Hong Kong, Nov 14 (IANS) Chinese Taipei golfer Lin Wen-tang is looking forward to lifting the Hong Kong Open title again when the 54th edition tees off Thursday.
It has been a welcome return to the Hong Kong Golf Club for the five-time Asian Tour winner as he retraced his steps to glory four years ago.
"I'll always remember that winning putt in 2008 on the second play-off hole that year. It's only my putting that needs work. I missed a lot of short putts last week and hopefully I can putt better at this golf course which I've won before," said Lin.
Since Lin defeated Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy and Italy's Francesco Molinari in an enthralling play-off to win the Hong Kong Open in 2008, no other Asian players have emerged victorious.
Lin admitted that they have to step up their game including seasoned professionals like himself so that they can add their name to the roll of honour again.
"We're seeing lots of younger winners nowadays. Just look at how much McIlroy has improved since I defeated him in 2008. And last week's winner in Singapore, Manaserro, he has lots of potential at just 19-years-old," said Lin.
"I believe we can match each other in terms of skills. But I think it's the mental aspect that we need to work on. We also need to raise our bar higher so that we don't fall too far behind these younger boys," added the 36-year-old.
After losing the title to Lin in 2008, McIlroy has bounced back in style.
The 23-year-old erased the heartbreak by winning this event last year and makes his return as the world's best player, a two-time Major winner and only the second man after England's Luke Donald to win the money race on both sides of the Atlantic.
"It's very nice this year to win the money list on both sides of the Atlantic. Picking up these awards at the end of the year is always a nice honour and it's very special," said McIlroy.
"This will be my sixth Hong Kong Open and I've had a great record," said the World No.1, who will be looking to extend his remarkable record here where he won last year, runner-up in 2008 and 2009, and tied sixth in 2010.
The Hong Kong Open is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.