was also the first Chinese golfer to pass the million dollar mark in earnings.

Few in the golf business are unaware of China's potential as a golf market. The top players have been talking about little else since they arrived for this tournament. Tiger Woods has spoken of the game's explosive growth and declared in a press conference yesterday that if the government lends its support, there's"...no question China will become a powerhouse in golf". As for Phil Mickelson, he's working on a couple of design projects already, and even creating a series of instructional DVDs dubbed into Mandarin. Each clearly recognizes the value of the developing Chinese golf.

Liang Wen-Chong finished round one of the HSBC Champions in a four-way tie for fifth. If he were to reconnect with the alluring Lady Luck and win it would definitely aid in that development.

Photographs : Getty Images