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| AGEAS HKPGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Park Reigns Supreme Australian enters the record books by winning the 30th edition of the Ageas HKPGA Championship Photography by Daniel Wong HKGOLFER.COM

HK GolferăƒťFEB 2013

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U Clockwise from top: James Stewart in action during the final round at Kau Sai Chau; amateur Shinichi Mizuno put in a tremendous performance to finish in a tie for third, 1990 US PGA Championship winner Wayne Grady, who placed 19th, has been a regular visitor to the event in recent times; Asian Tour regular Scott Barr 50

HK Golfer・FEB 2013

nho Park won his second successive Ageas HKPGA Championship in dramatic fashion in mid-January after capitalizing on a late error by local favourite James Stewart at Kau Sai Chau. Singapore-based Park, 39, finished on a three-round total of 207, six-under-par, to win by two shots from Stewart, who let things slip with a triple bogey at the penultimate hole of the championship. In-form amateur Shinichi Mizuno and Australia’s Scott Barr tied for third on three-under.  “I feel for James as I know he, coming from Hong Kong, really wanted to win this event,” said Park, who finished 59th on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last year. “But I was happy with the way I played, and to come out on top for the second year in a row is very pleasing. It’s the first time I’ve successfully defended a title, so it’s a very positive start to the season for me.”  Park, who earned a cheque for HK$72,000 to go alongside the Joe Hardwick Trophy, became the first player to win back-to-back championships since Kyi Hla Han, the current executive director of the Asian Tour, achieved the feat in 1993 and 1994.

sponsor, featured one of the strongest fields in its history thanks to a strong overseas contingent. One of those, tournament drawcard Wayne Grady, who won the 1990 US PGA Championship, finished in a share of 19th spot alongside 2010 Ageas HKPGA Championship winner CJ Gatto. No amateur has ever won the event but Mizuno gave the pros a run for their money with a fine two-under 70 in the final round. The Hong Kong international, who heads to university in Kyoto after the Lunar New Year to continue his education, drew within two shots off the lead on the closing stretch but an untimely bogey at the 16th, a result of a three-putt, put an end to an otherwise terrific performance. “I set myself a target of four-under, which I got to, but the three-putt on 16 was annoying,” said the long-hitting teenager, who opened the championship with a 69 over the Old Course at the Hong Kong Golf Club. “It was a great experience though and I’m happy with the way I played. I was partnered with Wayne [Grady] and Unho [Park] in the first round and watching them play told me a lot about what I have to work on. Their short games are amazing.” Mizuno’s fellow amateur, Oliver Roberts, back in Hong Kong on holiday from his studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland, also enjoyed a strong week, his eight-over-total of 221 earning him ninth place. Stewart, 37, entered the final round of the HK$400,000 event with a slender one-shot advantage over Park after enjoying a brilliant 64 at the Hong Kong Golf Club on day two. But despite getting off to a shaky start with three bogeys on the front nine, the long-time Hong Kong resident bounced back superbly to regain the lead from Park with a fine birdie at the 16th.  But then disaster struck. A pushed drive at the long par-5 17th found a fairway bunker, from which he required two shots to escape. After missing the green with his approach, the unfortunate Stewart took four more shots to record a miserable “snowman” eight.  Park, by contrast, made a solid five, and with a two-shot lead held on with another regulation par at the closing hole.  “It’s obviously a disappointing way to finish,” admitted Stewart, who won leg four of the HKPGA Order of Merit in Dongguan in December. “I caught that first bunker shot a little thin and then it unravelled a bit from there. But overall it was still a good week, and it made me realize I can still compete with some of the guys from the Asian Tour.” This year’s edition of the tournament, which marked the 30th playing of the championship and Ageas’ fourth consecutive year as title HKGOLFER.COM

Ageas HKPGA Championship Results 1 Unho Park Australia 2 James Stewart Hong Kong 3= Shinichi Mizuno - A Hong Kong Scott Barr Australia 5 Lam Chih Bing Singapore 6= Tang Man Kee Hong Kong Ross Bain Scotland 8 Jimmy Ko Hong Kong 9 Oliver Roberts - A Hong Kong 10 Jovick Lee Hong Kong 11= Wong Woon Man Hong Kong Timothy Tang Hong Kong Dominique Boulet Hong Kong 14 M Murugiah Singapore 15 Brad Schadewitz Hong Kong

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