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The Clearwater Bay Open Review













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HK Golfer Issue 130

December 2017

30 On the Cover:

53-year-old Miguel Ángel Jiménez enjoys cigars, wine and winning golf tournaments, not necessarily in that order. The world’s most interesting golfer talks to our Editor about every aspect of his professional life. Photo Courtesy of Audemars Piguet



26 | HK Seniors Open Amateur

10 | Divots

The invincible Douglas Williams wins the HK Seniors Amateur Open Championship fifth in a row. By Louie Chan

12 | In Focus

Championship Review

30 | The Man, The Myth, The Legend

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

38 | The Clearwater Bay Open Review

Hublot has designed, developed, manufactured and assembled a module which has been specifically created for golf. By The Editors

44 | Asian Angle

The HKGA Appoints Tim Tang as New HighPerformance Manager. By The Editors

58 | Turkish Delight!

Louie Chan talks to Li Haotong, China’s No. 1 player and new Rolex Testimonee. By Louie Chan

62 | Bunker Mentality

Golf, as we know, reveals much about a man. So as the President of The United States of America. By Craig Morrison

Unorthodox in every aspect of his professional life, Miguel Ángel Jiménez is the man of the hour almost anywhere he goes, especially in golf circles. By Louie Chan Ja mes Ma rchesa n i becomes t he second successive Australian winner. By Louie Chan The PGA TOUR’s annual October Asian odyssey served up a marvellous treat for golf fans. By Chuah Choo Chiang

Daniel Wong

Justin Rose wins back-to-back for the first time, as Antalya hosts the fifth Turkish Airlines Open. By Charles McLaughlin

38 6


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

19 | Tee Time

25 | Around the HKGA

48 | Interview

64 | The Meaning of Golf

For a game such as golf so tied-up by rules and hamstrung with etiquette, spitting is a blight on the game. By Mike Wilson

76 | Crossword

68 | First Tee Nerves

78 | Final Shot

There is a world of difference in standing there holding a golf bag as to having a club in hand on the first tee… By The Kilted Caddie

This issue: “UBS Hong Kong Open 2017!” By Dr Milton Wayne Paul Dunne, the Irish young star, talks about his best ever round and most memorable shot. Interview by Louie Chan HKGOLFER.COM

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 Local Focus 19 Clubhouse 25 Around the HKGA 30 Cover Story 44 Asian Angle 62 Bunker Mentality 66 The Meaning of Golf 68 The Kilted Caddie 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:

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




Cathay Pacific and HK Golfer Cathay Pacific’s new partnership with PressReader gives you complimentary access to the HK Golfer whenever you fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon. 48 hours before your flight, you’ll be able to browse the PressReader library and save full issues to read on your trip. While 24 hours of complimentary access will be available to Cathay Pacific passengers, Marco Polo Club members can have a longer access period to enjoy more publications, so you can travel even better: - Diamond members: 7 days - Gold members: 3 days - Silver and Green members: 2 days To get started, download the Cathay Pacific app to book flights, check in, choose your seat, and find everything else you need to prepare for your journey. 48 hours before your flight, you can check in and activate your access to PressReader. Once you do, you’ll have 24 hours to read and download as much as you’d like. Any issue of HK Golfer you save is yours to read anywhere, anytime. You can read it offline for as long as you’d like.

Chou Crowned Champion at Mission Hills Junior Series Grand Final Chou Po-Yueh of Chinese Taipei stormed to a six-shot victory in the Mission Hills Junior Series Grand Final in Dongguan, Shenzhen. The 17-year-old fired a three-round total of 223 on the demanding Norman Course to win the season-ending World Amateur Golf Ranking event. Playing in the Grand Final by virtue of a top-three finish in the 2017 Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship in Hainan, Chou led wire-to-wire following an opening 73 and finished six ahead of China’s Fan Ji-Cheng, winner of the Boys’ 10-12 division. In the girls’ section, Hong Kong’s Zhang Yun-Xuan, aged only 12, impressed with a one-shot win over Luo Yun-Yi of China. There was also celebration for another Hong Kong girl, Sophie Han who had her first hole-in-one on the 93-yard fourth hole in her opening round. The 8th Grand Final featured leading players from a total of ten Mission Hills Junior Series tournaments played over the past 12 months, plus winners from some of the other junior ‘Majors’ to be hosted by Mission Hills in 2017, including the Annika Invitational, the Faldo Series and the Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship. 10


12-year-old Zhang Yun-Xuan of Hong Kong in action HKGOLFER.COM

Community at the Heart of UBS Hong Kong Open


Hong Kong Golf Club

Thousands of youngsters had the opportunity to experience the game of golf and meet some of its star players during the week, as the organisers, title sponsor, and official charitable partner of the UBS Hong Kong Open once again place the community at the heart of the event. With free access to the public on Thursday and Friday, and for all four days for visitors under 21, the Tournament featured a series of youth-focused golf clinics and community outreach efforts. International stars, Matt Fitzpatrick and Hong Kong Golf Club professional, James Wong, started the weeklong initiatives by headlining a golf clinic for over 200 children from the Hong Kong Golf Association’s local schools programme, at the Tuen Mun Golf Centre. On Thursday and Friday, the Hong Kong Golf Club, UBS and the Hong Kong Golf Association hosted 500 children from local schools in the environs of Fanling and other districts, who will benefit from a comprehensive golf experience. Clinics were also hosted for t he Hong Kong Blind Sports Federation on Thursday, and Special Olympics Hong Kong on Friday. The former was co-hosted by, Alfie Plant, winner of the silver medal for leading amateur at The Open Championship earlier this year.



Global Focus Fleetwood Crowned Europe’s Top Golfer Tommy Fleetwood poses with the Race to Dubai trophy at the end of the final round of the DP World Tour Golf Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. The Englishman won the European Tour Order of Merit after a tense battle with Justin Rose that was decided only on the 72nd green of the DP World Tour Championship, the final event of the season. Celebrating the finest moment of his career, Fleetwood was crowned European Number One after a stellar season that was kick-started by victory at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and included his first Rolex Series win at the HNA Open de France and a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Open amongst an impressive 10 top 10s. His breakthrough victory came in the 2013 Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Spain’s Jon Rahm won the US$8 million tournament, firing a five-under-par 67 that gave him a one-shot advantage at 19-under par 269 over Ireland’s Shane Lowry (63) and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat (67). Photo by AFP/Karim Sahib

Asia Focus Green Looking to Extend Merit Lead Malaysia’s Gavin Green would have another chance to extend his lead atop the Asian Tour Order of Merit when he makes his debut at the UBS Hong Kong Open. Green is on course to become the first Malaysian to lift the prestigious merit crown, and with five events left on the 2017 Asian Tour Schedule, he knows what is at stake at the US$2 million event.  Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who narrowly lost out by one shot at the European Tour’s season-ending event in Dubai last week, is looking forward to another shot at redemption at the UBS Hong Kong Open. The 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit champion has three top-10s which included two runner-up finishes in the last five events he played in and is one of the likely contenders among the star-studded field that features Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia.  Australia’s Scott Hend, a nine-time Asian Tour winner, is meanwhile seeking his first win for 2017. A return to the Hong Kong Golf Club where he won the UBS Hong Kong Open in 2014 will hopefully rejuvenate his form and allow him to battle his way into contention again. Photo by Asian Tour

Local Focus Unfinished Business Tommy Fleetwood, Li Haotong and Rafa Cabrera Bello took part in an informal photocall in old town Central before the UBS Hong Kong Open kick-started. “There is definitely a littleunfinished business for me in Hong Kong,” said Cabrera Bello. “I felt I should have won it last year, so hopefully I can go one better this year.” The Spaniard as since returned to the winner’s enclosure, taking a third European Tour title at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open before finishing tied fourth at The Open to burst back into the world’s top 20. Li claimed his maiden European Tour win at the Volvo China Open in 2016, but it was his third-place finish in the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale earlier this year that caught the attention of the golfing world. Originally from Hunan province, he will be one to watch at the Hong Kong Golf Club. 26-year-old Fleetwood finished in a tie for third at last year’s UBS Hong Kong Open and had since enjoyed the most successful period of his career to date. The Englishman arrived at Fanling as the defending Race to Dubai champion. Photo by Daniel Wong

Limited Play Numbers


Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME


Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf HKGOLFER.COM




Big Bang Unico Golf is the world’s first mechanical golf watch with aperture display 20


h e Big Bang Unico Golf is dedicated to the ultimate precision sport - golf. The MHUB1580 movement allows golfers to seamlessly c alculate th eir s co re w hils t o n c o u r s e . H u b l o t ’s m e c h a n i c a l g o l f watch features aper ture displays and is ultra-lightweight, providing true spor ts per formance. The case of the Big Bang Unico Golf is car ved from Texalium, an innovative material, that is an amalgamation of fibreglass and aluminium. This unique composite gives the watch its lightness; as it weights precisely 97.93 grams. The Big Bang Unico Golf has the look of a chronograph and has been conceived as a chronograph. Its movement features returnto-zero heart piece cams that ensure the counting mechanism is robust and reliable. The put ter-shaped pusher at 2 o - clock activates the mechanism for displaying the number of strokes taken and counts the

strokes per hole. The pusher at 4 o’clock allows the wearer to move on to the next hole by reset ting the stroke counter to zero. T he counter at 6 o’clock displays the total number of strokes played and is simultaneously updated. The pusher at 8 o’clock is shaped like a tee. This resets the mechanism and sets the counters to zero at the end of the round. During the round, this button can be locked by rotating it by 45°, thus ensuring that it is not inadvertently ac tivated. T he MHUB1580 full-skeleton movement allows the wearer to admire and understand how the timepiece works. The watch comes with two interchangeable wristbands fitted with the One Click system. One is made of white leather sewn on rubber and designed like a golf glove, while the other is made of technical fabric with a Velcro fastener to ensure the watch sits perfectly on the wrist. Just before the UBS Hong Kong Open kick-started, Hublot invited the media and HKGOLFER.COM

guests at the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis of Golf. Rose shared tips with attendees that Academy to discover the new Big Bang helped him achieve the distinction of Major Uni co G o l f w i t h J us t in R o s e, O l y mp i c winner and Olympic champion. Champion and Hublot Ambassador. “The “ These last few week s have seen launch of the Big Bang Unico Golf is an J u s t i n s u r g e i n t o c o n t e n t i o n o n t h e impor tant moment for my friends from Race to Dubai rankings, a sign of a true Hublot, and I am proud Champion, being able to showcase it here at to summon his very best “This unique the Hong Kong Golf & form when it counts composite gives the Tennis Academy. It is most. We are thrilled certainly going to be for Justin, and we keep watch its lightness; a big hit with golfers the Hublot celebrations as it weights precisely around the world and rolling on. Golf watches 97.93 grams.” a great addition to do exis t, but they tend Hublot’s line up.” to b e d i g i t a l . O u r g o l f Rose was invited to showcase the new a m b a s s a d o r s i n f l u e n c e a n d i m p a c t m e c h a n i c a l g o l f w atc h d e si g n e d a n d o n t h e g a m e i n s p i r e d H u b l o t ’ s n e w manufactured for golfers. To record this manufactured golf watch. Mechanically moment, guests were invited on the range a d v a n c e d , b r i l l i a n t l y f u n c t i o n a l , to enjoy a golf demonstration by Justin Rose, contemp orar y look and eas y to use, it with a detailed explanation by Billy Martin, is for sure a tribute to Hublot ’s Ar t of Coach of Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy Fusion,” said Sam Liu, Spor ts Marketing and Director of the Jack Nicklaus Academy Director of Greater China of Hublot. HKGOLFER.COM

Justin Rose demonstrated his impeccable short game technique at the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy HK GOLFER・DEC 2017


LOUIE CHAN TALKS TO THE ENGLISHMAN ABOUT HIS 2017 SEASON AND HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HUBLOT. Justin, welcome back to Hong Kong! How would you define your 2017 season? It has been a very successful 2017 season. It would have been a fairytale ending if I also won in Dubai last week after back-to-back wins. But you are going to win and lose tournaments in the career. What is really important that you can’t scare of losing, if you want to win. You need to be on the leaderboard. You need to be in the tough situations. You need to put yourself in the winning position. And it is great to take some of this good form back to a place I have such fond memories of, having won in Hong Kong before.

Rose showcasing the Big Bang Unico Golf 22


Tell us about your relationship with Hublot? I have been a brand ambassador for three years. It’s a brand that I purchased and owned before. I have shared my story in Dubai at the press conference. I like the way Hublot does their marketing. It’s fun and they are different.

And it’s great they got into golf. Obviously, they have me and Dustin Johnson. I think Patrick Reed now is also an ambassador. They are very fun and grand to be associated with. Golfer and Watchmaker – any similarities? Golf and watch are both about precision movement. It needs to be accurate. I would say that this is the biggest similarity. Elegant as well. Some watches are exquisite and you can draw parallels with how some guys swing. But for me, it’s all about precision. Which is your favourite Hublot model? For me, it’s always been the Big Bang King Power, which you know, is the bigger one here. They make so many fun and unique pieces. They collaborate with so many different people that every year, there’s a watch stands out. So it’s really difficult to pinpoint one, as there are so many creative pieces.



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


The HKGA Appoints Tim Tang as New High-Performance Manager The Hong Kong Golf Association is proud to welcome Tim Tang as High- Performance Manager, effective 1 December 2017.

Daniel Wong


im was originally born in Hong Kong then moved to the United States with his family at the age of four. He started playing golf with his father and uncle when he was 12 years old. The first time he ever broke par was at age 14, shot a 67 at a local junior tournament. In the same year, Tim lost in a playoff at the World Junior Cup in Scotland representing the U.S. team. During his High School years, Tim was a 3-time regional champion. He was ranked as a top5 junior golfer in the state of South Carolina and was recruited by many Division 1 schools. Tim went to the College of Charleston, a Division 1 school, which was near his hometown. He was the number 1 player on the team at his senior year. His best finish in college was shooting 12 under par to tie 5th in the Turtle Bay Collegiate Invitational. Tim graduated in 2009 with a degree in Communication. Tim has won the South Carolina Charleston City Amateur Championship for twice. The second win was remarkable when he finished at 17-under-par. He made it through the U.S. Open Local Qualifier for three times. In the 2007 US Open Sectional Qualifier, Tim just missed playing in the U.S. Open by only two shots, losing to then PGA Tour stars Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner. Tim turned professional in the summer of 2009. He made it through the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School in 2009, but miss the cut on the second stage. Tim returned to Hong Kong in 2010 to pursue his career on the Asian Tour, HKGOLFER.COM

passed the playing ability test in September and became the only tournament player in the Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association. In the 2011 Asian Tour Qualifying School, Tim finished in the top 20 by 9-under-par and became the only pro in Hong Kong to have full status on the Asian Tour. Tim won his first Professional event at the 2012 HKPGA Clearwater Bay Order of Merit Championship. In the same year, Tim was the only pro from Hong Kong to make the cut at the Hong Kong Open, finished 72th. Tim represented Hong Kong to compete in the 2013 China National Games at Liaoning and helped the team to claim the silver medal. Then he made the cut in the Hong Kong Open for the second time with a final score of 289. Tim was a member of PGA Tour China in 2014, and then spent most of his time playing on the Thailand Singha Golf Tour in 2015. Tim moved to the mainland to work for China star Liang Wen-chong’s junior golf camp in 2016. Tim has also represented Hong Kong in the China National Game at Tianjin this year, fell just one shot short of the Bronze medal. “It’s an honour, and I’m very excited to take on my new position in HKGA as the HighPerformance Manager. Growing up my dreams have always been playing on the PGA Tour or becoming an elite coach to grow the game of golf. I know this is going to be a tough challenge and will face a lot obstacle, but I’m willing to contribute my best and hopefully can share my past experiences with the new generation of players. Thank you HKGA,” said Tim. “I’m delighted to secure Tim’s service. He has lots of playing experience from his amateur career to professional tours. And he will be responsible for training our players from the junior squad to the national team. He is here to help our players to perform their best and achieving our goals,” said Danny Lai, CEO of HKGA. HK GOLFER・DEC 2017



Simply Invincible: Williams Wins Fifth Year in a Row Fanling member Douglas Williams continued his remarkable winning ways with another victory at the Hong Kong Seniors Amateur Open Championship.


Daniel Wong

he defend ing cha mpion retained his title by a huge margin of 18 strokes on the Par-70 Eden C ourse. The “ i nv i n c ibl e ” W i l l i a m s i s totally unbeatable, winning his fifth title in five years. He carded 65 and 68 in the first two rounds and established at least a 16 -stroke lead over t he whole field. When asked about his thought before teeing off the final round, “You have to set a goal for yourself before every round. And honestly speaking, I would like to make 7 more birdies and win by 20 strokes today! Unfortunately, I just made 5 birdies and I am happy with that,” said Williams, who finished with a final round 68. Malaysian Calvin Wong ended with 69 to finish second overall and wins the 6064 age group. Ian Clarke from the United Kingdom finished third overall on a total of 228. Joseph Pethes, winner of Over 70 age group again, carded a final round 73 to finish fourth overall. “The HKGA always organizes the best tournaments in Hong Kong. I have said this for several years but it’s true. And I also want to recognize the volunteers and referees for your t ime, ef for t a nd help. T he cou rse is a lso i n great cond it ion,” said Williams. “To win this tournament for fifth time in a row, I have to say I feel pretty good. But I’m so happy that people come all over the world playing this event. As a member of the Hong Kong Golf Club, it’s great to see people come to play from different places.” I n tota l, 90 players sta r ted t he tournament including 42 overseas players from 12 different countries.



Douglas Williams of Hong Kong (right) receives the 2017 Hong Kong Seniors Open Amateur Championship trophy from Kenneth Lam, Vice President of HKGA (left)

OVERALL FINAL RESULTS 1 Doug Williams# 2 Calvin Wong* 3 Ian Clarke 4 Joseph Pethes^ 5 Robert Choy+ 6 Anthony Melloy 7 Anthony Taylor 8 = Chit Heng Chong Tom Sung


65 68 68 73 77 69 73 76 79 80 76 73 79 74 77 81 73 78 76 79 78 78 81 76 74 82 79

201 219 228 229 230 232 233 235 235

Notes: # denotes 55-59 age division winner * denotes 60-64 age division winner + denotes 65-69 division winner ^ denotes 70 & Above age division winner


Tip your hat to the champion - Doug Williams wins by an impressive margin of 18 strokes HKGOLFER.COM




Miguel Ángel Jiménez: The

Man, The Myth,

Legend The

Daniel Wong

Unorthodox in every aspect of his professional life, Miguel Ángel Jiménez is the man of the hour almost anywhere he goes, especially in golf circles. The 53-year-old Spaniard enjoys cigars, wine and winning golf tournaments, not necessarily in that order. Louie Chan talks to the world’s most interesting golfer. 30


The 53-year-old Miguel Ă ngel JimĂŠnez is living proof that there's more than power and fitness to succeed in professional golf

When did you start playing and where? I started playing golf in my teenage years at Torrequebrada Golf Club near Malaga in Spain. My eldest brot her, Jua n, was working as the Pro there and I used to go along and earn some money by collecting golf balls and doing some caddying. When I had a chance, I used to hit a few shots and watch the Professionals play tournaments as much as possible, and it was this that inspired me and made me realise I wanted to be like them and travel the world as a Professional Golfer. Do you have a favourite course? I have a number of courses I love around t he world for d i f ferent rea sons. For example, my favourite course in Spain is El Saler, which is an amazing course along the Mediterranean coast near Valencia and I like Royal Birkdale very much, where we have played The Open over the years. I also have favourite courses where I have very special memories of winning and Hong Kong Golf Club is certainly one of those. It is a great golf course, fun and challenging to play and has one of the best (if not, the best) clubhouse we visit on Tour! What’s been your best round? I have shot low rounds in tournaments but some t i me s t hey a re not t he mo st memorable rounds. What I mean is that a very memorable round could be one where, perhaps I have been a long way behind the

leader on the Sunday of a tournament and played a great round of golf to win. Sometimes a memorable round could be one where the weather is terrible, playing conditions are very tough and I have shot a level par round, when other players are shooting over par scores. This can be a great round too. What’s your secret in keeping competitive after age 50? I still work very hard. I practise and I train in the gym. Although I have been almost 30 years on Tour, it’s as important as ever to put in the hard work in order to give myself the best chance of playing well. I play a lot of tournaments these days on the PGA TOUR Champions for the over50s and this is a very competitive Tour. All the Pros have achieved a great deal in their careers and it is tough to win on this Tour. But I still love the competition and the feeling I get as I walk on to the 1st tee in a tournament. I am still hungry to win every week. You have spent half of your life playing on the Tour. You have played on all kinds of golf courses. Which style do you identify more with? I wouldn’t say that I identify with any style in particular, although I enjoy links golf very much. As Professional Golfers playing in so many countries around the world we have to be very adaptable to all styles, whether it be links, parkland, desert and resort-type courses, for example, and all of these create different challenges. Do you think winning on the Tour is about experience or power these days? Of course, if we are playing a very long golf course then the powerful hitters have a big advantage although it is incredibly important that your short game and putting is also in good shape. But as we know, so much of being successful in golf is dealing with the mental side of things and keeping your emotions in control on that Sunday afternoon in a tournament when you have a chance to win. That is when, I believe, that experience is so important.

AFP/Jeff Haynes

From left to right: Seve Ballesteros talks with Jose Maria Olazabal and Jiménez as they walk down the 3rd fairway during the practice round for the 71st Masters in 2007 32


Who’s your favourite playing partner at the Ryder Cup? And why? I could not say that I had a favourite playing partner. I had the most successful results with José María Olazábal and with Padraig Harrington but all the matches I played


Daniel Wong

Jiménez is still hungry to win every week




with different partners over the four years of playing Ryder Cup, were great experiences and something I will never forget. How well did you know Seve? What is your favourite Seve story? I was lucky enough to call Seve a close friend and he was certainly my greatest inspiration as a golfer. When I first started playing the European Tour in the 1980’s, Seve was this incredible guy we all admired and a member of a great group of Spanish gol fers on Tour. We t ravel led toget her around Europe playing tournaments and enjoyi ng a ma zi ng experiences a nd lot s of stories. Then in 1997 Seve chose me as his Vice Captain at the Ryder Cup at Valderrama and it was an honour to work alongside the maestro. Yes, he was a special man and someone I miss a great deal.

AFP/Alex Ogle

Jiménez celebrates winning the Hong Kong Open for a recordequalling fourth time (2004, 2004, 2012 & 2013) at Fanling in 2013 34


You have built a golf academy in your home town Malaga. How important it is to make golf more accessible nowadays? Thank you for giving me the chance to talk about the Miguel Angel Jimenez Golf Academy a s it is somet h i ng I a m ver y proud of and somewhere I spend a great dea l of t i me at when I a m i n Spa i n. I wanted to create a facility where families

or individuals from all backgrounds could come to learn to play this amazing game at an affordable cost. We have a great 9-Hole Par-3 course, practice chipping and putting areas as well as a big driving range and a technical area too. There is a team of very experienced professional golfers on site to teach beginners (or more experienced players) of all ages and I am very happy to say we have a memb er sh ip of over 100 kids and a very busy calendar of fun events. And you will not be surprised to hear that the food is an important feature of the Academy! We have a fantastic team r unning t he restaurant offering t ypical Spanish food. I also have a team running the Miguel Angel Jimenez Junior Circuit which is a year-long series of tournaments around Spain for children. Rather like the Tour, the children compete in events throughout the season and their results go towards an Order of Merit with the leading children competing in a Finale at the end of the year. It would be amazing to see a Champion of the future that started his or her golfing career on my Junior Circuit. But if not, I am sure they will learn many important life skills for the future and hopefully love the game of golf. HKGOLFER.COM

Which is your favourite AP model? My favourite AP timepiece is usually the one I am wearing at the time which, at the moment, is the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in pink gold. Over the years that I have been an Ambassador of the Company I have been lucky enough to have many different models from the collection, for example, the Equation of Time personalized to my home in Malaga, Spain and the Royal Oak Offshore Grand Prix. Watchmaker and Golfer - any similarities? I wish I had some of the watchmaker’s skills - those guys and girls are unbelievable. I have seen them working at the Manufacture i n L e Bra ssu s a nd t hei r precision a nd HKGOLFER.COM

patience is amazing. And, yes, as golfers we also require a great deal of precision in our skill in order to achieve the best result on the golf course and patience is certainly a n i mpor t a nt qua l it y to have. Bot h watchmakers and golfers are constantly pushing themselves to become the very best they can be.

Jiménez visits the AP Manufacture in La Brassus

We all know that you love wine and cigars. Which are your favourites? And why? I n pa r t ic u la r I love t he w i ne of Vega Sicilia from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain and the Cohiba Siglo V I cigar from Cuba. I enjoy many different wines and cigars, but my preference would be wine from Spain and cigars from Cuba. It’s all about personal taste and they are my particular favourites. Why do Tour players call you “The Mechanic”? Before I become a professiona l gol fer, I worked in a garage near my home in Malaga, Spain, although not as a mechanic. It may have started because people knew I used to do this, or because they know I love performance cars. Actually, I cannot remember when or why it began, but it seemed to stick!

Photo Courtesy of Audemars Piguet

Tell us about your relationship with Audemars Piguet? The fact that we have been together for 12 years already says a great deal about our relationship - it’s a special one. There is no question that the watches produced by Audemars Pig uet are of t he highest qualit y and lu x ur y and who would not feel incredibly lucky to wear one, but most importantly the relationship we have now is one of friendship and loyalty, which means a great deal to me.












PineCreek Golf Property Holdings Ltd does not provide Hong Kong properties



Rules Following the footsteps of inaugural champion Daniel Nisbet, Lleyton Hewitt lookalike James Marchesani becomes the second successive Australian winner of the PGA TOUR-China’s Clearwater Bay Open, writes Louie Chan.


a rchesani pips E n g l a n d ’s C a l l u m Ta r r e n a f t e r a n engag i ng f i na l- d ay battle at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club in Hong Kong to earn a full card on PGA TOUR-China in 2018. He sank a pressurepacked 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the first title of his pro career in Hong Kong. The Australian, who started the day 4-under as one of three co-leaders, shot a 3-under-par 67 at The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club for a 7-under total of 273 and a one-stroke victory over playing partner Callum Tarren (68) of England. Eugene Wong, whose father is from Hong Kong, shot a best-of-the-day 66 to secure third place, at 4-under, the Canadian’s best PGA TOUR-China result since 2015 when he finished fifth on the Order of Merit before playing the 2016 Tour. Australia’s Chris Wood (67) and New Zealand’s Fraser Wilkin (67) tied for fourth on 3-under, one ahead of Hong Kong No. 1 Jason Hak, a Clearwater Bay ambassador, who shot a 68 to share sixth place with American Joseph Gunerman (69). Marchesani spent much of the day trailing Tarren, and the round became a battle of two 27-year-olds looking for their breakthrough wins



as pros, with the Australian snaring an eagle on the par-5 15th and a birdie on the par-5 18th to eventually triumph. “I feel pretty good for a pretty good reason because the trophy’s mine. It’s been a long week but a very good one, and I’m very pleased to notch that first win,” said Marchesani, who tied for second in August’s Fiji International sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia. “I’ve had a couple of close looks at other tournaments, but the game was feeling good coming into this week and now I’ve come to the top. It was a good battle on the back, and Callum certainly pushed me to get that win.” Marchesani’s looks have drawn several comparisons to Lleyton Hewitt - he admitted: “I hear that all the time!” - and he showed similar grit to the Australian tennis legend by clawing back four strokes on the back nine. Marchesani, who played four years of college golf at Oklahoma City University, shot two birdies and four bogeys - including three in a row from the No. 5 – on the front nine to lie 2-under, while Tarren made the turn at 6-under. However, the gap closed to two after No. 10 as the Australian sank an 18-foot birdie putt and Tarren triple putted for a bogey. Marchesani then hit his tee shot on the par-3 14th to six feet and made another birdie before drawing level with an eagle on 15, as Tarren birdied.



Zhuang Liu/PGA TOUR China

James Marchesani becomes the second successive Australian winner of the PGA TOURChina’s Clearwater Bay Open HK GOLFER・DEC 2017


Marchesani’s looks have drawn several comparisons to Lleyton Hewitt

“I knew that I’d played the back nine well all week and that if I kept hitting some good shots, there were birdies out there,” said Marchesani, making his PGA TOUR-China debut. “I made a really good putt on 10 and that got the confidence up again. I probably hit my best drive of the week down 15 and only had a short iron in then had six or seven feet for eagle. Callum made a great putt for birdie there to let me know he was still around.” The pair were all level going to 18, where Tarren pushed his drive right and was unable to reach the green in two. Marchesani finished just left of the green with his second, chipped to six feet and then coolly sank the birdie putt for the RMB270,000 first prize. “The putt felt longer than it looked. It’s always a little bit harder when you know what’s on the line,” Marchesani said. “I was pretty pleased with the chip I hit down the hill to six feet, which became a lot further once I knew what the putt would actually mean. I took a few extra deep breaths, stepped up there, hit it on the line and she went in. It’s always good to know what a putt’s worth.” Marchesani is the event’s second successive Australian winner and said a few tips from inaugural champion Daniel Nisbet may have helped - and he may even follow his compatriot’s lead in playing across two tours after his victory earned him full membership on next year’s PGA TOUR-China. “I played behind Dan in the pro-am, and when we stopped between holes, we went back and forth with a few ideas about where to hit it, where not to hit it. It was good to get a couple of tips. Hopefully I’ll come back next year and defend, or another Aussie might pip me,” Marchesani said. “It’s still pretty early to decide, but PGA TOUR-China plays mid-year, which is the gap for our Australasia Tour, so it should work in pretty well. I can play on both and swing back and forth and play a full schedule for the entire year.” Tarren was disconsolate after his third runner-up finish in PGA TOURChina events. It was also his fifth top-10 in as many weeks, including two in 40


European Challenge Tour co-sanctioned events in China. “I just have to keep playing. I felt comfortable out there today. I’m feeling comfortable with my game. Winning is hard, isn’t it? Well done to James. He played 5-under on the back nine,” said the big-hitting Tarren, who last year shot a closing 62 at Clearwater Bay. “Obviously, I had a good 2016 PGA TOURChina, and I’ve had a good 2017 on the golf course. I just have to keep playing and see how it goes.” Hak, 23, had weekend rounds of 64-68 in front of his home supporters, including his parents and uncle, and an eagle on 15 was his Sunday highlight. “The eagle on 15th helped a lot. I just hit three good shots and made the hole look really easy,” said Hak, who won his first pro title in August. “I took a lot of good positives moving on from this week, especially the last two rounds. Hopefully I will keep that momentum going.” Hong Kong fans had further reason to celebrate when 16-year-old Taichi Kho finished 7-over (72-72-71-72) to finish as the joint low amateur with 17-year-old Chinese sensation Yuxin Lin, whose victory in the previous week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship earned him spots in the Masters Tournament and The Open Championship next year. HKGOLFER.COM

Well done HK Team - 4 players made the cut!

Taichi with his father Victor once again on his bag

Jason Hak had weekend rounds of 64-68

Eugene Wong secured third place at 4-under

Zhuang Liu/PGA TOUR China / Daniel Wong

Tarren Callum missed the title by one stroke

Taichi Kho finished as the joint low amateur




World's Golf Course Designer of the Year

World's Best New Golf Course




The Asian Swing

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The PGA TOUR’s annual Asian odyssey served up a marvellous treat for golf fans across Malaysia, South Korea and China during a spectacular month in October, delivering edge-ofyour-seat action for the most avid golf fans and those new to the game as well, writes Chuah Choo Chiang.

Justin Rose had started the final round eight shots off the lead and matched the third-best comeback victory in PGA TOUR history to win the WGC-HSBC Champions HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2017



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Pat Perez, a 41-year-old veteran, who was laughing all the way to the bank following an emphatic victory at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia 46


hree great tourna ments del ivered t h ree wor t hy champions, and each provided i n s pi r i n g t a l e s t h a t w i l l resonate along the region’s f a i r w ay s i n t h e y e a r s t o come. Golf is a sport that rewards hard work, relentless preparation, extreme attention to detail and a never-give-up spirit. Those attributes were identif ied in each of the champions of the three October events. The CIMB Classic, celebrating its eighth edition at TPC Kuala Lumpur, was hailed as a battle of the young guns with two-time defending champion and newly crowned Fed ExCup win ner, Just in Thomas, 24, headlining the US$7 million Malaysian showpiece alongside Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama, 25. Both the young stars are the epitome of today’s generation of golfers who is now dominating the sport in what is becoming quite an exciting post-Tiger era. Thomas and Matsuyama are lean, mean and fearless, and arrived in Malaysia as hot favourites following a combined 11 tournament victories over the preceding 12 months. Much was expected from the dynamic duo, both ranked in the world’s top-5, but by the

end of a thrilling week, it was a 41-year-old veteran who was laughing all the way to the bank following an emphatic, if not, fulfilling victory. Pat Perez is a self-confessed, happy-golucky golfer who opposes f itness or diet regimes and believes in enjoying life to the fullest. He wears cool high-top golf shoes and keeps his hair long and flowy which is reminiscent of 1980s rock stars. “I’m not going to change anything,” said Perez after running away with a four-shot triumph in Malaysia. “I’m still not going to work out. I’ll still have a bad diet and I’m going to enjoy myself. I don’t get ahead of myself, I don’t look in the past, I’m just kind of doing it. I think I’m the last guy that expected to win this week, to be honest with you. I did not think I was going to win.” Just over 18 months ago, the colourful American, who grew up in the same era as Tiger Woods, was sidelined following a shou lder i nju r y. W hen he bega n h is comeback, the gremlins in his mind planted seeds of doubt but he received a boost through a sponsor’s invitation to feature in the 2016 CIMB Classic. A tied 33rd seemed irrelevant then, but Perez went on to post a top-10 in his next HKGOLFER.COM

Justin Thomas clawed his way into a playoff with Australian Marc Leishman with a closing birdie in regulation and then made a stress-free birdie on the second playoff hole to win the CJ Cup in South Korea


which features the names of every player in the field in Korean language. As the tournament champion, his name was painted in gold. “The trophy is really cool. It’s very unique. I’m glad my name is in gold, so I know where it is,” he smiled. The Asian swing concluded in Shanghai with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson bidding to become the first man to hold three World Golf Championships titles in the same calendar year. Following three exquisite rounds of 68, 63 and 68, the long-hitting American opened up a commanding six-shot lead heading into the last round at the WGC-HSBC Champions. However, the powerful Johnson was uncharacteristically blown off course on a blustery Sunday, with a disappointing 77 ruining his hopes of making history. England’s Justin Rose seized advantage of Johnson’s mishap, firing a glorious 67 which included five birdies on his back nine to triumph by two shots from Brooks Koepka, Henrik Stenson and Johnson. It matched the third-best comeback victory in PGA TOUR history as Rose had started the final round eight shots off the lead. “The beginning of the day, I was playing for second,” conceded Rose, the Olympic Games gold medal winner in 2016. “It’s the kind of day you certainly don’t expect. It’s the kind of day you hope for, dream for but a lot of things need to go your way in order for a day like today to happen coming from eight shots behind, especially going against a player like DJ. Whenever you beat the top players in the world, that gives a tournament victory so much more meaning, and obviously with a leaderboard like we had today with Dustin, Brooks, Stenson, I take a lot of pride in winning this tournament.” Chuah Choo Chiang is the Senior Director, Communications of PGA Tour and based in TPC Kuala Lumpur HK GOLFER・DEC 2017

AFP/Jung Yeon-je

start before going on to lift the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Mexico for his second career PGA TOUR title. That victory sparked Perez to a career best 15th position in the final FedExCup standings during the 2016-17 season and victory at the CIMB Classic in October was validation that redemption does belong to those like Perez who keep up the fight when the chips are down. As Perez earned the plaudits in Malaysia, Thomas headed to the CJ CUP very much low on gas for his final tournament of 2017. An opening 63 was the rejuvenation that he needed in Jeju island, known as the Hawaii of Korea, but buffeting winds over the next three rounds in the nation’s first official PGA TOUR tournament ensured a dog-fight. Running purely on adrenaline, the 2017 FedExCup champion and PGA TOUR player of the year, Thomas clawed his way into a playoff with Australian Marc Leishman with a closing birdie in regulation and then made a stress-free birdie on the second playoff hole to land his career seventh PGA TOUR victory. “It’s an unbelievable honor to win the inaugural CJ CUP. It’s a great way to cap off the year. I’m really excited to do nothing for a while,” said Thomas. The likeable Thomas picked a trophy





Maker During the “Golf for Fifty Years” exhibition at the Bund of Shanghai, Rolex officially announced Li Haotong as the brand’s Testimonee. Louie Chan talks to the China’s No. 1 player about his new journey with the watch brand. Tell us about how you feel to become a Rolex Testimonee? It ’s a n honour to be par t of t he Rolex family and to stand with all the historical, legendary figures on the same platform. It is also a huge compliment and recognition to a professiona l gol fer. Wi l l keep me motivated to play and get better. I have spent some time to visit the “Golf for Fi f t y Yea rs” ex h ibit ion. T here is a timepiece which was the first ever diving watch on earth. Someone asked me to guess how deep could the watch go. I said the maximum should be 500m, but the answer was 12,000m! It’s unbelievable as the watch was made 100 years before! Do you recall the first time you received a call from Rolex? It was incredible and unbelievable. I have never imagined becoming a Testimonee for a top watch brand in the world before. AFP/Getty Images

How do you find the new Rolex Series initiative in 2017? The Rolex Series elevates eight world-class golf tournaments into unmissable sporting 48



occasions. As a Tour pro, I am aspired to compete on some of the world’s most iconic destinations. And the enhanced prize money offers bigger incentives. It is a double win situation for me – Becoming a Rolex Testimonee and playing in the Rolex Series. You have made history for China golf this season - shooting a brilliant 63 in the final round of The Open. How do you feel to be the standard-bearer of golf in China? I think it’s essential to sustain my passion in golf. Keep working hard every day and believing in myself. I am more aware of my role as an example for golf-loving kids in China now. All my experiences from amateur to professional taught me relentless effort is the only way to succeed. I believe golf has the brightest ever future in China. I have lots of respect for our predecessors includ ing Lia ng Wenc hon g a nd Z ha n g L ia nwei. For our generat ion, I wil l be join ing my close friends Dou (Zencheg) and Zhang (X i nju n) to play on t he PG A TOU R in the United States next season. I am sure more and more talented Chinese golfers will come up on the international stage. And I’m also looking forward to representing China again in the Tokyo Olympic 2020.

Rolex officially announced Li Haotong as the brand’s Testimonee

Photo Courtesy of Rolex

Can you recall how the week was at Royal Birkdale playing The Open? I c ou l d f e el how r e m a rk a bl e it wa s with my first inside the clubhouse. The Major at mosphere wa s ever y where – the clubhouse, the course, the fans. I was very nervous on the first tee in the opening round. But I just kept telling myself that playing a Major is just the sa me as ot her tourna ments. I set t led down well after the opening round, and the rest is history. I would say to be able to play your own game in the Major is all about mentality.


And I know you will be playing the UBS Hong Kong as well? I’m really looking forward to competing in t he U BS Hong Kong Open. It ’s a great event with a lot of history. I’ll be more fa miliar wit h t he course layout having played the tournament two years ago and will be looking to put in a strong performance and hopefully get a good first result on next year’s tour schedule. HK GOLFER・DEC 2017

“50 Years of Rolex and Golf” exhibition


©Rolex / Matthew Lewis




Rolex & Women’s Golf:

Uphold High Standards of Excellence Rolex celebrates a partnership of more than 30 years with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), the prestigious women’s championship and tour organizer.

Anna Nordqvist teeing off during a practice round at The Evian Championship HK GOLFER・DEC 2017


Rolex Testimonee Lydia Ko

R ©Rolex/Chris Turvey

olex counts leading LPGA Tour players among its Testimonees, including Major winners Alexis Thompson (USA), Yani Tseng (Taiwan), Anna Nordqvist (Sweden) as well as the exciting new guard with Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and legendar y golfers A nnika Sorenstam (Sweden) and Lorena Ochoa (Mexico). Women, such as these Rolex Testimonees, are changing the world, and the way the world sees women. They share the same pioneering spirit and commitment to excellence. Their courage and perseverance are an example to all, inspiring both men and women of all generations to greatness. In the last Major of 2017 season, Rolex Testimonee Anna Nordqvist has claimed her second Major title at The Evian Championship in a playoff following a closing round of five-under par. By achieving this momentous feat, the 30-year-old joins fellow Testimonees, A nnika Sörenstam, Juli Inkster and Lydia Ko, among the prestigious list of past champions at the beautiful setting of Évian-les-Bains, overlooking the shimmering waters of Lake Geneva. The first to congratulate Nordqvist, after sinking the winning putt on the 18th green, were fellow Swede Annika Sörenstam and Gary Player, both legends of the game and part of the Rolex family. The fifth Evian Championship winner said: “I didn’t know Gary Player was here; I was excited to see him. Annika has been a huge role model and a huge inspiration for me and it’s great to see her this week. Nordqvist continued: “It’s a dream come true, being from Europe too, winning The Evian Championship. I’ve worked really hard over the last couple of years - this year has been testing, but I am very proud of myself for keeping my head up and staying positive.”



Rol e x D i r e c t o r o f C o m mu n ic a t io n & Image, Arnaud Boetsch, said: “Rolex applauds A nna Nordqvist on her incredible achievement of winning The Evian Championship. This achievement demonstrates Nordqvist ’s extraordinary dedication and commitment to excellence a nd p e r for m a nc e at t he h i g he s t le vel - qua l it ies Rolex recogn i zes in a l l its Testimonees.” Lydia Ko, who became t he youngest ever Major w i n ner when she won T he Evia n Cha mpionship in 2015, f inished tied third in the 2017 edition, with a final round of 69. T he bra nd a l so uphold s t he ga me ’s sta nda rd s of excel lence t h rough it s sponsorship of t he LPGA’s top awards, such as the Rolex Player of the Year, the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year and the Rolex Annika Major Award for the player with the most outstanding Major championship record each season. The Evian Championship concluded with So Yeon Ryu, from South Korea, becoming the fourth winner of the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award, which was established in 2014 to recognize the player who, during HKGOLFER.COM


created the accurate, reliable and robust wristwatch to suit the active lifestyles of the 20th century, he set out to design the modern timepiece for both genders. His recognition of pioneering women was t ypif ied by t he swimmer Mercedes Gleitze. She effectively became the f irst R o l e x Te s t i m o n e e i n 19 27 w h e n s h e swam the English Channel wearing the new Oyster, the world’s f irst waterproof wrist watch a nd a fou ndat ion stone for Rolex’s success. Every woman who wears a Rolex has a story. One of passion and adventure. A story of a pioneering spirit who has pushed back t he l i m it s of per forma nce. T hese women epitomize the essence of Rolex since its very beginnings and what the Swiss luxury watchmaker stands for. Among them are t he brand’s Testimonees – at hletes, artists and explorers who have each created history, becoming role models for millions of women around the globe. Their quest for excellence is symbolized by the Rolex they proudly wear, an emblem that helps to define their impressive achievements and inspiring contribution to the world.

Annika Sorenstam (right) presents the 2017 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award to the current World number one player So Yeon Ryu HK GOLFER・DEC 2017

©Rolex / Chris Turvey

a c u r rent L PG A Tou r sea son , ha s t he most out sta nd i ng Major cha mpionsh ip record. Ryu joins the elite company of past winners, including Rolex Testimonee Lydia Ko, who picked up the prize in 2016. So Yeon Ryu won the ANA Inspiration i n A pr i l 2 017, a n d t opp e d t h e Rol e x ANNIKA Major Award points list with an additional top 10 finish in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open. Rolex is t he O f f icia l Ti mekeeper of t he f ive Major s i n women’s gol f: T he Evian Championship (France), the A NA I n spi rat ion ( USA), t he U. S. Women’s Open, the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (USA). T he bra nd is a lso a pa r t ner of the leading team tournament in women’s golf, the Solheim Cup, between the best European and US players. As a committed partner of the sport, Rolex wa s n a me d , i n 2 0 0 6 , t he Tit le Sponsor of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rank ings, t he f irst-ever comprehensive world rankings system for women players. Women have been at the heart of Rolex’s success since the company first opened its doors. When Rolex founder Hans Wilsdorf



Turkish Delight! Justin Rose wins back-to-back for the first time, as Antalya hosts the fifth Turkish Airlines Open. Charles McLaughlin reports from the spectacular Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, hosting the event for the second time. Photography by Charles McLaughlin

I Justin Rose wins back-toback for the first time 58


t’s appropriate that a key ingredient t o c l a s sic Tu rk i sh d el i g ht i s… e s senc e of Ro se! Fre sh of f h i s stunning victory in Shanghai, where he came from eight shots back to win, Justin Rose came to Turkey hoping to bolster his belated charge in the Race To Dubai. In the event, for the second week in a row, Rose found himself well off the pace – six shots back with nine to play on Sunday – but somehow managed to power through the field to win. In his f irst back-to-back win on tour, Justin faced a repeat of his (missed) playoff putt in the Masters against Sergio Garcia on the final green. With joint leader Nicolas

Colsaerts an inch or two closer to the hole, Rose drained his 10-footer nervelessly then watched as his opponent’s effort slipped by the left edge. H i s c l o si n g 6 5 wa s e n o u g h t o pip f i r s t- r o u n d l e a d e r C o l s a e r t s a n d t h e surging Dylan Frittelli by a stroke. With a m a i d e n w i n o n t o u r a n d a p l ay o f f loss to h is cred it , Frit tel l i is hav i ng a fantastic year. He really caught the eye here with a spectacular run of five birdies i n a row on t he f ront-n i ne , i nclud i ng three chip-ins! In contrast with his sparkling play in earlier rounds, joint overnight leader Shane Lowry stumbled on Sunday and was soon passed by the f ield. However, there was a welcome ret u rn to form for Pad ra ig Harrington in 4t h, who was left ruing some loose play on Friday, but otherwise put together some of the tidiest golf of the week. In Rose, the organisers undoubtedly got the champion they must have wished for. However, it’s also clear that Turkey and in particular Antalya was also a winner, with t he images being broadcast worldwide. The luxurious all-inclusive Regnum Carya resort was home to players, family, caddies, officials and media throughout the week and made for one of the most entertaining stops on Tour. The resort literally becomes part of the course, with the 16th tee perched atop a luxury villa! A s t he su n set a nd t he presentat ion ceremony began, sponsor Turkish Airlines had one final flourish up their sleeve with a d ra mat ic deliver y of t he trophy – by hoverboard! It was a f itting high-f lying climax to a superb week of world-class golf and hospitality. HKGOLFER.COM

Rose’s winning putt

Joint overnight leader Shane Lowry stumbled on Sunday

The 16th tee perched atop a luxury villa

Dramatic delivery of the trophy by a hoverboard!

Dylan Frittelli had a run of five birdies in a row on the front-nine





Spitting Image

For a game such as golf so tied-up by rules and hamstrung with etiquette, spitting is a blight on the game. As the professionals mostly of the PGA TOUR variety - empty to contents of their mouth with impunity, impressionable youngsters inevitably mimic their heroes in what is at best, inelegant and, at worst, vulgar and distasteful, writes Mike Wilson.


atching the world’s f inest male golfers go about their bu si ne s s c a n b e a confusing pastime one minute in awe of their raw athleticism, perfect judgment or subtle touch; the next being repulsed as they, all too commonly, spit on the tee, green, fairway, indeed anywhere they deem convenient. It’s nothing new. The ‘King’ Arnold Palmer was not beyond expectorating at a crucial moment. More recently, big, bad John Daly was often to be seen discharging the contents of his mouth, mainly in anger at a missed putt or wayward drive. In recent years, Tiger Woods, Sergio García, Keegan Bradley and now world number-one Johnson appeared to have increasingly aimed their spittle onto the field of play. World No. 1 Johnson was roundly - and correctly - criticised for his near-constant spitting during last year’s BMW Championship at Crooked Stick, which he won by three thanks to a gob-smacking second round 63. He may be one of the worst offenders, but he’s not alone. There are three mitigating characteristics to a



habit that is neither big nor clever. Firstly, there may be American cultural implications relating to the equally disgusting habit of chewing tobacco, something DJ, it is said, is wont to do during his round. Secondly, unlike football - association and American - and other intensely physically demanding sports, where removing excess saliva from the system is an essential part of the process, golfers do not need to clear their airways during a round of golf. Thirdly, all golfers are creatures of habit, of rout ine, of t he process. A nd once a spitting mannerism has been introduced to the technique, whether in satisfaction at a drive boomed long and straight or in anger as another three-foot putt lips-out, it’s hard to remove. But let’s also consider two other factors with two questions. First, ever seen an LPGA Tour player emptying the contents of her mouth on course, either in pleasure or displeasure? The answer, of course not; spitting is an aff liction of the male species, perhaps embedded in the old Spaghetti Westerns, a sign of masculinity, toughness, resolve.


AFP/Getty Images

Tiger Woods was a serial offender but was only criticised for spitting on the 12th green at the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic where the cultural norms differ




AFP/Robyn Beck

American Kevin Streelman spits into his glove before hitting from the 9th tee during the first round of the 2008 U.S. Open



Second, ever seen an NBA star hawking on the court? Again, of course not, because, despite being a high-intensity physical sport, the field of play is sacrosanct. Sweat is causing court cleaners enough trouble without adding to the problem. Tiger Woods was a serial offender but was only criticised for spitting on the 12th green at the 2011 Dubai Desert Classic where the cultural norms differ. Having missed a par putt and marked his ball, the then sporting superstar turned his head and spat copiously on the green. He was later reprimanded by the European Tour, which issued a statement saying the tournament director, “Has reviewed the incident and feels there has been a breach of the tour code of conduct and consequently Tiger Woods will be fined,” estimated to be in the order of between US$400 and US$16,000. Woods later sent an apologetic Twitter post, saying, “The Euro Tour is right - it was inconsiderate to spit like that, and I know better. Just wasn’t thinking and want to say I’m sorry.” Woods was also seen spitting on the tee in a previous round and drew some criticism, but wasn’t officially reprimanded. Then, after reviewing TV coverage of his

final round at the 2012 Northern Trust Open, Keegan Bradley apologised for his habit of spitting before various shots on the course. Bradley said he wasn’t aware spitting had become such a noticeable part of his lengthy pre-shot routine. “I really had no idea I was doing it," Bradley said. "And I feel bad. It’s something that I’m going to work on.” Bradley was not officially reprimanded. T h e R & A a n d Un i t e d S t a t e s G o l f Association’s Rules of Golf do not mention spitting specifically, either on the green, or any similar action within the field of play. The etiquette section states in part, “All players should conduct t hemselves in a disciplined manner, demonstrating courtesy and sportsmanship at all times.” Likewise, the PGA TOUR has no specific rule regarding spitting. However, the player handbook does state that players must, “Show respect for the game of golf” while avoiding, “Conduct unbecoming a professional golfer,” in any PGA TOUR activity. “A PGA TOUR player found guilty of conduct unbecoming a professional may be fined, suspended and/ or permanently barred from tournament play,” the handbook concludes,



those responsible for golf’s governance view the rules - and their enforcement - and their fabled etiquette as a pick-and-mix box of chocolates, choosing the strawberry crème whilst rejecting the hazelnut nougat. However, there may be a shard of light at the end of the tunnel. Buoyed by the success they perceived the Olympics to have had on the value of their, ‘product’, the PGA TOUR has entirely - if belatedly - embraced the thorny issue of drug testing and the critical removal of anonymity for any miscreants. Of course, spitting is not the stain on golf that the drug-taking most insiders believe ha s h it her to been somewhere bet ween commonplace and rife in the men’s game. But it is a blot on the landscape - literally and figuratively - of the game and must be at worst discouraged and at best, banned. In the mass media world we live in, tens of thousands of young, aspiring male golfers will continue to leave a bad taste in the mouth of those who follow the game. And, thinking outside the box, perhaps there is an opportunity for Kleenex to become an official supplier to men’s professional golf?

Mark Roe (right), European Tour winner turned coach and TV pundit, is particularly outspoken on the matter of spitting


AFP/Getty Images

the Tour talking tough but acting lightly. Of course, other than the Woods fine in Dubai - not even petty cash to the wealthiest sportsman on the planet - no professional player has been sanctioned, nor have those charged with upholding the values of the game sought to act to remove this disgusting and increasing habit to the annals of history where it belongs. But, one man who has put his money where his mouth is on the great spitting debate is former European Tour winner turned coach and TV pundit Mark Roe, who is particularly outspoken on the matter. "It's an absolutely disgraceful habit," said Roe, adding "I saw Dustin Johnson spit on the first tee at Riviera before he hit his tee shot and it was disgusting. "The problem is they keep sticking chewing tobacco into the side of their mouths; I guess it's a country thing over there. It's something the Swedes used to do on the European Tour, but to the credit of the Swedes they weren't very often seen spitting on camera,” continued the Englishman, concluding, "It's got to be stamped out. It needs to become a fineable offence on both the PGA TOUR and the European Tour. But, like the issue of smoking during play,



Golf Reveals Much About a Man As Craig Morrison looks into most of the First Golfers of The United States of America, from JFK to The Donald, golf, as we know, reveals much about a man.


e loves to golf, does the President of The United States of America. It’s reckoned President Taft was the 1st First Golfer. His predecessor, Teddy Roosevelt, may have played the game too, but it was Taft who first came out, who first openly played it, who first extolled it. “You know my tendency to golf,” he once wrote, “my sympathy with anybody who wants to play it, and my desire to spread a love for the game whenever I can. Golf is a splendid recreation which can be enjoyed with profit by the young and the old. It is in the interest of good health and good manners. It promotes self-restraint, and, as one of its devotees has well said, affords a chance to play the man and act the gentleman. It is the game of all classes, not a mere plaything for faddists, nor, as many suppose, a game for the rich man only.” And with those words, he teed it up for countless other commanders-in-chief to walk the fairways. Woodrow Wilson, who followed him into The White House, was very keen but less than useful. His scores were high despite a dedication to the sport that saw him notch up estimated 1,200 rounds while in office. After him, Harding played, almost equally enthusiastically. In fact, Warren G had Harding Park in San Francisco named after him. Next up, Calvin Coolidge golfed. Then there was Herbert Hoover: not a golfer. But FDR was useful before he contracted polio. As a student, he won the club championship



at Campobello Island Golf Club beside his family’s summer home in New Brunswick up in Canada. As President, he brought in the great public works projects which included Bethpage Park in New York, home to some of the nation’s finest municipal courses. And there’s a course in his name in Philly too. Truman didn’t play. But then came Eisenhower who was famously into golf. He had the putting green built at The White House, was a member at Augusta and, when back in Washington, played regularly on another Alister Mackenzie course at The Burning Tree Club in Bethesda, Maryland. JFK - one of the most skilful Presidential golfers - played at ‘The Tree’ too. So, did LBJ, Nixon and Ford. Carter wasn’t a golfer. But Reagan and then George H.W. Bush played, often at Burning Tree. But that club didn’t do it for more recent Presidents, presumably because it aggressively excludes women and the world has, mostly, changed. Clinton golfed. George W. as well, but in troubled times he learned to stay off the course as his critics found it convenient ammunition against him. Post 9/11, fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, it just didn’t look good on him. Next up, Barack Obama: the first person of colour to hold the great office and - let’s hope historians remember this too - the first Presidential golfer to play left-handed (not the first left-handed President). Barry played a lot. But he was cautious, to begin with. He didn’t play once during his first 100 days and, even as he got into the swing of things he rarely took advantage of the great courses available


to him, choosing instead, mostly, the military set-ups at Fort Belvoir and at Andrews Air Force base where the cost to the tax-payer was lower, and the accusations of prestige and privilege couldn’t be so easily levelled against him. As a candidate, Barry played basketball. As President, he became a dedicated golfer, playing 306 rounds in eight years in office. But conservatives were unforgiving. It has been ok for most US leaders through the 20th and 21st centuries to play golf, but they turned on Barry big-time, a jumped-up negro costing us money was the subtext to their complaints. And now, at time of writing, we have Donald Trump, the second person of colour (spray-tan orange, admittedly) to put his feet up on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office. Trump, despite his advanced age and girth, is maybe the best of all Presidential golfers. He’s a member at Winged Foot and owner of 18 wonderful clubs, not a decent set of forged irons and a few spare hybrids, but actual clubs, with courses and members and guests and hotels. For The Donald, there is no difference between desiring and doing. He just gets on. We can all learn from him, and golfers especially can learn a lot from him. Visualise the shot and hit it. Often it comes off. Picture your dreams and realise them, no matter how outrageous (and, in Trump’s case, ostentatious). Unlike his predecessor, President Trump has quickly thrown himself into the role of First Golfer, playing six times during his first month in office. (Your average golf writer doesn’t hit the course nearly as much.) Back when he was just a self-employed real estate developer with a sideline, in reality, television perhaps golf outings were racked with guilt, but now with a steady job he can get out there on the course again, not a care in the world. He has a funny old putting stroke yet is useful on the greens. His swing is idiosyncratic too, sweeping and swerving around his immense backside and waist. But Tiger Woods has been impressed at “how far he hits the ball at 70 years old,” adding, “he takes a pretty good lash.” And yet his hands are small, the subject of much meanness but here the subject of a serious point: almost all the really good golfers I’ve met have big hands. Yet Trump who raised his little paws aloft at a rally and announced he could hit a golf ball 285 with them - gets away with it. So, he is a man who can overcome shortcomings. Despite those diminutive digits, he is clearly 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

a man of excellent timing, some strength, some skill and supreme confidence, the ideal candidate to lead the free world. Or not? Golf, we know, reveals much about a man. It undresses him, reveals his true character. We hear this constantly because there’s much truth in it. In the P.G. Wodehouse short story, Ordeal by Golf, Alexander Paterson visits the narrator, The Oldest Member, to ask his advice about appointing a new treasurer at the Paterson Dyeing and Refining Company. The Oldest Member, a comedic sage whose name is never revealed, dispenses some sound thinking, worth quoting in full: “The only way of finding out a man’s true character is to play golf with him. In no other walk of life does the cloven hoof so quickly display itself. I employed a lawyer for years until one day I saw him kick his ball out of a heel-mark. I removed my business from his charge the next morning. He has not yet run off with any trust funds, but there is a nasty gleam in his eye, and I am convinced that it is only a question of time. Golf, my dear fellow, is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well. The man who can smile bravely when his putt is diverted by one of those beastly wormcasts is pure gold right through. But the man who is hasty, unbalanced and violent on the links will display the same qualities in the wider field of everyday life. You don’t want an unbalanced treasurer, do you?” We don’t know that America’s leader is hasty, unbalanced or violent on the links. We hear, however, from many sources, that he is not exactly a man to play it as it lies and is likely to lie as he plays. That God’s watching him when he’s alone in a patch of rough matters not to him, we might conclude. Samuel L Jackson claims Trump cheats. Oscar de la Hoya claims Trump cheats. Alice Cooper claims Trump cheats. Several prominent media commentators say the same. That’s actors, boxers, rock stars and journalists. The next terms in the sequence are buy-to-let investors, serial killers and priests: the full rogue’s gallery of golf partners lining up to make accusations. Newspapers, naturally, have run their own investigations into Donald’s rumoured dishonesty on the course. They’ve found lots of smoke and a little less fire. Here’s what they’ve found: if a man flies you to a golf course and his name’s on the plane, and his name’s on the sign above the clubhouse and if it’s an excellent layout, and he’s fun to be with, and the golf’s gratis and lunch is paid for, and if he miraculously finds his ball in the bushes, who’s complaining? Sure, the media has some good solid sources, but it’s dismissed speedily: fake news, Donald says. HK GOLFER・DEC 2017



First Tee Nerves AFP/Jim Watson

It is always a privilege as a caddie to stand on the first tee of the Old Course. However, as the Kilted Caddie explains, there is a world of difference in standing there holding a golf bag as to having a club in hand…



Golf legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player prepare to tee off on the 1st tee during the first round of the 78th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in 2014 HK GOLFERăƒťDEC 2017


David Frost plays from the bunker on the 17th of the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews in 1998


AFP/Ian Stewart

his event for most people coming here is probably the most singular, momentous and nerve racking in their golfing lives. It is usually the fulfilment of a dream to be in St Andrews and playing the most famous golf course in the world. Adrenalin kicks in and, in addition, there are usually a sizeable number of onlookers taking spectacle of the most iconic scene in golf. Indeed, the spot is now a major tourist attraction and on a summers day there can be quite a crowd. As caddies we often sense it in our players. You know the keen excited conversation, nervous laughter, the scurrying around the golf bag, the excessive number of practice swings. Some will just openly admit they are damn well nervous and don’t rate their chances of moving the ball too far. However, in most cases they hit splendid shots into the sea of green, which is the rather generous and wide area of the first and eighteenth fairways. In fact, it takes a pretty bad shot not to hit this ocean of fairway. However, last Saturday playing in the St Andrews Club Autumn Prizes Competition, I hit that pretty bad shot. In fact, I hit two of them. As I stood on the medal tee, I’ll admit to having nerves and also being rather under the spotlight, as the sun was out, and a good fifty onlookers had assembled behind us. Moreover, we were off back tees, right under the nose of the R&A clubhouse. I took out my driver as there was a wee breeze. However, I hit an almighty, careering hook which headed with great velocity towards the upper balcony of the white house next to the New Club. I felt it incumbent to shout a rather loud ‘fore’ as the ball crashed into the cars and startled looking tourists on the street. Oops! There was this stunned silence and a sense from the crowd that this game of golf had the potential for entertainment after all. Worst still I was wearing my cerise pink shorts and striped, orange Tom Morris socks, 70


which were doing nothing to help me blend into the background let’s say. I let my pa r t ners h it t hei r shot s up the middle and teed up a provisional. I had sudden ly become a major focus of attention to everyone in the local vicinity and of particular interest to resident Links householders, curious Asian tourists and people having left their cars parked next to the course. A keen silence prevailed as I proceeded to hit an almost identical shot. Absolutely mortified now, I could not bring myself to shout another ‘fore’ as I quickly reasoned that everyone in their right minds would have had their eyes peeled on my ball, as it headed dangerously and ominously towards the houses and cars, still parked on the street. On the upside there was no sound of brea k i ng gla ss, screa ms or i ndeed a ny angry shouts. There was just an uncanny and unsettling calm. A kind of amazed and amused silence as if people hadn’t quite registered what had happened or simply felt that laughing was not appropriate for the scene’s gravity. Apart from the voice of one small boy who I think wished me luck. When at University, my golf team captain HKGOLFER.COM

Miguel Angel Jiménez plays his ball back off the wall onto the road hole Green, the 17th, during his third round of the Open at St Andrews in 2010


like trajectory, but rather speedily, onto the caddie’s bald pate and over the wall out of bounds. And suffice it to say that this caddie was no longer smiling. Brodie then recounted how he’d had an American chap hit a wayward drive at the last onto the roof of 17th The Links and back onto the fairway. The chap then hit a slice onto the roof of Waldon House (14th The Links) and again back onto the fairway. He then pitched to ten feet and sank it for a par. Brodie said it was the best par there that he’d ever seen in 17 years of caddying. Well, on Saturday my last drive down 18th soared high above the rooftops of the houses on the Links but it went straight this time and ended up 30 yards short of the green. But alas there was no gallery to witness it and I do think the people that were there four hours earlier would not quite have believed it. I finish on telling you about a Mr Bird’s second shot into the 18th which I witnessed recently. Mr William Bird from the USA was across for a trip to celebrate his 65th birthday with some friends. He had hired a professional cameraman for the week and was taking things seriously. Anyhow, I happened to be out for a walk and stood behind the green to watch his approach shot from before the road. He hit, and it bounced a couple of times before the green at which point I said, ‘that is a good shot’. It then meandered up the valley of sin and kept a perfect pace and hyperbolic path into the back of the cup. Well done Mr Bird who it transpires hit an eight iron from 165 yards. What a birthday present. And I do hope your friends will be calling you Bill the Eagle henceforth. Please write to if you have any comment HK GOLFER・DEC 2017

AFP/Adrian Dennis

made an equally embarrassing scene for himself on that first tee. Except he fell onto it. He had imbibed in too many house gins at lunch in the annual Universit y/R& A match, didn’t overly negotiate the steps and ended up prostrate under his golf bag, much to the hilarity of several onlookers and a full bay window of that Royal and Ancient clubhouse. However, he did get up and smash one down the middle. Equally memorable stories relate to the adjacent 17t h a nd 18t h holes a nd were recou nted to me by Bro d ie who i s a n old school caddie who has seen it all as they say. First on the famous Road Hole seventeenth, he had a player in his group who had h it r ight up aga i n st t he wa l l a nd t hought he would tr y a nd emulate Jiménez’s incredible ‘wall shot’ in the 2010 Open. You k now when t he charismat ic Spaniard hit his ball hard into the wall and it rebounded in a pitch like trajectory, over his head, to land softly on the green. So, this chap stood ambitiously over his ball while his weathered caddie watched on and smiled with a knowing glee at Brodie. The man hit a hard blow, but unfortunately the ball ricocheted off the wall in no pitch


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Paul Dunne Louie Chan talks to the Irish young star and Audemars Piguet ambassador about his best ever round and most memorable shot. When did you start playing - and where? I started playing golf at the age of 10, at my local golf club Greystones. I loved it from the word go, and soon became obsessed with the game! I still spend a lot of time practicing there today.  What’s been your best ever round?  My best round would have to be this year, my 61 (-9) in the final round of the British Masters at Close House GC. I started the day 1 shot off the lead, and with 7 birdies and 1 eagle, I really couldn’t have asked for a better score in that situation. Shooting that saw me hold off Rory McIlroy and win my first European Tour event which was really special, and certainly one to remember.

Photo Courtesy of Audemars Piguet

Do you have a favourite course and why?  My favourite course would be the Marquess course at Woburn. I have won Open Qualifying there 3 years in a row. It really suits my game and I love everything about the place.    Who would be in your dream fourball?  It would have to be Tiger Woods, then Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as I’m a football fan! Which is your most memorable shot? Going back to the British Masters, when I holed my



chip on the par-3 18th for a birdie. It was a pressure shot as I wanted to get up and down at worst, so for it to go in was amazing. The atmosphere around the green was incredible so when it dropped, everyone was on their feet! I’ve also had 7 hole-in-ones which have been memorable.  What do Audemars Piguet and you have in common? How does the AP brand philosophy ‘To break the rules, you must first master them’ inspire you? Both myself and A P are in constant pursuit of per fect ion, at tent ion to deta il, a nd of course, m e t i c u l o u s t i m e k e e p i n g. I b e l i e v e w e b o t h differentiate ourselves in a way to stand out from the rest. I think these points alone show we have a lot in common, and why I am proud to be an AP ambassador.   You recently visited the AP Manufacture. How did you enjoy the experience? Any fun fact? I really enjoyed the visit, as it was incredible to see the work that goes behind these watches. You can never really appreciate it until you see it for yourself. It certainly makes you have a new-found appreciation for wearing the AP pieces. I found it amazing that it takes 1,000 hours to make a watch, which shows the quality and dedication that goes into each one. 



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