Team HK: Making a Move
Coach Schadewitz optimistic of future success after Hong Kong earn a share of first place at the All China Games
oming off the back of one of the most impressive results in recent years, national coach Brad Schadewitz believes Hong Kong has it what it takes to spring a few surprises at some of golf's most important amateur team events later in the autumn. In mid May, the men's team put in a gutsy display to share first place at the fourth edition of the All China Games in Anhui province. Spearheaded by 17-year-old Steven Lam, who claimed third spot in the individual event, Hong Kong finished the 36-hole tournament at Heifei's Yuanyi International Golf Club on seven-under-par, the same score as Yunnan and ahead of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Shanghai, the traditional powerhouses of Chinese golf. 16-year-old Liu Lok-tin, the reigning Hong Kong Close Amateur champion, Terrence Ng (17) and Anthony Tam (15) made up the youthful side, by far the youngest in the competition. To round off what was an excellent week for Hong Kong golf, the ladies' team, which comprised juniors Tiffany Chan, Stephanie Ho and Michelle Cheung, put in an uplifting performance to finish second behind Guangzhou, who fielded members from the China national squad. "It was a great achievement, one of the best we've ever had," said Schadewitz, who became national coach early last year after five years as national junior coach. "No-one really expected us to be factor, but the guys showed a lot of determination and spirit and it opened a lot of people's eyes to Hong Kong golf. To finish as the top region in China in the men's category and second in the ladies' is very satisfying. It bodes very well for future international events." The first of the major international tournaments that Hong Kong will compete at will be the South East Asia Golf Team Championship - otherwise known as the Putra Cup - which takes place in Kuala Lumpur at the end of September. That will be quickly followed by the Asian Amateur Championship, an individual event where the winner is given a berth at the 2011 Masters at Augusta National, and then the biggest of them all - the biennial Eisenhower Trophy, the world's foremost amateur team golf championship. 48
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"The kids have a lot of confidence, and when they play well they now know they can compete," said Schadewitz. "If we can get our guys clicking at the same time we have a chance to do very well and surprise a lot of the bigger golfing nations. Singapore has proved that a small nation can do well - they've won the Putra Cup in the past - and our guys will be really looking forward to the challenge." Aside from the emergence of a number of home-grown talents, Hong Kong will be buoyed by the return of 16-year-old phenomenon Jason Hak to the national fold. Orlando-based Hak, who, at the age of 14, became the youngest ever player to make the halfway cut at a European Tour event when he achieved the feat at the 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open, has enjoyed a stellar season in the United States - including notching up a win at the Florida Azalea Amateur in March - and has confirmed his availability for the Hong Kong team. "We've improved a lot and the number of potential national team members continues to grow, but it's important for us to continue to produce results," Schadewitz added. "If we can have five, six or even seven players doing well at the same time, their achievements will trickle down through to the rest of the squad. It encourages the younger players to see the teams doing well; the younger players look up to the team members as role models and they can learn a great deal from them. With hard work and perseverance, anything is possible." Leaders of the pack: the Hong Kong team of Steven Lam, Anthony Tam, Terrence Ng and Liu Lok-tin are flanked by HKGA Golf Development Manager Michael Ip and National Coach Brad Schadewitz; Lam (inset) was in particularly fine form, finishing the individual event in third place.
Published on May 31, 2010
Published on May 31, 2010
Coach Schadewitz optimistic of future success after Hong Kong earn a share of first place at the All China Games HKGOLFER.COM 8 HK GOLFER・Ju...