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junior golf

Shinichi Mizuno

The Hong Kong Close champion talks to David Cunningham III following his most important win to date You've gone from rank beginner to Hong Kong Close Amateur champion in just five and a half years. Can you explain it? I think it's just been a case of loving golf and enjoying it every time I play that has led to the stage I am at now. I have to say, though, that I enjoyed the game even more after winning my age division at the Junior Open in 2008. I love to compete and I love to win.

Mizuno at the 2011 Hong Kong Close

Are there any experiences in particular that have contributed to your improvement? Playing in the UBS Hong Kong Open last year. My confidence rose considerably afterwards and it made me really motivated to play in it again. I'll be back at Fanling this year after winning the Close, which I'm really happy about. What was it like playing in a European Tour event with plenty of big names? It was great. I loved playing with a big audience watching me. I didn't talk to many of the star players because I was nervous, but being able to see them hit and putt from close range was very fun. You played with Anthony Kang in the second round when he shot 61. What did you learn from that? It was great fun to watch but I didn't realize he was shooting that low until I saw the leaderboard on hole 16 because I was too focused on my own game. I did learn, however, that no matter what you're scoring you always have to keep the same routine and rhythm. I also learned that the pro's drives are super long and that their putting is amazing [laughs]. I've worked hard on my own putting since, which has helped my scoring. Daniel Wong

Can you give us an idea of your practice and workout regime? I'm pretty busy with school work at the moment and my time spent on the course and in the gym is less than it was before. Now I'm in the gym two times HK GolferăƒťAPR 2011

How often do you receive instruction – and from whom? HKGA National Coach Brad Schadewitz and Jason Kwok at Discovery Bay, my home club, have helped me a lot. I see Brad once a week and Jason once every two weeks. We focus on everything from the full swing to putting. I have been making a lot of changes - and every piece of advice I receive from them has helped me. What do you believe is most important to a good round of golf? To put 100 per cent effort into the shot you're about to hit, so that you won't regret anything afterwards. Going out there with the aim of having fun rather than thinking too much about scoring is what it should be all about.

The last 12 months have been especially successful for you. What, if anything, has changed? Is there a secret formula? I don't know exactly, but I have been working hard in the gym for the past two years, which has helped with my distance and stamina when competing in four-day events. The secret formula: loving golf more and more.


a week for a two-hour full body workout. I practice golf twice a week for three hours and get on the course once a week. I also go for a 45-minute jog on the weekends. I think fitness is really important. I wouldn't be playing golf to the standard I am now without putting in the hours at the gym.

What do you focus on when playing in tournaments? I try to forget about any problems I might have with my swing and just try to keep my head up and walk proud. How do you recover from a bad shot? I try not to think too much about why I made the mistake. Instead, I just think back to all the good shots I made with the same club previously. How do you find a balance between your social life, golf, family and school? Hard question! Obviously I want to put golf as my first priority, but now school is the most important thing for me. Golf, social life and then family time. Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? Hopefully playing on the Japan Tour. I know it's very hard to become a successful playing professional but hopefully my golf will be good enough by the time I leave college. What advice can you give aspiring junior golfers in Hong Kong? Always love the game and try and enjoy every situation you find yourself in. We are all young and still have many opportunities, so don't get upset over tiny mistakes. David Cunningham III lives in Hong Kong and writes about junior golf on his website, HKGOLFER.COM


Are there any experiences in particular that have contributed to your improvement? Playing in the UBS Hong Kong Open last year. My confidenc...