October 9, 2006 – UBS Hong Kong Open contenders Edward Loar, James Kingston and Lin Keng Chi have shown they are in great form ahead of next month’s Fanling showpiece with a trio of top-10 finishes in high-profile tournaments at the weekend.
American left-hander Loar finished joint second and South African star Kingston was tied for eighth at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in Scotland while Chinese Taipei veteran Lin shared fourth place in the Taiwan Open.
The trio were among five players who finished joint runners-up at last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open, one shot behind winner Colin Montgomerie.
Loar enjoyed the highlight of his career as he went toe-to-toe with the superstars in the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews.
Partnering Major winners Ernie Els and Vijay Singh, the smooth-swinging Texan compiled a two-under-par 70 to finish five shots behind the winner, Ireland’s Padraig Harrington.
“It was the greatest week of my golfing career, playing at the home of golf and being paired with Ernie and Vijay,” said Loar. “This has been an awesome week for me.”
The American birdied four out of five on the front nine and shared the lead briefly, but fell away on the back nine to end up in a share of second place alongside Welshman Bradley Dredge and England’s Anthony Wall.
“I was surprisingly calm,” Loar said of the moment he tied for the lead. “I started holing a couple of putts and all of a sudden, boom, I was right there. I had a couple of ‘iffy’ little shots coming in, though.”
Kingston, who famously double-bogeyed the final hole at last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open to gift victory to Montgomerie, was rock steady at St Andrews on Sunday, compiling a three-under 69 to finish three shots further back from Loar.
Lin, meanwhile, enjoyed a successful week in his homeland. He signed off with a one-under 71 in the Taiwan Open at Taipei’s Sunrise Golf and Country Club to finish joint fourth, five shots behind the winner, his compatriot Lin Wen Tang.
This year’s US$2 million UBS Hong Kong Open – once again co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours and promoted by Parallel Media Group – takes place on November 16-19 at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.
Organisers are compiling a world-class field with defending champion Montgomerie and Major winners Retief Goosen and Michael Campbell already confirmed for the event.
Current Asian Tour UBS Order of Merit leader Jeev Milkha Singh and Chinese No.1 Liang Wenchong will spearhead the Asian challenge.