Know Your Asians: Lin Wen-tang (Ling Whun-Tan)
By Stephanie Wei under General

Because the HSBC Champions is taking place in Shanghai, China, this week, here’s a special male edition of Know Your Asians.

  • Born and raised in Taiwan, he’s 35 years old
  • He comes from a big golfing family — his father and uncle were both pros and his two brothers also play on the Asian Tour
  • He’s been a member of the Asian Tour since 1998 and plays on the European Tour occasionally
  • He recorded his first professional win at the 1998 Hsin Fong Open in his home land
  • He has five victories on the Asian Tour and one on the European Tour
  • In November 2008 he walked away with the biggest win of his career at the USB Hong Kong Open, a European Tour co-sanctioned event, besting teen phenom Rory McIlroy and Francisco Molinari in a playoff
  • With that victory, he secured a two-year exemption on the European Tour
  • He speaks (broken) English well enough to do interpreter-free interviews

Highlights from this week:

  • Midway through the second round, he held the lead, but faltered on the back nine to drop back to T10 at the end of the day
  • He was pumped to shoot 67, 5-under in the first round (same as Tiger!): I had a very good score today. Because I know this tournament, the superstar, many, many, so I told my caddie, we have the local player, but enjoy the tournament. So today, very good crowd and very good second shot.
  • A chat with Scott Strange on the driving range has inspired him to compete more on the European Tour next year: Yes, because I just spoke to Scott Strange, he said this year why not try the European. Because you know, my English is not good, so because when people go to European — because my wife stay with me. But I know European now is many, many good players, so my wife told me maybe to try next year.

Asian-ness Scale (1-10, 1: Tiger Woods, totally Americanized; 5: Y.E. Yang, somewhat assimilated; 10: Zhang Lian-Wei, 中國): Lin Wen-tang = 7.5

[Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images AsiaPac]