Liang welcomes home comfort

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China’s Liang Wen-chong believes that home advantage will be his trump card when he takes on the world’s best at the HSBC.

China’s Liang Wen-chong believes that home advantage will be his trump card when he takes on the world’s best players at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions which tees off on Thursday.

Liang has enjoyed a measurable amount of success worldwide including setting a course record of eight-under-par 64 on his way to an eighth-place finish at the PGA Championship in August, but it will be on home soil that he hopes to reward his home fans with the biggest cheers by playing well.

“This is one of the most high profile events in China and I really want to do well in front of the home crowd. I’m having a very good year so far and I’m in very good shape heading into this week’s event,” said Liang.

Liang, winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2007 will be playing alongside two-time Major winner Retief Goosen and teenage sensation Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland in the opening two rounds and he is confident that he will be able to rise above the occasion with the help of his home fans.

“I played with Goosen many times and I don’t feel any pressure playing with him as I’m quite familiar with him,” said Liang.

“As for McIlroy, I remember playing with him on the final day of the PGA Championship. There were lot of people shouting loud his name then but I kept calm and played quite well.

“This time round, I’m back on home turf and I’m feeling confident. I believe a lot more spectators will be shouting my name instead of his name now,” added the 32-year-old.

Billed as the ‘champions of champions’ title, the WGC-HSBC Champions will see tournament winners from all around the world representing 20 countries who have won over 500 international titles between them and 30 Major Championships.

The Shanghai showpiece will feature defending champion Phil Mickelson of the United States, newly-crowned world number one Lee Westwood of England and American Tiger Woods amongst the stellar line-up in this week’s elite field.

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