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The Hong Kong Open Amateur and Mid Amateur Championships Review












Managed and serviced by The Old Course Hotel Ltd


HK Golfer Issue 129

November 2017

34 On the Cover:

Masters champion Sergio Garcia will make his first appearance at the UBS Hong Kong Open in late November. With 2015 champion Justin Rose confirmed to come back to play again, do expect an epic battle between the duo. Photo by AFP/Getty Images



30 | HK Open Amateur and Mid

10 | Divots

22-year-old Matthew Cheung shot a 69 to come back from an 8-shot deficit to win the title at the Discovery Bay Golf Club. By Louie Chan

12 | In Focus

Amateur Championships Review

34 | UBS Hong Kong Open Preview

19 | Tee Time

42 | Clearwater Bay Open Preview

22 | Driving Range

The new Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the automotive benchmark in efficiency and comfort. By The Editors

46 | Asian Angle

The most common mistake amongst elite players today is still overly dedicated to practicing. By Jonathan Wallett

Liu Zhuang/PGA TOUR China

Guess who caddies for David Walsh, the three-time Sportswriter of the Year and Lance Armstrong exposer, at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship? By The Kilted Caddie

64 | Bunker Mentality


Since 2014, the letter “X” has been accompanying the range of experimental watches produced by Bell & Ross. By The Editors

Jason Hak, HK’s No.1 player, bids to become the tournament’s first local winner after Australian Daniel Nisbet prevailed last year. By Louie Chan

58 | At the Home of Golf


Pictorial review of the last 30 days from around the world. By The Editors

The Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event has a habit of producing more than its fair share of memorable moments. By Louie Chan

Xander Schauffele, the season-ending Tour Championship winner, probably epitomises best what the PGA TOUR is all about these days. By Chuah Choo Chiang


News and events from Hong Kong and the region. By The Editors

LPGA commissioner Mike Whan’s recent decision to cut the Evian Championship to 54 holes was a rare error of judgment. By Mike Wilson

28 | Around the HKGA

64 | The Meaning of Golf

For the majority of average golfers, the meaning of golf can’t solely be in the winning… By Craig Morrison

76 | Crossword

This issue: “UBS Hong Kong Open 2017!” By Dr Milton Wayne

78 | Final Shot

Matthew Cheung, the HK Open Amateur champion, talks about his best ever round, favourite courses and his preparation for the UBS HK Open. Interview by Louie Chan HKGOLFER.COM




2 ND – 5 TH N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7

H K G T I C K E T I N G @ T H Y. C O M ; + 8 5 2 2 8 6 1 3 1 1 1 ; T H Y. C O M . H K

HK Golfer


Managing Editor: Louie Chan Contributing Editors: Dr Milton Wayne, Faye Glasgow, John Bruce, Nathan Goulding, Keith McLaren, Paul Jansen, Evan Rast, Mike Wilson, Robin Lynam. Art Director: Derek Hannah Photo Editor: Daniel Wong Administration Manager Cindy Kwok Publisher: Charles McLaughlin Published by:

TIMES INTERNATIONAL CREATION Times International Creation Limited 10B Lockhart Centre 301-307 Lockhart Road Hong Kong Phone: +852 3590-4153 Fax: +852 3590-4533

D E PA R T M E N T S 10 Divots 12 Global Focus 14 Asia Focus 16 China Focus 19 Clubhouse 28 Around the HKGA 46 Asian Angle 58 The Kilted Caddie 64 Bunker Mentality 70 The Meaning of Golf 76 Crossword 78 Final Shot

In association with: Advertising: For advertising information, please contact: For purchasing information contact: For subscription information contact: Hong Kong Golf Association Suite 2003, Olympic House 1 Stadium Path, So Kon Po Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Phone (General): +852 2504-8659 Fax: +852 2845-1553 Phone (Handicaps): +852 2504-8197 Fax: +852 2504-8198 Email:

Daniel Wong

HK GOLFER is published by Times International Creation, 10B Lockhart Centre, 301-307 Lockhart Road, Hong Kong. HK GOLFER is published monthly © 2017 by Times International Creation. Published in Hong Kong. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. PRINTED IN HONG KONG. 8




Hong Kong Golf Association

Taichi & Matthew Earn UBS HK Open Spot

Taichi Kho and Matthew Cheung will represent Hong Kong at the 59th edition of the UBS HK Open, when the tournament tees off at the Hong Kong Golf Club in November. The two amateurs secured berths at one of Asia’s most prestigious tournaments following their first and second place finishes in the UBS HK Open Qualifying Tournament which finished on 29 September.

16-year-old Kho extended his two-shot overnight lead to finish with a nine-under par score, four shots clear of second-placed Cheung who finished on five-under par after 36 holes. With his father once again on his bag, the self-assured Discovery College pupil held his nerve to make three birdies on the front nine of the New Course and a further pair after the turn; a bogey on the par-four 15th, the only dropped shot for the round. Cheung put in a strong back nine to bring him into contention for one of the two places on offer. Tied in third place overnight, three consecutive birdies on holes 14, 15 and 16 put him clear of third-placed Terrence Ng, who settled for three-under par after 36 holes. The 22-year-old is another tournament debutant, and like Kho, a member of the Hong Kong Golf Association’s elite amateur squad. “I hit a lot of good shots and had a really good day. I had a great caddy in Michelle [Cheung] who was really good at keeping me in the moment; we laughed a lot and just had a good time. It was also great to have my dad out there supporting me,” said Cheung.

MercedesTrophy World Final 2017 Title Goes to South Asia Team T he Mercede sTrophy World Fi na l wa s staged this year from 3 to 8 October. The international guests had an opportunity to experience the history, present and future of the Mercedes-Benz brand. Bernhard Langer, German golf pro, additionally dropped by for a two-day surprise visit and provided plenty of useful golfing tips. 32 national teams from five continents took part in the competition in Stuttgart for the coveted Nations Cup trophy. A n exclusive five-day programme centring on golf and the Mercedes-Benz brand awaited the 96 participants. After three rounds, Team South Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore) emerged victorious at this year’s tournament, with Team Latin America (Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador) finishing as runners-up and Team North Asia (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam) taking bronze. The Team Spirit Award went to the formation from Mexico, as a mark of recognition by all the participating teams for a particularly fair and friendly manner. Two-times major winner Bernhard Langer challenged the players to personal duels 10


both at individual level in a nearest-to-the-pin contest and at group level in a competition based on gross rankings. “It is the striving for top performance and the absolute will to win that cement the bond between me and Mercedes-Benz. For me, the MercedesTrophy World Final is a unique event offering an opportunity to meet golf and car enthusiasts from all over the world. I’m always delighted to be invited and to be part of the proceedings,” Bernhard Langer reveals. HKGOLFER.COM


Mailer & Underwood Victorious in Calcutta Cup


Douglas Poling

Played on the New Course at St. Andrews, Scotland, (“the Home of Golf”), the Calcutta Cup is the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews’ signature annual team event and is held during the Autumn Meeting of the R&A in September. This year’s competition attracted a record 177 two-man teams for the grueling foursomes competition. In a Hong Kong-dominated final that came down to the last putt on the 18th green, Jim Mailer and Chris Underwood edged out John Ball and Tony Taylor by 1 Hole to win the prestigious alternate shot handicapped tournament. Mailer, Ball & Taylor are all members of the Hong Kong Golf Club, and Underwood is a former resident of Hong Kong, where he was a member at Discovery Bay Golf Club. By contrast, four continents and six nationalities were represented in the quarterfinals stage of the tournament just one day before. Reaching the finals requires the competitors to win seven consecutive head-to-head contests, including five matches over a grueling three-day period leading up to the final tilt. Although the physically demanding tournament was played in a variety of weather conditions – sunny, rainy or cool – it was constantly windy. In the final match, Mailer and Underwood received 8 strokes from Ball and Taylor. In a titanic battle, Ball and Taylor were 3-up at the turn, after which Mailer and Underwood clawed their way back into the match, covering the last 6 holes in level par, including that nerve jangling putt on the last.



Global Focus U.S. Team Keeps Trophy on Home Soil Over four days of singles, fourball and foursomes match play at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, the best U.S. and International golfers, including 10 Rolex Testimonee players, competed for the Presidents Cup trophy, resulting in a 19-11 win for the U.S. Team.   In sealing at least a half-point from his singles match, Daniel Berger ensured the U.S. Team win, with a par at Hole 15, taking his match to three-up with three-to-play. The 24-year-old went on to win his match 2&1.  With this achievement, Captain Steve Stricker keeps the Presidents Cup on United States’ soil for an unprecedented seventh consecutive year. Stricker joins an exclusive list of Rolex Testimonees to lift the Presidents Cup as Captain including legends of the game Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, better known together as The Big Three. Famously, Nicklaus and Player agreed to share the 2003 Presidents Cup title after three playoff holes failed to determine a winner. Photo by © Rolex/JD Cuban

Asia Focus Thomas Off to a Hot Start in Jeju Justin Thomas defeated Marc Leishman on the second extra hole with a birdie at the par-5 18th. The reigning FedExCup champion and PGA TOUR Player of the Year once again got his season off to a hot start, winning in his second start at the inaugural edition of THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES. Thomas narrowly missed an eagle putt on the 72nd hole to win but earned his way into a playoff with Leishman. After halving with pars on the 18th due to wayward drives, Thomas made a stress-free birdie to win in the first playoff of his PGA TOUR career. The win, which brings his career total to seven, didn’t come easy, as strong winds whipped Jeju Island, Korea all weekend. Thomas’ win comes at the age of 24 years, five months and 29 days. Thomas held the first-round lead by three after a 63 on the first day. His win today makes him three for four in converting first-round leads to victory. For comparison, only eight of 46 first-round leaders went on to win last season (twice by Thomas, at the CIMB Classic and the Sony Open in Hawaii). Photo by AFP/Jung Yeon-je

China Focus Bhullar Wins Macao Open Indian hotshot Gaganjeet Bhullar lifted the Macao Open trophy for the second time in his career after closing with a three-under-par 68 to complete a stunning wire-towire victory on Sunday. The 29-year-old fired seven birdies against two bogeys and a double-bogey to win by three shots with a 13-under-par 271 total for his eighth Asian Tour victory at the Macau Golf and Country Club. Bhullar took home a winner’s prize purse of US$90,000 and became only the third player after Australian Scott Hend (2013 and 2015) and Zhang Lian-wei of China (2001-2002) to win the storied event twice since the tournament was inaugurated in 1998. Filipino ace Angelo Que battled to a 69 to share second place with Ajeetesh Sandhu of India, who posted a 70, at the US$500,000 Asian Tour event. Chinese Taipei’s Hung Chien-yao took fourth place following a 72 for a 276 total. India’s Rashid Khan returned with the day’s low round of 64 to grab a share of fifth place on a 278 total alongside American Johannes Veerman, who closed with a 70 in the Macao showpiece. Photo by Asian Tour






2017 Acushnet Company. Source: Darrell Survey, Sport Marketing Survey I nc. For more information contact your Local Titleist dealer or Acushnet Hong Kong Ltd at +852-3165-1288 or


Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME




BR-X2 Tourbillon Micro Rotor is the second generation of its X Collection


n 2014, the release of the BR-X1, with chapter to the BR saga. G i v e n j us t t h re e w o rds to d e f i n e a its stunning and resolutely masculine d e s i g n , m a r k e d B e l l & R o s s ’ f i r s t watch, they would undoubtedly be “case, advances into a more experimental movement, dial”. If would be difficult, if not and innovative arena. The technical impossible, to miss out any one of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , t y p i c a l o f s p o r t s elements. However, true innovation lies models, were joined by a bold streak in questioning certainties and exploring of creativit y, char ac terize d by the brand new paths. This is exac tly what adoption of a B e ll & Ross did when s k e l e to n c h r o n o g r a p h “In concrete designing its new BRmovement inside a highterms, the design X2, where the case and tech square case that of the BR-X2 movement form a single combined titanium, ceramic and rubber. implies wearing the e l e m e n t . H o w? W h e n designing a case from Two years later, the BRmovement directly s te el and s app hire (a X1 Tourbillon Sapphire on the wrist.” highly technical material would spark a veritable which is exceedingly revolution, as it gave comp lete tr ansp arenc y to the f am ous dif ficult to work with), Bruno Belamich, square case, which was cut directly from a the brand’s creative direc tor, came up block of sapphire! This precious timepiece with a utopian idea: “Fusing the case and established a direct link between Haute movement into a single component to H o r l o g e r i e a n d hy p e r- s o p h is t i c a t i o n . make the case disappear, leaving only the And now, with the new BR-X2 Tourbillon movement visible.” In concrete terms, the design of the Micro Rotor, the second generation of its X Collection, Bell & Ross is adding another BR -X 2 imp lies   wear in g th e m ovem ent




d i re c t l y o n t h e w r is t . T h e s q u a re B R CAL.380 manufac ture caliber, designed and developed entirely by Bell & Ross, is set between two sapphire crystal plates, joined at the sides by a narrow band of steel machined as a single piece, ensuring unrestricted visibility. This makes the case virtually invisible, and the skeleton dial does the same, showcasing the movement. To highlight the aesthetic purity and the technical expertise, the designers of the BR-X2 have opted for both simplicity and performance. This two-hand watch displays the hours and minutes with exceptional precision thanks to a flying tourbillon that compensates for the gravitational pull of the earth. Simplicity, yes; but also elegance and restraint, thanks to its modest dimensions (42. 5 mm s quare) an d d e li c a c y, ma d e possible by the ex tra-thin 4.05 mm movement, with automatic winding provided by a micro-rotor. With the bold, modern design of the BRX2 that pushes the very limits of creativity, Bell & Ross positions itself, once again, a s o n e o f t h e m o s t i n n o v at i v e H a u te Horlogerie brands. This highly exclusive watch, will only be available to 99 cultivated connoisseurs, of fering them the unique experience of wearing a watch movement on their wrist.

The square BR-CAL.380 manufacture caliber is designed and developed entirely by Bell & Ross

This highly exclusive watch will only be available to 99 cultivated connoisseurs








ll new S-Class models are fitted with a new radiator grille with three twin louvres as well as vertical strips in high-gloss black finish. The saloon with V-12 engine is fitted with additional chromefinish vertical strips in the radiator grille. The front bumper with pronounced air intakes and sporty looks is also new. The new LED lamps with crystal-look tail lamps stand out at the rear. They look like jewels and ensure a characteristic design day and night. A tail lamp light shows that plays when the vehicle is unlocked and locked. All models are fitted with a redesigned lower bumper section with integrated visible tailpipe trim. The tailpipes are framed by a chrome trim element, which spans the entire width of the vehicle. The interior of the new S-Class is characterised by the two new high-resolution displays, each with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a wide-screen cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design. Like the instrument cluster, this wide-screen cockpit contains a large display with virtual instruments in the direct field of vision of the driver, as well as a central display above the centre console. Because the cockpit is fully digital, the driver can choose from three different display styles (“Classic”, “Sporty” and “Progressive“) and 22


Mercedes-Benz new S-Class AMG line

also configure the information and views relevant to them at will. In 2013, the S- Class became the first automobile to use exclusively LEDs as light sources. For the new S-Class, MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available with ULTRA RANGE high beams. Via 84 individually controllable LEDs, the light is always switched on exactly where it is needed. 100 times per second, a total of four control units calculate the ideal lighting using information from the camera behind the windscreen as well as from the navigation system. If no other road user is detected, the road ahead is straight and the vehicle speed is above 40 km/h, the supplementary ULTRA RANGE high beams are automatically switched on. This produces the maximum light intensity permitted by law, the brightness of the main beam headlamps widely illuminate the road HKGOLFER.COM

SCORECARD THE NEW MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS Engine: V8 biturbo (Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+); V12 biturbo (Mercedes-AMG S 65) Transmission: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MTC 9-speed transmission ((Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+); AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G TRONIC (Mercedes-AMG S 65) Rated output: 612hp/5,500-6,000rpm (Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+); 630hp/4,8005,400rpm (Mercedes-AMG S 65) Max torque: 900Nm/2,750-4,500rpm (Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+); 1,00Nm/2,3004,300rpm (Mercedes-AMG S 65)

The extremely agile 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is a blend of thrilling performance and efficiency

Acceleration: 0-100km/h 3.5sec (Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+); 4.2sec (Mercedes-AMG S 65) Top speed: 250km/h (Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+/ Mercedes-AMG S 65) Listed Price: HK$2,330,000 (Mercedes-AMG S 63 4MATIC+); HK3,286,000 (Mercedes-AMG S 65)

continuously, without dazzling other road users. The new S-Class elevates Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level. The range of driving assistance and safety systems features a modular design and as standard includes Active Braking Assist, Crosswind Assist, ATTENTION ASSIST and also the occupant protection system PRE-SAFE. New and also part of the standard specification is PRE-SAFE Sound (prepares human hearing for the anticipated accident noise when there is a risk of a collision). The “Assistance Graphics” menu of the instrument panel shows the driver at one glance which assistance functions he selected and to what situations the systems are currently responding. Unmistakable icons provide them with information on the screen as well in the head-up display. All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel. For the first time, the LINGUATRONIC voice control from the new S-Class can recognize Cantonese commands. The voice commands can be used to control the air conditioning and seat heating/ventilation, interior lighting (ambience lighting, reading lights, lighting in the rear), fragrancing/ionisation, seat massage function and head-up display. Also new with the LINGUATRONIC 2.0: Driver is able to request different information – e.g. the next service date, the current speed limit, the remaining range or the date. HKGOLFER.COM

All functions are now controlled from the steering wheel

The new S-Class elevates Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive to the next level




Add a little certainty to your future With a little bit of thinking – and some expert guidance – you can secure your financial future.

or partial payout depending on the illness / condition and the policy, and can be used to supplement a beneficiary’s existing health and disability coverage.


These policies may be suitable if you have financial commitments and expenses that would need to be honoured if your income was reduced or stopped because you were unable to work or you had to change your way of life because you were diagnosed with a critical illness, suffered an accident or required a medical operation.

he harsh and sad fact is that we are very likely to be close to someone who gets a serious illness or be directly affected personally. Take cancer, for instance, according to Macmillan, the cancer charity, one in every three of us will be diagnosed with cancer and about 1 in 10 (10%) of cancers are diagnosed in people aged 25-491. Ultimately, even minor injuries; cuts, breaks or sprains, can cause people to stop working and become a burden on their families. Government statistics show that there were 15,790 traffic accidents during 20142, causing 13,183 cases of death and injury, and 37,523 cases of injuries at work were recorded in the same year3. As none of us can accurately predict what tomorrow might bring, taking out adequate insurance cover is an effective and affordable way to prepare for the financial consequences of any unexpected emergency that could otherwise derail our plans. The Solutions There are many types of insurance available to help you tailor a comprehensive protection solution to match your and your family’s needs. Some of the more common types include: 1. Health & Critical Illness Insurance

Medical & surgical insurance Pays for medical and surgical expenses. It can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred from illness or injury or pay the care provider directly. Critical illness insurance These policies usually pay out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a specified condition during a defined period, for example cancer, a stroke, heart attack, kidney failure or multiple sclerosis. The lump sum can be a full

These can also be more complex than some other financial products, as consumers often fail to understand what they are covered for and, more importantly, what is not covered. So it pays to get expert help before signing on the dotted line. 2. Life Insurance

Term life insurance Pays a lump sum to your chosen beneficiary should you die before the end of a pre determined fixed term. Otherwise it expires without value. This is a simple and cost efficient type of policy; premiums are usually comparatively low and generally remain unchanged throughout the fixed term. Whole of life insurance Pays a lump sum to your chosen beneficiary when you die. As its name suggests, protection lasts for the insured’s whole life so long as premiums are paid. These policies may be suitable if you are responsible for debts or borrowing that would need to be honoured after your death or if you would like to provide your partner or dependants with a cash lump sum to pay off any outstanding liabilities (like a mortgage) or future liabilities (like school fees) and / or provide a replacement income in the event of your death. 3. Income Protection An income protection policy is worth serious consideration as it is designed to pay out a monthly sum

o y c r i s

S w t a h p

M I I d I


of money in the event of an illness or accident that prevents you from working at your regular employment. Payments can continue until you die or, more optimistically, you reach retirement, return to work or recover from the illness. This way you and your family can maintain their standard of living whilst continuing to pay regular expenses.

Suitable if you have regular financial expenses that you would still need to be paid if you had to miss work due to illness or injury. Especially important to consider if you are self employed or a contractor, as it is unlikely you will have protection of any kind that might normally be provided by an employer.

Many people think of financial planning as creating wealth. It is, but it is also about protecting what you already have. Insurance should be the first thing you put in place when drawing up a robust and comprehensive financial plan. It’s a must have, not a luxury.

Agost A. Makszin Partner of St. James’s Place (Hong Kong) Limited Tel: +852 2824 1083 / +852 5588 2212 Email: Web:

Source: October 2014 Source: Hong Kong Police Force. 3 Source: Labour Department, HKSAR. 1 2

Disclaimer The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Members of the St. James’s Place Partnership in Hong Kong represent St. James’s Place (Hong Kong) Limited, which is part of the St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group and is a member of The Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers CIB, a licensed corporation with the Securities and Futures Commission, and registered as an MPF Intermediary. St. James’s Place Wealth Management Group plc Registered Office: St. James’s Place House, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1FP, United Kingdom. Registered in England Number 4113955.


Practice till Your Hands Bleed?

AFP/Getty Images

As Jonathan Wallett explains, the most common mistake amongst elite players today is still overly dedicated to practising. But it does not mean the practice is for nothing. The critical point is how you practice and under what conditions.

‘Repeat, repeat and repeat, so you play like a machine a n d m i s t a k e - f r e e ’, a mantra still preached by some parents and coaches

‘Practice till your hands bleed’ is the advice often given to young players who aspire to a career in professional golf. ‘Repeat, repeat and repeat, so you play like a machine and mistake-free’ is another mantra preached by some parents and coaches. One of the mistakes I made to transit from England Schoolboy International player to European Tour 30 years ago, was looking to build a machine-like swing and then looking to burn this in through practice from dawn to dusk. Dedication, discipline and sacrifice are what everyone said – this is still the most common mistake I see amongst elite players today. Let’s understand the emotional or psychological aspect of hitting the ball on the range and then hitting a shot on the course in tournaments are poles apart. If you hit a poor shot on the range, you just take another ball and look to correct the swing in the next shot. On the course, first of all, you

have the physical challenge the golf architect of that course set – perhaps water down the left, trees on the right, a fairway bunker, etc. But then you have the mental challenge – you want to do well, you are currently on a certain score, what other players are doing, etc. It’s very evident that these two scenarios bear little relation to each other, and that’s why burning it in on the range has insufficient value. So, does that mean the practice is for nothing? Absolutely not. Practice is where you can develop your skills, but the critical point is how you practice and under what conditions. I had a conversation 17 years ago with Michael Campbell, who went on to win the 2005 U.S. Open, revealed a concept which he was taught as a former member of the 1992 New Zealand Eisenhower Cup winning team - the ‘1/3 rule’. In essence, it means dividing your practice into thirds whereby the first third you focus on

progressing your technique, the second third you focus on rhythm and motion and the final third you simulate competition. So, for instance, if Michael was doing a 60-minute-long game session he may divide it into: FIRST 1/3: 20 minutes working on his swing technique, using key drills set for him by his coach. In this 1/3 its fine to hit to just one target with one club, and using aids such as an alignment aid. SECOND 1/3: Focusing on rhythm and motion, and in this third, no technical thoughts are allowed. The rule is that every shot must be different – so may use the same club for five shots, but then aim at five different targets. Or do Steve Banns’ 9 shot shape drill to hit all the nine ball flights with nine balls. It can also mean changing club every shot. The essence is about changing shots and focusing on the motion as opposed to the technique. FINAL 1/3: Simulating competition Put yourself under pressure by introducing a ‘winlose’ element. This last section creates a bridge from your practice to your play as it helps you transfer your range work to hitting good shots down the stretch. Extensive testing has shown that practising in pressurised situations is the most efficient way of inoculating yourself against the negative effects of pressure. Use your pre-shot routine just as you would on the course and have a specific practice drill that simulated competition. It’s important to apply it whether you’re practising your long game, short game or putting. So, for instance, a 45-minute putting session may look like this: - 15 mins on technique – you may use training aids such as a putting rail to work on stroke direction, or a laser for face aim, etc. You may just practice the same putt – so a 2 or 3m straight putt for 15 minutes during this period. - For the next 15 minutes, put the training apparatus away and to practice rhythm and motion. Perhaps some putting with your eyes closed to gain feel, or distance control and feeling drills such as the cluster drill. Practice different length and breaking putts as well. - The final 15 minutes - Set up a competitive drill with win-lose. Using full pre-shot routine and perhaps it can be a distance control test or a holing out the test. One drill I like to use is that players need to get the ball into the zone (up to a putter length behind the hole) with five consecutive putts. Each putt will be a different length, from a different position so that it tests green reading skills as well. I like the idea of ‘consecutive’ putts as this builds pressure on balls 3, 4 and 5. I may give a player a maximum 28


of 5 ‘lives’ so that they can restart the drill a maximum of 5 times. What I have found in applying the concept for over 15 years is that it assists players to build what I call competitive confidence – confidence under pressure. Because they’ve been tested and challenged during practice, they then are better prepared to perform when they face challenge and pressure during competition. You will be able to build confidence that you can hit the key shot under pressure – because that’s what tournament golf is about – being able to execute the key shot at the critical time. This summer, Jordan Spieth won the biggest tournament in golf – the British Open. He had the best four days of his entire career which has already been star-studded. He hit less than 50% of the fairways in this tournament – his game was far from machine-like – but he possessed competitive confidence and skill, which enabled him to get the ball in the hole over 72 holes in fewer strokes than any of the other 156 competitors – which is the essence of Tournament Golf. Interested to know how you can build competitive confidence and skill in your practice? Here’s a platform of videos primarily for the HK squads, but every golfer in HK can view and access:

Michael Campbell of New Zealand, the 2005 U.S. Open champion, is also firm believer of “1/3 rule” Jonathan Wallett is the Golf Development Director of the HKGA. HKGOLFER.COM

Award-winning wealth management that is simply par for the course... W

e focus solely on providing face-to-face advice and offer a dedicated, personal wealth management service to build long-term, trusted relationships. Together, we would look to create a working plan, providing you with a clear direction towards meeting your financial goals. This includes clarifying your objectives and researching all of the options available to you. As a Partner of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, a FTSE 100 company with over £79 billion client funds under management, we have access to a wide range of products and services that can be tailored specifically to your needs making it easier and simpler for you to manage your wealth. We have the experience to help you successfully secure and enhance your financial future by offering specialist advice in a wide range of areas including: Investments | Retirement planning | Estate planning | Education fees planning | Family protection An investment with St. James’s Place will be directly linked to the performance of the funds selected and may fall as well as rise. You may get back less than the amount invested. For further information, or to request your complimentary copy of The Investor magazine, please contact:

AGOST A.MAKSZIN Partner Tel: +852 28241083 Email: Web:



The ‘St. James’s Place Partnership’ and the titles ‘Partner’ and ‘Partner Practice’ are marketing terms used to describe St. James’s Place representatives. Members of the St. James’s Place Partnership in Hong Kong represent St. James’s Place (Hong Kong) Limited, which is an authorised insurance broker by being a member of The Hong Kong Confederation of Insurance Brokers CIB, a licensed corporation with the Securities and Futures Commission and registered as an MPF Intermediary with Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority. St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc Registered Office: St. James’s Place House, 1 Tetbury Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1FP, United Kingdom. Registered in England Number 4113955.


In-form Cheung Wins Hong Kong Open Amateur Title 22-year-old Matthew Cheung shot a 69 to come back from an 8-shot deficit to win the Hong Kong Open Amateur title at the Discovery Bay Golf Club, writes Louie Chan.


Daniel Wong

Yoshihiro Nishi, President of the HKGA, presents the Hong Kong Open Amateur Championship trophy to Matthew Cheung



atthew Cheung is in top form after a busy summer – r e p r e s e n t i n g Ho n g Ko n g at t h e Ta ip ei Universiade a nd t he 13th National Games of China. As he had already qualified for this year’s UBS Hong Kong Open, the qualifying spot for the UBS Hong Kong Open went to Singapore’s Joshua Shou, who will be rewarded with a berth to tee up alongside the world’s best golfers at Fanling in late November. Shou finished two shots behind in second place with a total of 285. Defending champion Yannick Artigolle was the overnight leader after three rounds (71-68-67), 8 shots ahead of Cheung at 206. But Artigolle faded to an 84 in the final round and finished in the sixth position. Fellow

national teammates Terrance Ng and Wu Sho Wai finished third and fourth respectively. Singapore’s Marc Ong tied for third with Ng on a total of 286. “Honestly, I was not playing too well in the front nine and shot one over. I thought I was not in the tournament at all at the turn. And then I shot three under in the back nine. I had some really good putts on the 15th and 16th. To be honest, I just tried to beat Marc (Ong) and have fun out there. It was a surprise to me when I found I won. I will be playing three to four tournaments before the UBS Hong Kong Open to keep my game in shape. I am looking forward to it,” said Cheung. A field of 58 amateurs from 11 different countries participated in the tournament at the Discovery Bay Golf Club. Hong Kong’s Stuart McKinnon took the Mid Amateur title for ages 25 and above with a total of 297, three better than Discovery Bay member Jay Won. Douglas Williams, four-time Seniors Amateur Open champion, finished in third with a total of 309. Leading f inal scores: Open Amateur Division: 283 - Matthew Cheung (HK) 77-7067-69, 285 - Joshua Shou (Singapore) 70-68-7275, 286 – Chong Ching Marc Ong (Singapore) 71-76-67-72, 286 - Terrance Ng (HK) 69-7866-73, 288 - Wu Sho Wai (HK) 68-75-6976, 290 - Yannick Nathan Artigolle (HK), 71-68-77-84; Mid Amateur Division: 297 – Stuart McKinnon (HK), 73-75-74-75, 300 – J K Jay Won (HK) 79-72-73-76, 309 - -Douglas Williams (H K ) 80-75-74-80, 311 – Todd Anthony Doss (Thailand) 81-79-77-74, 313 – Jeffery Wang (HK) 76-75-77-85.


Danny Lai, CEO of the HKGA, presents the Hong Kong Open Mid Amateur Championship trophy to Stuart McKinnon

Yannick Artigolle

Champion in action

Joshua Shou of Singapore

Terrance Ng


Wu Sho Wai




The Top

Champions Australian Sam Brazel defeated Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello by just one shot in the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open. The Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event has a habit of producing more than its fair share of memorable moments. With Masters champion Sergio Garcia making his debut in Hong Kong, the 2017 version will just get ever better, writes Louie Chan.





The Inaugural Hong Kong Open staged with Taiwanese ace Lu Liang-huan taking the title, who was the head pro at Fanling at the time, won the prize fund of HK$2,000 stumped up by the South China Morning Post. He would later become known around the globe as “Mr Lu” because of his star performance at the 1971 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale where he finished second to Lee Trevino. The Taiwanese became the darling of the Open galleries thanks to his cheery demeanor and bright-blue pork pie hat. Lu would later repeat his Fanling success with victory at the 1974 Hong Kong Open, 15 years after his first victory.


Five-time Open champion Peter Thomson bagged his third Hong Kong Open title of the decade with his 1967 victory at Fanling. Thomson, who is credited with kick-starting the first series of professional events in Asia, was 38 when he completed his hat-trick and, with his enviably orthodox and rhythmical swing, invariably dominated proceedings at the Hong Kong Golf Club. The Australian, who favoured discussions on politics and listening to classical music to drink ing beer and talking about sport, now runs a flourishing course design business.


Thirty-eight years ago, a young Australian pitched up at Fanling and wowed the galleries with his untamed blonde hair, good looks and aggressive golf game. Greg Norman had only turned pro two years previously but played like a seasoned veteran in winning t he 1979 t it le. He wou ld later add t he 1983 Hong Kong Open to his impressive list of achievements. Despite only winning t wo majors - t he 1986 and 1993 Open Championships - the “Shark” is considered a legend in his home country, inspiring tens of thousands of children - including current superstars Jason Day and Adam Scott - to start playing the game.





American journeyman pro Craig McClellan stood in the middle of the 18th fairway of the final round needing an eagle two to force a play-off with South African stalwart David Frost. Incredibly, McClellan did exactly that by holing his seven-iron from 160 yards away, but succumbed to the pressure in extra time as Frost walked away with the title. Nevertheless, McClellan’s shot ranks alongside that of Lin Wen-tang’s [see 2008] as the finest (or luckiest) in the history of the event.


Voted as one of the best shots ever at a European Tour event, José Maria Olazábal raked a five-iron from the trees on the last hole to set up an easy tap-in birdie, provided one of the most exciting climaxes at a Hong Kong Open i n l ivi ng memor y. Havi ng trailed Adam Scott and Norway’s Henrik Bjornstad for much of the final round, the Spaniard paved the way for victory following a spectacular birdie-birdie-birdie f inish. Speaking afterwards, Olazábal said: “You don’t finish with three birdies knowing you have to do it. I pulled it off with a bit of luck and one well executed shot.”


The f irst Hong Kong Open in the UBS sponsorship era started as it had finished with Omega the year before - with another final-hole collapse by South African James Kingston. A 6 4 on Sat urday had propel led t he likeable Sout h A frican into contention, and when overnight leader Simon Yates – who had a brilliant 61 in the third round – stumbled early, Kingston found himself in sole possession of the lead. Standing on the final tee with a one-stroke advantage over the newly installed European number one Colin Montgomerie, Kingston was determined not to repeat his mistake from the year before where he hit his ball left with a three-wood. He didn’t. Taking a two-iron, the journeyman pushed his tee shot deep into the trees on the right. A chip back to the fairway was followed by an under-cooked wedge which spun off the front of the green. With the spectators expecting him to get up and down from a relatively straightforward position (and therefore extend the tournament into extra holes), Kingston semi-duffed his chip to 10 feet and then missed the putt. A huge groan reverberated around Fanling and Monty was crowned the winner. 36




The 50th anniversary tournament surely ranks as one of the greatest European Tour events of all time. First there was Jason Hak, the 14-year-old amateur from Hong Kong who became the youngest player in European Tour history to make the cut. He celebrated making the weekend action by upstaging José Maria Olazábal - his playing partner in the final round - by outscoring the legendary Spaniard 68 to 69. But what made this championship was t he play- of f, wh ich saw Li n Wen-ta ng become the first Asian player to win the title since Kang Wook-soon in 1998. After pulling his drive into trouble on the first extra hole, Lin, with his opponents safely in the fairway, looked dead and buried. With nothing to lose, the Taiwanese pulled out a short iron and fired his approach through the foliage, over the greenside bunker to within four feet of the cup. It was nothing short of miraculous, but the drama didn’t end there. McIlroy, who at the time was still without a professional tournament victory to HKGOLFER.COM

his credit, pitched brilliantly to within tap-in distance, and after Molinari narrowly missed his own 10-footer for birdie and Lin holed out, the playoff was down to two. Standing on the 18th tee for the third time of the afternoon, it was McIlroy’s turn to find trouble. Using his hybrid, his drive bounced off the OB fence that lines the left side of the hole and finished in a horrible position at the bottom of a tree, not far from where Lin had made his great escape. Buoyed by his good fortune, Lin struck what looked to be a winning drive down the middle of the fairway. But then it was McIlroy’s turn to produce some magic. With 118 yards to go, but with no sight of the pin, the 19-year-old snap-hooked a gap-wedge loaded with spin that somehow caught the back of the green and stopped within 12 feet of the flag. Highfiving his caddie, the Irishman was justifiably delighted - but only for a moment, because Lin then pulled off another gem, firing his own wedge to within inches for a cast-iron birdie. Whipping his cap off to the roar of the crowds, it was this shot, rather than his previous miracle approach that showed his sheer determination to win. Up at the green, McIlroy faced a ghastly birdie putt: lighting quick, downhill and with significant left-to-right break. Perhaps not surprisingly, his effort sailed past, and after knocking it in for Par, the stage was set for Lin, 50 years after Mr Lu had won the inaugural championship, to tap his in for the greatest of victories.




The 2010 championship was another classic, with Ian Poulter sealing his 10th European Tour title with a tournament record total of 258 (22-under-par). Poulter had a decidedly hot putter to thank after taking the second-round lead with a jaw-dropping 10-under-par 60. Consistently hitting the ball to the centre of the small Fanling greens, the 34-year-old was rolling in 10-15-footers with amazing regularity. But come the final round and Poulter, who had followed up with a 64 in the third round, was having to fend off the challenges mounted firstly by former winner Simon Dyson and then Italian teenage phenomenon Matteo Manassero, who fought his way right back into the tournament with a magnificent 62. Rory McIlroy, who had fired the low round on day one with a 63, was in the hunt yet again, but faded over the closing holes. Poulter, who was playing with Graeme McDowell in the f inal group, made the tournament his own with an assured stretch of holes on the back nine, and could afford to bogey the last hole to claim the win by the slimmest of margins. For the record, Poulter made only two bogeys during the entire event, which highlights how unusually friendly the scoring conditions were at Fanling that week.


After opening with a superb 64 in blustery conditions, Rory McIlroy fell three shots behind A lvaro Quiros, the long-hitting Spaniard. While Quiros struggled early on Sunday to fall out of contention, McIlroy was magnificent. Fending off the twin challenges of Sweden’s Peter Hanson and playing partner Grégory Havret of France, the 22-year-old reached the 18th hole with a slender one-shot lead. McIlroy tugged his drive ever so slightly but it managed to defy science and instead of bounding out-of-bounds, kicked right and into a good lie in the rough some 95 yards from the flag. Not t hat t he tou r na ment wa s over. Mc I l roy ’s shot fou nd t he t re ac herou s greenside bunker. With Havret struggling to save par after finding trouble off the tee, the world number two knew that an up-anddown would clinch the title he so craved. Splashing delicately from some distance below the level of the green, the shot landed softly and trundled unerringly – brilliantly – into the bottom of the cup to complete a marvellous 65 and a two-shot victory. McIlroy pumped his fist and let out wild screams of joy. 38



2012 & 2013

Making only two bogeys all week, Miguel Angel Jiménez held off the challenge of a rejuvenated Fredrik Andersson Hed to win by just one shot. Jiménez aside, the veterans flourished at Fanling, with New Zealand’s Michael Campbell and Zhang Lian-wei of China featuring on the leader board for most of the tournament before falling back on an enthralling final day. In the following year, Jiménez defended his title in style to enter the record books yet again. His win meant he matched that the achievement of Hsieh Yung-yo, who also has four Hong Kong Open victories to his credit.


UBS returned as the title sponsor of Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event since 2012, renewed its backing of the event with a multiyear commitment to support the Hong Kong Open. Ju st i n Rose b eca me t he 11t h major cha mpion to win t he UBS Hong Kong Open after an enthralling final-day duel with Lucas Bjerregaard of Denmark. The pair had been neck-and-neck for two days at Fanling, coming into the final day with a share of the lead and they still could not be separated as they stood on the 12th tee on Sunday. But a double bogey from Bjerregaard on the 14th proved crucial and Rose came home in 34 to get to 17 under and win the title. Rose has returned in 2016 but could just finish at a tied for 36th. And the Olympic champion is coming back again this year. Maybe a similar showdown against Sergio Garcia like the 2017 Masters?


Sam Brazel began the week ranked 480th in the Official World Golf Ranking but entered the final day at Hong Kong Golf Club tied at the top of the leaderboard alongside Ryder Cup star Cabrera Bello, in just his 17th European Tour appearance. At one point there were six players in a tie for the lead on the back nine. But the Australian held off a group with 11 European Tour titles between them, and an eight-foot putt on the last handed him a closing 68 and a 13-under-par total. Cabrera Bello, who had been in superb form all week, had birded the 16th and 17th to set up a grandstand finish down the last, but he could only make a par and f inish 12-under as Brazel’s incredible approach set up just the second birdie of the day on the closing hole. HKGOLFER.COM



Jason Hak 黑純一 Charlie Saxon


Chen Zihao 陳子豪

Kim Tae-woo 金兌祐

Daniel Nisbet


Jin Cheng 金誠




Best Hope

Local Victory for

Liu Zhuang/PGA TOUR China

Jason Hak, Hong Kong’s No.1 player, bids to become the tournament’s first local winner after Australian Daniel Nisbet prevailed at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club last year writes Louie Chan.

Jason Hak will again carry HK’s best hope of a local victory at the Clearwater Bay Open




Liu Zhuang / PGA TOUR China



ason Hak will certainly return to Hong Kong a more confident figure after winning his first pro title earlier this year. In August, the Hong Kongborn 23-year-old shot a closing-round 65 to secure a 10-stroke victory at the Yunnan Championship in Kunming, end ing a fr ust rat ing r u n since t urn ing professional in August 2013 following his freshman year at Georgia Tech. “I had been in a good position to win a few times, especially last year, but I was my own worst enemy when I was chasing. I’m playing well again and happy to be heading to Hong Kong again and playing at Clearwater Bay. Now, if I’m in a strong position, I’ll know I’ve closed out before, which should help,” said Hak, who is sponsored by The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. Last year, Australian Daniel Nisbet emerged victorious after a playoff, describing Clearwater Bay as “the most breathtaking course I’ve ever played”. Hak will again carry Hong Kong’s best hope of a local victory at the Clearwater Bay Open, which this year has an increased purse of RMB1.5 million, up 25% from RMB1.2 million last year. “There was a bit of attention on me last year because I’m from Hong Kong. I fell away a bit after the second round, but I had a good weekend and finished OK,” said Hak, who tied for 20th after a seven-under-par closing round of 63. 19-year-old Jin Cheng has accepted a sponsor invite to compete at the second Clearwater Bay Open and admitted he’s eager to return to the scene of his greatest triumph. Jin shot a firstround 62 on his way to winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur title, which earned him a spot in last year’s Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, where the-then 18-year-old missed the cut in his major championship debut but enjoyed global exposure. Jin has plenty of experience of professional tournaments so far, playing regularly on the PGA TOUR China in 2014 and 2015. In April this year, he competed in the PGA TOUR’s RBC Heritage on an invite. In early 2016, he made the cut at both the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters and Maybank Championship Malaysia – both European Tour events – after receiving invitations on the back of his AsiaPacific Amateur win in Hong Kong. Last year, local stalwart James Stewart competed on an invite from the Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association (HKPGA), while the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) awarded an invite to amateur Leon D’Souza, then 18. Fellow teenage amateurs Isaac Lam and Yue Yin-ho extended the Hong Kong presence in the field when they progressed through the Monday qualifying tournament. HK GOLFER・NOV 2017

Jin Cheng has accepted a sponsor invite for an emotional return

This year’s Clearwater Bay Open will again feature a Monday qualifier, which offers the chance for Hong Kong amateurs and pros to join the field, while local players could again compete on sponsor invites in the 120-player line-up. David Hui, a member of the event’s Organising Committee, said he hoped there would be a stronger local contingent competing in the 72-hole tournament this year. “We’re delighted that Jason will again be playing in the Clearwater Bay Open. At last year’s event, we announced that The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club was sponsoring him. We’re delighted he has since secured his first pro title, but we’re always so happy to support Jason just because of who he is and how he continues to represent Hong Kong,” said Hui, a former President of the HKGA. “We expect further Hong Kong players to compete through invites and we will obviously be cheering on all local players in the Monday qualifier and hope they can do as well as Isaac and Yin-ho last year. We had three teenage amateurs from Hong Kong in last year’s field, which shows the strength of our young players and our junior programme.” Since 2003, The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club has been committed to its Community Outreach Program, an initiative aimed at strengthening neighbourhood ties, preserving the environment and upholding family values while working with charity partners to organise and raise funds for different sectors of people in the community. HKGOLFER.COM


Golf Truly is an

AFP/Getty Images

International Game



Xander Schauffele, the season-ending Tour Championship winner, probably epitomises best what the PGA TOUR is all about these days, writes Chuah Choo Chiang.

Justin Thomas celebrates with the trophy on the 18th green after winning the FedExCup and second in the TOUR Championship as Xander Schauffele celebrates with the winning Calamity Jane trophy at East Lake Golf Club HK GOLFERăƒťNOV 2017


B AFP/Getty Images

Schauffele reacts as he wins the TOUR Championship



orn in La Jolla, California, the 24-year-old has a name which is not t ypically A merican, holds a United States passport and has a father who is half French , ha l f G er ma n a nd mother who is half Taiwanese. “I have a very international background, but I haven’t had the opportunity to travel a whole lot,” said Schauffele, who rose to fame by winning the season-ending TOUR Championship in September, which helped him finish third in the FedExCup standings. “My dad’s half French, half German. My mom’s Taiwanese grew up in Japan. It’s cool that golf has kind of allowed me to start here in Malaysia, then Korea, then China. Growing up, it was always a dream of mine to play on the PGA TOUR and to kind of use golf as a tool to travel. I’ve never - I have a very international background, but I haven’t

had the opportunity to travel a whole lot.” Schauffele and the merry band from the PGA TOUR should buckle up and prepare for a wild ride in the future after spending three weeks competing in the mega PGA TOUR events in Asia. After a two-week break, the PGA TOUR’s 2017-18 season started in full earnest in early October with the Safeway Open in Napa, California, won by Brendan Steele. Then, the TOUR headed full steam to the Far East for the eighth staging of the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, followed by the inaugural CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in South Korea a nd World Gol f Cha mpionships-HSBC Champions in China. The three Asian stops are part of the T OU R’s e x p a n si ve 4 9 -l e g Fe d E x C u p schedule which will visit five other countries outside of the United States. For a rising star like Shauffale with such a colourful family


heritage, the opportunity to expand his horizons is an exhilarating prospect. “I’m just excited to start the year off kind of on a different foot instead of in the States,” said Schauffele. “If you want to be one of the best players in the world, you have to be a global player. You have to collect fans in different countries and play well in different countries. I’m just really looking forward to the opportunity presented,” he said. While Shauffele is amongst the Class of 2011 that includes Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Emiliano Grillo and Daniel Berger who have burst onto the PGA TOUR scene, the old guard is just as equally excited about how the game is growing around the world. Recently inducted World Golf Hall of Fame member, Davis Love III, recalled the old days when he used to fly out to the occasional tournament in Asia. “In 1985 when I sta r ted on t he TOU R , I never thought I would be playing in Malaysia in between playing at Pebble Beach and then New York, t hen Malaysia, t hen back to playing in Mississippi. You know, it really is amazing. They just seemed so far away… and now it’s just part of our TOUR,” said the 53-year-old. “It really isn’t the U.S. Tour. It’s the PGA TOUR.” A 21-time PGA TOUR champion, Love welcomes the global expansion and snapped up the opportunity to compete in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, which was inaugurated in 2010. “I’ve watched the TOUR grow really around the world. With the Canada Tour, the Latin American Tour, playing two events now in Mexico, three over here (in Asia), it’s really growing. It’s an international game,” he said. “We have to embrace that that we’re going to play around the world. Our TOUR is going to be kind of the world tour. Guys are coming from all around the world to play our TOUR as the premier place to play, so we have to come over here and play. It’s a great streak. My goal would be to get in all three of them next year; it would be a nice goal.” Chuah Choo Chiang is Senior Director, Communications of the PGA TOUR and is based at TPC Kuala Lumpur.


AFP/Getty Images

"My dad's half French, half German. My mom's Taiwanese grew up in Japan. It's cool that golf has kind of allowed me to start here in Malaysia, then Korea, then China."

Schauffele celebrates with the Calamity Jane trophy after winning the TOUR Championship












PineCreek Golf Property Holdings Ltd does not provide Hong Kong properties


50 Years

Golden Partnership of

1967 marked the beginning of a significant new relationship between the Swiss watch brand, Rolex, and the sport of golf. A relationship that, in its solid continuity, as well as its breadth and depth, has transcended the often-fickle realm of sports sponsorship. Brooks Koepka, Rolex Testimonee and 2017 U.S. Open champion






The Big Three, Rolex Testimonees Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player

©Kevin Lamarque/Reuters; ©Rolex/Fadil Berisha; ©Rolex/Chris Turvey

urn the clocks back 50 years to 1967 and the world was a very different place. In the 1960s, professional golf was experiencing a renaissance courtesy of an American whose domination of the sport, coupled with his disarming charisma and charm, would change the game for generations to come. One of the world’s greatest and best-loved golfers, with a playing career that spanned 30 years at the very top of the game, Arnold Palmer won seven of the sport’s Major championships and more than 90 professional wins. Palmer was a pioneer and a golfing futurist. His talent for marketing helped strengthen and promote the game he loved across the globe. He became the first golfing superstar of the television age and is considered to be largely responsible for the prosperity of the modern game. At the same time that Palmer was at the pinnacle of his career, Rolex was keen to strengthen its association with golf. Naturally, Palmer was the perfect fit to become the brand’s first Testimonee in golf and so began an enduring partnership that has developed into one that spans the globe and extends to golfers of all ages and abilities, exemplifying the passion Rolex has for the sport. The bond between Rolex and golf has evolved through pivotal partnerships that have cemented Rolex’s place at the heart of the game. In the 1970s and 80s, Rolex added prestigious tournaments, The Open and the U.S. Open; guardians of the traditions and rules of the game, The R&A and USGA; as well as the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA), to its growing number of golf partners. Rolex’s relationship with golf was described best by one of the most influential men in the sport - Peter Dawson. current President of the International Golf Federation, it was during his tenure as Chief Executive of The R&A when he said: “No other brand I can think of is more globally and passionately involved in our sport. The far-reaching commitment of Rolex is deeply rooted in promoting and developing the game worldwide, from grassroots programs through to Major championships and elite players.” Rolex is renowned worldwide for reliability, precision a nd u ncomprom isi ng qua l it y attributes the brand recognises in each of its Testimonees. In the mid-1960s, a dynamic trio known as The Big Three - made up of Palmer, American Jack Nicklaus and South Africa’s Gary Player - had become the vanguard of the world game. Both Nicklaus and Player joined the Rolex family around the same time as Palmer, where they remain today.

Rolex Testimonee Tom Watson HK GOLFER・NOV 2017


©Augusta National/Getty Images

Rolex Testimonee Tiger Woods at the 1997 Masters 54


The triumvirate challenged each other with their equal stature, skill and endeavour at almost every hole, at nearly every tournament. Gary Player secured nine Major wins while Jack Nicklaus’s accumulation of 18 Major titles remains unsurpassed at the very summit of the game. Explaining the nature of their unique rivalry, Gary Player said: “With Arnold and Jack, we all wanted to win so badly, and we had this wonderful rivalry and competition among the three of us. But, at the same time, when one of us won, the other two would put their hand out and say, ‘Well done, you beat me today, but I’ll get you tomorrow.’ It was a very healthy rivalry, and it was a rivalry of gentlemanly conduct.” As modern icons of the game, The Big Three have each expressed their deep admiration for Rolex’s support of golf. In the same way that a Rolex wristwatch may be a treasured heirloom, passed down the generations, the legacy of The Big Three has inspired generations of golfers, who through their success, do the same for those that follow them.

Commenting on the current crop of young players at the forefront of the sport, one of the best female golfers in history, Annika Sörenstam, said: “Golf goes through cycles. Jordan [Spieth], Rickie [Fowler] and Jason [Day] are fun personalities and powerful players as well as quality individuals.” The Swede, who is a 10-time Major winner and former Rolex Rankings World Number One added: “There is certainly a new generation emerging and I feel golf is in good hands”. These golfers are part of a burgeoning group of young, aspirational players who, like The Big Three before them, confidently go about their business with integrity, maturity and respect, as well as displaying skill, precision and ambition. These are the Rolex New Guard - a new generation of players who want to assert their authority on the sport and in doing so inspire future generations of athletes to follow them. Rolex is also engrained in the grassroots of the sport, and the AJGA, of which the brand has been a Premier Partner for 30 years, has HKGOLFER.COM


Just as for the past five decades Rolex has grown its relationship with golf, there is every intention of continuing this commitment for the long term. This anniversary year also celebrates the start of the Rolex Series - a new alliance between leading tournaments created to strengthen the European Tour’s international schedule from the 2017 season onwards. Speaking in November 2016, Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the European Tour, said: “The Rolex Series will celebrate the highest quality of golf and the international spirit of the game, qualities that Rolex and the European Tour strengthen with this announcement. We are tremendously proud to have Rolex as our partner in this exciting new venture, and we thank them for their continued support”. Winding the clock forward, 50 years from now, one thing we can count on for sure, with a century of Rolex’s perpetual pursuit of precision and excellence, as well as its significant support of golf for the past five decades, is that the sport will be as prominent and prosperous as ever.

©Rolex/Chris Turvey

helped nurture the talent of countless stars of the modern game. AJGA Alumni who are now part of the Rolex family of Testimonees include Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, Davis Love III, Rickie Fowler and Lorena Ochoa. What’s more, as of 2016, 24 of the past 30 U.S. Amateur Champions and 25 of the past 30 U.S. Women's Amateur Champions are AJGA alumni. Beyond the junior game, Rolex is also profoundly committed to amateur golf, and is a partner of important amateur tournaments across the globe, including the British Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship, Latin America Amateur Championship, AsiaPacific Amateur Championship, as well as the leading Amateur team formats, the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup. Providing support at all levels of the game including golfers in the latter stages of their playing careers, Rolex also has a longstanding relat ionsh ip wit h t he US Sen ior Open Championship and, since 2012, The Senior Open Championship Presented by Rolex.

Rolex Testimonee Martin Kaymer at the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles HK GOLFER・NOV 2017


World's Golf Course Designer of the Year

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At the Of



Rory McIlory looks at his tee shot on the 5th of the Old Course in St Andrews 58



The Kilted Caddie shares his caddie experience for David Walsh, the three-time Sportswriter of the Year and Lance Armstrong exposer, at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship…




David Walsh and the Kilted Caddie (right)


hat a sporting occasion the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is? Played over the iconic links courses of Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and the Old Course in St Andrews. A major Pro-Am, whilst also being one of the biggest prize money and most prestigious events on the European Tour. In fact, with a purse of $5 million, it’s a big lot of money. Tyrrell Hatton, this year’s winner, went home a tidy $800,000 better off. It is like the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in the U.S. where similarly, amateurs play alongside the pros in a major tour event. It’s just that there is a slightly bigger purse there, more Americans, and it’s played over three courses on the Monterey Peninsula rather than in Fife and Angus (if you get my drift?). Jordan Spieth, who won this year, says that he loves playing in it and probably had as much fun, or more than in any other tournament. Now, the fascinating thing about these two events is that amateurs play at the same time and alongside world-class professionals, who are competing at the highest levels and for the highest stakes. I can’t think of any other sport where this happens, or in fact could happen, give the colour, intensity and rarity of the two rubbing shoulders with each other. Potentially you could make a case for darts, but probably not synchronised swimming, apart from maybe the rubbing shoulders bit. At this year’s Dunhill, I was lucky enough to caddie for the 3-time Sportswriter of the Year and Lance Armstrong exposer, David Walsh. I sent him a beautiful, golfy St Andrews’ postcard, he emailed back, and we hooked up. He was drawn with the prodigiously talented, Matt Wallace, who has made a meteoric rise up the professional ranks. He had the legendary caddie, Dave McNeilly, on his bag. So, you have 1-10-handicap David, teeing up with a massive young golf talent and probably the best and most experienced caddie in the world. And then me. A caddie of a more dubious pedigree. David warned me over the phone, at the outset, that ‘he had everything you need to play golf apart from talent.’ I intimated that he was getting the quid pro quo on the caddying front, except probably a more Wodehousian than Wilde one (slight nervous laughter on the other end of the phone). 60


It was however born out at Carnoustie when we put a gloriously hit seven iron safety shot into the drink in front of the tenth green. That was indeed a shocking piece of caddying and a relationship tester if there ever was one. If this didn’t push David to the extreme, I’m not sure what would have, other than me pushing him into the drink or Lance Armstrong pitching up in the throng. He did, however, make a brilliant birdie on the 11th which eased the situation, but full credit to my man for showing such reserves of forbearance that day, and indeed also for a formidable 5-birdie streak at Carnoustie on the practice round. He said after that it was one of the ‘top three rounds of his life’. On the first day of the tournament, I thought I’d go the full hog and add a splash of colour by wearing some pretty outrageous trousers and scarlet socks. However, the St Andrews caddie master was none too impressed, approached me on the driving range and claimed that it was a ridiculous attire for a caddie. I felt a tad deflated by this remark and thought he missed the point that the first St Andrews’ caddie in history had landed an endorsement contract with a wacky golf clothing outfitter and showed a degree of ingenuity in bagging a top-notch journalist by sending a picture postcard. OK, I can accept that he is not a fan of my writing, but for me not to be able to express any sartorial individuality is another thing. Maybe HKGOLFER.COM

Tyrrell Hatton poses with his Alfred Dunhill Links Championship trophy on the famous Swilcan Bridge


No, they weren’t out to see my breeks! The fact was that Matt had edged into the second position in the Pro event. And further, David had a one-and-a-half-foot putt for a par to put the team on the leaderboard at twenty under par. However, then something terrible happened which I believe caused the sudden demise of Team Walsh and potentially (but hopefully not) the end of a bright career on the world golf stage for our young professional. For Matt holed out his par putt and then picked up David’s marker before he could utter a plaintive word. With 200,000 dollars in the team event prize fund, this was more than a rash act. It was merely disastrous all round and if there was ever a juxtapositional turning point in events there was one. Matt immediately went on to drop six strokes to par in the ensuing five holes and David did not fare much better. Very painful to watch as the camera crew made a shrewd exit, as did Team Walsh. Anyhow, what an experience for a week. The food provided on the course was first class with delicious Balgove Farm brioche burgers and hot dogs, wonderful Cullen skink and Pittenweem salmon sandwiches, all served plentifully to players and caddies alike, at several points on the way around. The chaps at Alfred Dunhill know how to put a show on, as highlighted by the incredible firework display over the West Sands on Saturday evening. I met a good few characters and shook hands with several celebrities including the gentlemen, ex-Lions captain Paul O’Connell and Sir A.P. McCoy. We heard many funny stories including an anecdote from Tom Lewis’s caddie Alastair, a rather hefty chap from Sunningdale with a brilliant deadpan delivery. He mentioned that the caddies had been put up in the Athletes Village at the Olympics. David asked him what sport he told people he was doing, to which he immediately retorted with a most serious expression, ‘hurdles!’ The Dunhill and AT&T are excellent golf tournaments and bring much fun, colour and lightheartedness to the sometimes overly serious professional circuit. The mix certainly worked for Jordan Spieth, and I noticed that this year’s winner, Tyrrell Hatton, was having a good few laughs out on the practice range at Carnoustie. A lesson perhaps for all. Please write to if you have any comments. HK GOLFER・NOV 2017

Ian McIlgorm

they should get us to dress up in white boiler suits like the Masters. However, for the top end luxury clothing outfit that is Alfred Dunhill. I wouldn’t have thought so. Mind you I did get approached by the local constabulary, as a beaming and most cheery looking East Neuk policewoman came over and gave me the utmost compliment on my bright saltire breeks. Now that makes a pleasant change, as the last time I was approached by the local constabulary it was on far less favourable, constructive and amicable terms. There are rumours that some amateurs are paying between ten and fifty grand to get into the Dunhill and that there is a very long queue. And, even if you do get invited to play and pay, there is no certainty that you will be invited back the next year. An intriguing event it is. The ‘draw’, whereby you discover your playing partner, takes place on Tuesday evening but is a slight misnomer, as some guys just keep ending up with the same partners. However, of more interest is the ‘handicapping’ which seems to be slightly fluid in nature, let’s say, and there appears to be a high correlation of success in the team event concerning the degree of one’s relationship to Irish horse racing. During the competition, Matt and David played pretty solidly in the first two rounds and by the 11h hole at Kingsbarns on the third day, were suddenly being followed by a mobile, on course, camera crew.





Error of

Judgement As Mike Wilson states, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan’s recent decision – the second time in five years - to cut the LPGA Tour’s final ‘Major,’ the Evian Championship in France to 54 holes due to a near wash-out of the first day was a rare error of judgment.


he para l lel decision to once aga i n a n nu l a l l t he scores posted on that raininterrupted opening round should never be repeated if the game in general and women’s golf, in particular, is to retain or regain its integrity and credibility. OK, the rain on the opening morning of the Evian Championship, the final ‘Major’ of an enthralling LPGA Tour season to date, was of Biblical proportions. The Evian Resort – ironically famed for its mineral water spa - on the southern shores of Lake Geneva awash, the wind was howling too, dangerously so, hence a suspension in, as opposed to an abandonment



of play in the first round was warranted. Perhaps play – given the weather forecast for later in the day - should never have started. But try telling that to a Tournament Director with a high-profile event to complete - ideally in four days – with the competing and often conflicting pressures of TV and the rest of the media, players and their coaches, sponsors, spectators et al. But the 2017 Evian Championship did indeed get underway, and, even in the rain, early scores were mixed; South Korean star So Yeon Ryu was three-under after five, Jessica Korda minustwo after eight, Japanese icon Ai Miyazako, making her valedictory appearance not faring so well, three-over-par through six holes.


Image courtesy of Evian Championship

Korean Ryu So-yeon missed out after first round scores were annulled




Image courtesy of Evian Championship

Pre-tournament favourite Lexi Thompson sees storm clouds ahead



These were real scores, actual shots made, cards marked, yet when the heavens stubbornly refused to close and play had been suspended for over four hours due to waterlogging, the LPGA made a decision they may well come to regret. Commissioner Mike Whan called playoff, not just for the day, but announcing that what had been achieved to date – good, bad or indifferent – was to be consigned to history. Thursday’s scores all wiped from the record, the fifth and final ‘Major,’ at a stroke reduced to a 54-hole tournament, despite its stellar status. “ Nobody even played ha l f-a-rou nd ,” claimed Whan, unconvincingly, suggesting the “Cleanest, fairest most competitive option,” was to scrap all scores to date, start afresh on Friday. “We know that if we said 72 holes, and we start again tomorrow [Friday], we’re probably looking at Monday and Tuesday, and that’s not great for anyone,” concluded the LPGA chief. Just imagine, the Open Championship at St. Andrews, the ‘Home of Golf,’ in 2015, the Saturday a wash-out. Parts of the Old Course resembling a river, the R&A annulling the few scores recorded before play was suspended, reducing the greatest event in world golf to a mere 54 holes, just to get finished on time.

Instead, the play was extended into the Monday, inconvenient for everyone, but it had to be done to preserve and protect the integrity not only of the game of golf but also one of its great occasions. And, heaping shame-on-blame, this was not the first time the Evian Championship, already the youngest and least credible of the LPGA ‘Majors,’ had been treated in such a manner. An identical situation arose at the 2013 event, its debut as a Grand Slam event, the first round abandoned, early scores out on the course annulled, a second ‘Major’ for Norwegian Susann Pettersen, but a tainted title. Of course, professional golfers are subjected to the vagaries of the weather every time they set foot on the competitive stage. An early teetime might offer benign conditions conducive to low scoring, a later start may see the wind get up, over two opening rounds when teetimes are reversed, things even themselves out but, even if they don’t, it’s the rub of the green, like a bad bounce. “It’s a very bad call - you don’t take golf off the board that’s already been played in a ‘Major,” Charlie Rymer, the former PGA Tour pro, said on the Golf Channel, “Majors are



alone rubbing salt in the wound and adding insult to injury by erasing any scores achieved before the abandonment of play from the record book. Meanwhile, Ryu So-yeon, sitting pretty on three-under-par after six holes of the opening round that never was, slumped to a four-over 75 the following day, a reverse she was never to recover from, going from championship leader to a tie for 40th place. Or, to put it another way, earning US$16,874 as opposed to the US$547,500 she might have won had the course of events not been artificially altered. As for Ms Nordqvist, a champion of course, but a worthy winner? Her second ‘Major’ title will forever be diluted and discredited by an unnecessary and unfair intervention by officialdom more concerned with getting finished on time than staging a fair, honest and sporting contest that would stand scrutiny and the test of time. But then with a mineral water as title sponsor and an event staged in a location and at a time of year when heavy rain and high winds are well known, perhaps having the fifth and final ‘Major,’ not to mention the reputation of women’s golf ending up in a watery grave was just par for the course.

Image courtesy of Evian Championship

played over 72 holes and this indicates that this event is not being treated with the gravity it deserves. “It's not good for the women's game,” he rightly concluded, insisting, “You play 72 holes; you play as long as it takes… I just disagree wholeheartedly with this. It diminishes the event… It’s just not right. Doesn’t feel right, doesn’t look right; it ’s not good for the ladies’ game.” Even some of the players expressed their dismay. Angela Stanford, a veteran of 71 LPGA ‘Majors,’ who finished 18th in the discredited Evian Championship, asking on Twitter, “I'm just wondering who has the final say,” adding, “Those ladies at -2 deserve to keep their score.” What the official records do not – and will not – show is where the eventual winner Anna Nordqvist was, either on the golf course or the scoreboard, when the klaxon went on Thursday lunchtime, nor Brittany Altomare, the American she eventually defeated in the play-off on Sunday at the end. It is undoubtedly inconceivable that the USGA or The R&A would even contemplate reducing the U.S. Women’s Open or the Ricoh Women’s British Open to 54 holes. Let

Raining Champion Anna Nordqvist battles the early elements




Learning to Lose Without Shedding Tears As Craig Morrison explains, for the majority of average golfers, the meaning of golf can’t solely be in the winning. To play golf is to know failure and to learn from it is…


t the age of 59, Tom Watson was still breaking hearts. He was breaking the hearts of almost all who watched the 138th Open Championship at Turnberry in Scotland in 2009. His eight-foot putt to win on the 72nd slipped past the hole by less than an inch. A very nice man from Alabama won instead. But few were happy. The world wanted Tom Watson to win so that he might become, truly, The King of the Links, equalling Harry Vardon’s six Open victories, not languishing tied in second place with Braid, Taylor and Thomson on a mere five apiece! The world wanted him to win so that we could relive one of the greatest championships of all time, the 1977 event at the same course when he defeated Jack Nicklaus in a thrilling tete-a-tete. The world wanted him to win so that he would become the oldest winner of the tournament, putting Old Tom (the other one, Old Tom Morris of St Andrews) firmly into second place for his 1867 victory age 46. It was meant to be a victory for age and wisdom and for the greatness of golf, a game in which those advanced in years can still compete, if not through strength then through grasp and guile. But it didn’t happen. The winner sheepishly accepted his baubles. The crowd tried to smile. Only the runner-up himself seemed sanguine about it all. He had been in the moment. He hadn’t waivered. He hadn’t failed. A skip and jump from the golf ball as it landed on the final 70


green had robbed him. Links golf is like that. Golf is like that. Life is like that. Nine months earlier he had his left hip replaced. He had been in pain. Sleep wasn’t easy. Walking wasn’t easy. His golf swing was brittle. But post-surgery he almost became The Champion Golfer of 2009 (which is how they announce the winners of these things). He proved that great golf isn’t the preserve of 21st century gym bunnies. And for years since that nearly-moment at Turnberry, he has been making the cut, posting some surprisingly low scores, frequently breaking his own record for oldest player to make the weekend at The Open. For some, all this will be proof that golf isn’t a sport. For others it demonstrates golf’s greatness, that it’s a sport for a long life. Golf doesn’t stretch you, doesn’t push or pull or batter you in any seriously damaging way, physically. No doubt many golfers have damaged knees, shoulders and hips through the ferocity of their swings and others have pulled a muscle picking up their bag. But the game doesn’t exactly impact the player the way other games do. Boxers have their faces smashed up and their brains damaged. Rugby players break their necks. These can be wonderful, sometimes beautiful, sports. But the cost is high. A golfer’s life is not usually compromised or shortened by the game. Golf affords its followers a longevity many other sports simply don’t. Many golfers, in old age, can still play similar shots to the ones they HKGOLFER.COM

played in the flush of youth. At the outer limits of life our games will be diminished. Yet golf clubhouses aren’t, generally, home to broken individuals reeling because their best days are behind them, guys who made the draft and then succumbed to injury, or high school heroes whose finest moments were in their teenage years. For these people - admittedly composites drawn from American movies! – competitive glory has been their thing and outside of golf that’s something which is hard to recreate beyond a certain age. Even as one’s distance declines one’s strategic skills can improve. And as the shots add up the handicap grows so, even if it’s manipulated, one can still stay in the hunt for various glories. In golf one can be superannuated and streetwise. The grizzled old guy can still beat the young guy who hits it intercontinental. At Turnberry, the runner-up’s good grace told us that there’s more to golf than winning, or at least that a gentleman might outwardly pretend as much. That’s why for all his successes, for all the trophies on display back at the ranch in Kansas City, for all that he might tell his Ryder Cup teams behind closed doors, Tom was able to take this on the chin. It’s not that he likes to lose. Early in his career, at the 1974 U.S. Open, he held the 54-hole lead but failed at the final hurdle. At the same event the next year he equalled the competition’s low scoring record at the halfway point but played the weekend 13 over. “Those consecutive U.S. Opens made me hate losing. They taught me a lot and helped me figure out how to win,” he says. Tom went on to clinch his first Major in that summer of ‘75, the Open Championship at Carnoustie. He used to cry when he played badly or when he lost. But the boy became a man and he learned to lose without shedding tears and he learned to win without viciousness. He had to lose first in order to win later. That’s how he came to be so good at closing out those big events. Others may have achieved full-on Major success earlier. But few have then built on them. Tom went on to collect eight career Majors. That’s a U.S. Open on the California coast. That’s slipping into a green jacket twice. And it’s those five Open Championships, four of them in Scotland. He’s also won six Majors on The Champions Tour (pro golf for those of a certain age) including The Senior British Open on three occasions, again all on Scottish courses. (Those shouldn’t be forgotten. The average driving distance between the top-flight tours and their fifty-something counterparts is approximately 10 yards and the scoring difference is typically less than one shot per round. So, beyond marketing HKGOLFER.COM

Craig Morrison is the author of 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes and 18 Greatest Irish Golf Holes. He is a freelance golf writer, a contributor to many international titles, including HK Golfer. An Anglo-Scot, he lives in Somerset, England. Discover the meaning of golf by downloading a copy at: com/Meaning-Golf-Craig-Morrisonebook/dp/B074C2LBRH

dollars and television air time there’s not much in it.) Early in his career, Tom acquired the nickname Huckleberry Dillinger, the joke being that the sweet, smiling, seemingly innocent exterior was so different from his interior steely resolve. It turns out that this is the best way to play the game: to be at once gentle but to get it done. The snarling and machismo on show in other sports - required in some other sports - doesn’t work in golf. There’s something to enjoy in the (sometimes staged) angry weigh-ins before boxing matches, but for many of us, golf’s more interesting than that. So, a kid from Missouri becomes a grand old man of the game. He fought his battles inside himself, learned to come out on top and his great moments will live as long as the game itself. But ask Tom about his favourite memories and it’s not just those monumental Majors which he remembers most fondly. Ask questions about the historical milestones and fairly soon he’s back enthusing about some experiences which are comparatively incidental. All golfers must lose more than they win. Tiger Woods, during periods at the top of the game, could win about 25% of the time. But the majority get nowhere near that. Tournament golf is the strangest thing. You mostly lose. Most players mostly lose. Most players never ever win. But losing is in the nature of things. This isn’t a fashionable statement. We’re led to believe we can all be winners. But golf says, it’s not like that. Gatsby doesn’t get his girl and Hamlet’s revenge is a compromise. We fail and we compromise but there are successes on the road. To play golf is to know failure. To persevere with it is to know failures and successes and to learn from it is ‘to treat those bedfellows just the same’. So, for the majority of us, the meaning of golf can’t solely be in the winning. Maybe it’s about taking part, learning some lessons, taking the rough with the smooth and other clichés. Maybe that’s why the notion of stopping to smell the flowers on the way - as Walter Hagen or perhaps Ben Hogan suggested - has so effortlessly entered common usage. And maybe that’s why their old adage is now mostly applied, not just to golf, but to life. If you’re a tour player and your golf is off the mark it probably makes the sport unlovable: you have bills to pay, a family to feed. But when playing for fun the misery is marginal, the negatives rarely outweighing the positives. Something good will happen soon, we feel. Inside all average golfers there’s a great golfer waiting to get out… It’s important to have fun. It’s important that we set aside time to play. In play, there’s joy to be had. Through play, there are lessons to be learned. This isn’t news. It’s ancient philosophy. The Roman poet Ovid knew it. ‘In our play we reveal what kind of people we are,’ he wrote. The Greek philosopher Plato recognised it too. ‘Life must be lived as play,’ he said. HK GOLFER・NOV 2017


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UBS HONG KONG OPEN 2017! ©2017 Dr Milton Wayne




1. See 21A 5. (& 13D) Long hitting Aussie, champ in 2014, has also won Macao Open 6. See 11A 8. (& 17A) Ever stylish “Poults”, champ here in 2010 11. (& 6A) Welsh winner of Masters, won here in 1987 13. See 14D 15. See 7D 17. See 8A 20. (& 10D) Popular young Irish winner in 2011, unpopular missed cut in 2012! 21. (& 1A) Aussie legend, 5-times Open champ, who designed the Eden course 22. (& 12D, 25A) A.K.A. “The Mechanic”, fan favourite and 4-time winner 24. See 5D 25. See 22A

2. See 16D 3. Home of the HK Golf Club 4. See 23D 5. (& 24A) Masters champ, making debut (pictured) 7. (& 15A) Defending champion, shock winner last year 9. Official airline of UBS HK Open 10. See 20A 12. See 22A 13. See 5A 14. (& 13A) aka “Paddy”, won here in 2003 16. (& 22D, 2D) Spanish Ryder Cup Captain in 2012, won here in 2001 18. Official name of the 18th hole at HK Open 19. Preferred spot for a post-round prandial 22. See 16D 23. (& 4D) “The Great White Shark”, two-time winner



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Matthew Cheung Louie Chan talks to the HK Open Amateur champion about his best ever round, favourite courses and his preparation for the UBS HK Open. When did you start playing- and where? My dad put a club in my hands at quite a young age, I have a photo of myself holding a plastic club when I was 3. But, I really started to play regularly when I was 9 when I moved to Brisbane, Australia with my mum and brother. My mum signed me up for junior clinics at a local golf club. I loved it when I started playing and I haven’t stopped playing since. What’s been your best ever round? I shot my personal best 61 (-10) at the start of this year at the golf club I practiced at when I was in college in the U.S. It was a qualifier within my university team. I had 12 birdies and 2 bogeys. My best tournament round is 64 (-8). I shot it at one of my college tournaments in Las Vegas in 2014. It was the last round of the tournament and I thought I was able to catch the leaders, but my two teammates just beat me out for the title.  How would you describe your amateur golf career so far? I think that my amateur career has been solid. I have not won as much as I have liked but I have come close a lot of times. The most important thing for me is that I have improved every year since the start of my college career. At the end of the day, my amateur career is just a stepping stone to the professional rankings. 

Daniel Wong

How’s your preparation for the UBS HK Open? I feel like my preparation is going very well. Everything seems to be coming together nicely. I recently won the HK Open Amateur Championship and the China Amateur 78


Classic and I wil l play in a mi xt ure of a mateur and professional tournaments leading up to the UBS HK Open. I will be in a competitive mode and my game will be sharp when the week arrives. It is going to be an amazing week and I am really looking forward to it. Do you have a favourite course? In Asia, my favourite golf course is definitely Clearwater Bay Golf Club in HK. The views are breathtaking and the golf course is very well designed. It isn’t long but it can get quite difficult when the wind starts to blow. I have a lot of fun every time I play there no matter the score I shoot! I have played a lot of great courses around the world but I think my favourite one is the composite golf course at Royal Melbourne. It was a fun layout and the course was in excellent shape when I played it during the Asia-Pacific Amateur back in 2015. The greens were super firm and quick and it was a great test of golf, difficult but fair.  Who would be in your dream fourball? My dream fourball would be Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, and Justin Timberlake. I am a huge basketball fan and MJ is the greatest basketball player of all time. Tiger was my idol growing up. I was just so mesmerised by his golf swing and he just made golf look so easy. I chose Nicklaus because of what he has done for the game of golf. I love Timberlake’s music so I included him in my dream fourball. All these guys are/were at the top of their profession and it would be awesome just to hear some of their stories from their lives and learn from their past experiences. HKGOLFER.COM


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