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The Masters Review

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION VOTED THE REGION’S NO 1 GOLF MAGAZINE

ISSUE 135

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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP PREIVEW

PATRICK REED CAPTAIN AMERICA TURNS MASTERS CHAMP

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| CONTENTS

HK Golfer Issue 135

May 2018

30 On the Cover:

27-year-old Patrick Reed held a 54-hole lead with three shots going into Sunday. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler all tried to come after him. But Reed never flinched and finished with a one-shot victory at Augusta National. Photo by AFP/Getty Images

Features

Plus…

26 | HK Junior Close

10 | Divots

Taichi Kho and Chloe Chan won their national Junior Close titles in their respective division, both by huge margins. By Louie Chan

By The Editors

28 | The Masters Review

A pictorial review of the last 30 days from around the world.

Championships Review

Patrick Reed, a.k.a Captain America, finished with a one-shot victory at Augusta National to win his first Masters and Major title. By Louie Chan

38 | THE PLAYERS

Championship Preview

No amateurs, no qualifiers, no sponsor exemptions and no club professionals, just the very best golfers on the planet going toe-to-toe. By Chuah Choo Chiang

50 | Bunker Mentality

A review of the modern-day greats’ rise and fall in the men’s global game. By Mike Wilson

56 | Tour Insider

Underdog stories regarding some of the Asian golf ’s leading stars. By Calvin Koh AFP/Getty Images

62 | Banished to the Castle

38 6

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The Kilted Caddie explains why he was sent back to The Castle Course from his newly gained position down at The Old Course. By The Kilted Caddie

News and events from Hong Kong and the region.

12 | In Focus By The Editors

19 | Tee Time

The Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” has returned to its utilitarian roots with a stainless-steel case as well as a host of other improvements. By The Editors

44 | Feature – Si Woo Kim

As the defending PLAYERS champion, the 22-yearold South Korean aims to become the first repeat champion at TPC Sawgrass. By Chris Cox

72 | Crossword

This issue: “2018 US Open” By Dr Milton Wayne

72 | Final Shot

Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck, former British military officer and businessman talks about his best ever round and favourite courses. By Charles McLaughlin

HKGOLFER.COM


HK Golfer

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION MAY 2018 • Issue 135

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

TIMES INTERNATIONAL CREATION

TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course

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 50 Bunker Mentality 56 Tour Insider 62 The Kilted Caddie 72 Crossword 74 Final Shot

In association with: thymedesign.hk Advertising: For advertising information, please contact: ads@hkgolfer.com For purchasing information contact: sales@hkgolfer.com For subscription information contact: subs@hkgolfer.com 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: info@hkga.com handicaps@hkga.com

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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

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| DIVOTS

Hublot Celebrates as Brand Ambassador Patrick Reed Wins the Masters Patrick Reed surged onto the world scene following heroic displays at the 2014 and 2016 Ryder Cups. In both encounters he was the leading points scorer for his team, earning him the title ‘Captain America’ for his spirit and patriotism. A f ive-time event winner, Reed now possesses one of the strongest records in world golf, adding Major victory to Ryder Cup, World Golf Championship (won at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in 2014) and PGA Tour crowns. Reed was joined at t he head of The Masters leaderboard by his fellow Hublot Ambassadors, Olympic Champion, Justin Rose, and world No.1, Dustin Johnson, who closed out their campaigns in ties for 10th and 12th, respectively. The scint il lat ing per forma nce of its Bra nd A mbassadors, head l i ned by t he continued heroics of Reed, comes amid an incredibly exciting 12 month for the brand and following the launch of the luxury watchmaker’s first golf-specific timepiece, the Big Bang Unico Golf. Inspired by the great game, the newest edition has been crafted with the golfer in mind, offering a mechanism for displaying the number of

strokes taken and counts the strokes per hole.   “There is no finer accomplishment in golf than securing victory at The Masters, and we would like to offer our congratulations to Patrick for securing his status amongst golf’s very finest with this win. He continues to show a propensity to perform at his best on the biggest stages and when it matters most, demonstrating all of the characteristics of a true champion,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, CEO of Hublot.

Mission Hills China Celebrates Golf’s Toughest Test Mission Hills Group in China is celebrating 15 years of its highly-popular Golfathon, a unique test of golf that has attracted more than 100,000 golfers from around the world since its launch in 2004. The 2018 Golfathon has officially teed off at the luxury Mission Hills Dongguan resort in southern China, presenting a challenge to golfers to play ten courses at the world’s largest golf facility over the next few months. Enthusiasts who complete the Golfathon within six days receive a special Iron Man award. There is also a prize for the top junior to complete the challenge. “Over the past 15 years, the Golfathon has attracted more than 100,000 golfers from 30 different countries to take on this toughest of tests at Mission Hills,” said Tenniel Chu, Group Vice-Chairman of Mission Hills. “The Golfathon has become a truly international celebration of golf and a symbol of the growth of the game in China over the past two decades. It is central to the Mission Hills vision to bring China to the world and the world to China.”   10

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The opening ceremony for the 15th Golfathon at Mission Hills Resort in Dongguan, southern China

Created in 2004 to celebrate Mission Hills’ recognition by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest golf club, the 15th Golfathon will run until 15 September 2018.  It offers golfers the opportunity to play 10 of the award-winning courses at Mission Hills in Shenzhen and Dongguan, designed by golf legends including Jack Nicklaus, Sir Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Justin Rose, Ian Poulter and Annika Sorenstam. HKGOLFER.COM


| DIVOTS

Upgrading Works at TPC Kuala Lumpur on Track The upgrading project at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s West Course is on track as it prepares to host the 2018 CIMB Classic, the only PGA TOUR tournament in Southeast Asia, later this year. Since November, renovation works to re-surface all the greens on the West Course with Tif Eagle Bermuda grass, and fairways and tee boxes with ‘Celebration’ Bermuda grass have progressed as planned. Both kinds of grasses used are identical to those at TPC Sawgrass, home to THE PLAYERS Championship, which is the PGA TOUR’s annual flagship tournament in the United States. “All 18 West greens were successfully re-turfed in mid-March and are now in the growing-in phase while the re-turfing exercise on six remaining tee boxes and six fairways will be completed by the end of May, proceeded by a three-month growing-in period,” said TPC Kuala Lumpur Head of Agronomy, Mohd Nizam Othman. By the end of September, the West Course is earmarked to be in prime championship condition to test the PGA TOUR’s leading stars at the CIMB Classic later in October and also provide TPC Kuala Lumpur members with greater playing experience. Mohd Nizam said a minimum green speed of 12 on the stimpmeter would be achieved upon completion

of the project while the upgraded fairways will present a new level of firmness which creates ideal competition conditions similar to other PGA TOUR host venues. The major make-over at the West Course has been delivered through a joint effort between TPC Kuala Lumpur, PGA TOUR and course architect Parslow and Winter Golf Design. Some modifications include repositioning bunkers and creating new tees to enhance the original design strategy off the tee.


Global Focus Satoshi Kodaira Claims Maiden PGA TOUR Win Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira defeated South Korea’s Si Woo Kim in a playoff to win the 2018 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Kodaira, who trailed Kim by five shots heading into the final round, shot a five-under 66 to finish 12 under for the tournament. Kodaira and Kim tied the first two playoff holes before a birdie on the third were enough for Kodaira to take the title. It’s the first PGA Tour win of  Kodaira’s career. Entering Sunday, the 28-year-old had failed even to register a top-10 finish. Consistency was the key for  Kodaira. He missed just two of the 14 fairways and reached 13 greens in regulation. Kim, meanwhile, reached six fairways and 11 greens in regulation. Before making the trip to Hilton Head, Kodaira was trending upward. He made the cut and finished 54th at the WGC-Mexico Championship in March and tied for 28th at the Masters earlier this month - his best finish at a Major tournament. Photo by AFP/Getty Images


Asia Focus Rahil Gangjee Ends 14-Year Title Wait India’s Rahil Gangjee ended his barren run that stretched over a decade by closing with a threeunder-par 68 for a one-shot victory at the Panasonic Open Golf Championship. Gangjee admitted he had self-doubts after not being able to enjoy much success since his last Asian Tour win in China in 2004. However, it was his sheer willpower that brought him back into the winner’s circle after enduring years of frustration. Despite the immense pressure on 18, Gangjee managed to hit his bunker shot out to within 10 feet of the pin. The 39-year-old would go on to sink that decisive birdie and win his second Asian Tour title at the JP¥150,000,000 (approx. US$1,370,000) event. Gangjee’s last win on the Asian Tour came in 2004 in China where he beat a top field that included Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes Phillip Price, Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo. He had several close finishes since then, most notably at the Panasonic Open India in 2014 when he lost in a playoff to S.S.P. Chawrasia. Photo by Asian Tour


Local Focus Taichi Kho Finished HK Junior Career on A High Note The 17-year-old teenage golfing star defended his Hong Kong Junior Close title to end his junior career in Hong Kong. A resident and student in Discovery Bay, Kho made the best use of his local knowledge on his home course. He shot a total of 204 over three rounds, 19-stroke less than second-place Yue Yin Ho. “This will be my last junior tournament in Hong Kong. It’s a perfect way to end my junior career in Hong Kong, to finish on such a high note,” said Kho, who has signed up to play for the University of Notre Dame in the U.S. later this year. Kho earned his first victory at the 2016 Hong Kong Junior Open, then later secured his first professional win at the Hong Kong PGA Order of Merit Leg 1, becoming the first amateur to win the event. Kho has also advanced through the qualifying tournament to earn a spot in the 2017 UBS Hong Kong Open. Taichi Kho (left) and Yue Yin Ho (right) Photo by Daniel Wong


CLUB

Away from the Fairways PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROLEX | TEE TIME

“PEPSI” HAS RETURNED PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE ONLY IN WHITE GOLD, THE ROLEX GMT-MASTER II “PEPSI” HAS RETURNED TO ITS UTILITARIAN ROOTS AT BASELWORLD 2018, WITH A STAINLESSSTEEL CASE AS WELL AS A HOST OF OTHER IMPROVEMENTS. THE WATCH HAS BEEN FITTED WITH A NEW, FIVE-LINK JUBILEE BRACELET - BUT WITH A SPRING-LOADED OYSTERCLASP FOUND ONLY ON ROLEX SPORTS WATCHES. The new Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

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A The famous red-andblue rotating GMT bezel, which inspired the model’s nickname, “Pepsi,” is here executed with a Cerachrom bezel insert 20

HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

lm o s t a s i nt r i g u i n g a s t h e Oyster case flanking the screw-down crown. d is co v e r y o f n e w w atc h e s That recognisable Pepsi bezel frames a nearly every year at Baselworld is the scratchproof sapphire crystal, with the nowguessing games that precede it, iconic Cyclops lens over the date window at especially as regards Rolex. Few 3 o’clock. The bicolour bezel’s 24-hour scale s aw coming the timepie ce can be synchronised with the red GMT hand that led off Rolex’s 2018 collection - a new on the dial to quickly and easily read the time version of the classic “Pepsi”  GMT-Master in a time zone other than your own, while the hour and minute II  in “O ys ter s te el ”, h a n ds a n d d ate a ll featuring several “Few saw coming to the continue to display the significant updates timepiece that led off Rolex’s local time. on both the inside T h e f am o us re d and outside. 2018 collection - a new version and-blue rotating GMT The 40-mm case of the classic ‘Pepsi’ GMTbezel appeared on the made of Oystersteel Master II in ‘Oystersteel’.” very first 1955 model, - R o l e x jarg o n fo r w hi ch insp ire d th e 904L stainless steel - is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 model’s nickname, “Pepsi,” is here executed meters. Robustness aided by a solid steel, with a Cerachrom bezel insert. With red and fluted-edge caseback that is hermetically blue ceramics that are exceptionally resistant screwed down (with a special tool that is to scratches, corrosion, and the effects of exclusive to Rolex) and the integrated crown ultraviolet rays, which could otherwise dull the guards emblematic of the GMT-Master II’s vibrant colours over time. HKGOLFER.COM


The 40-mm case made of Oystersteel - Rolex jargon for 904L stainless steel - is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 meters

Speaking of patents: Rolex has 10 of them pending for technologies used in this watch’s all-new movement, Caliber 3285, which makes its debut in this model. Incorporating Rolex’s patented, energy ef ficient, magnetic-resistant Chronergy escapement, the movement is selfwinding utilizing a bi-direc tional rotor, equipped with the brand’s exclusive blue Parachrom hairspring, which is 10 times more precise than the traditional type, and stores a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. The other significant feature that Rolex fanatics will note right away is the bracelet - in the historical five-link “Jubilee” style rather than the more common three-link “Oyster” style. Created specifically for the first Rolex Datejust in 1945, the Jubilee bracelet was designed to be supple and comfortable, though it remains a subject of debate among connoisseurs of vintage and modern Rolex. HKGOLFER.COM

There is also a new 18 CT Everose Gold version for the new GMT-Master II

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Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, 1982

L

aunched in 1955, the Oyster Perpetual G M T- M a s t e r w i t n e s s e d t h e r a p i d expansion of intercontinental travel in the latter half of the 20th century. It even became the official watch of Pan American World Airways, better known worldwide as Pan Am, the mos t prominent American intercontinental airline at the time. In 1959, a major event marked the partnership: the first non-stop Pan Am Jet Clipper flight from New York to Moscow. The captain was wearing a GMT-Master, which was used as a navigation aid during the flight. In 1982, Rolex introduced a new movement that allowed the hour hand to be set independently of the other hands. To mark this evolution, and to avoid any confusion with the existing GMT-Master watches, the models fitted with the optimised movement were named the GMT-Master II. From then on, using and setting the watch became easier and more intuitive. In 2005, Rolex replaced the aluminum with ceramic - a further innovation. As a pioneer in the design and creation of ceramic components, the brand developed its knowledge and expertise to produce its monobloc bezels and ceramic inserts in-house. In 2007, the brand registered the name “Cerachrom”, and the components have since been known as the “Cerachrom bezel” and “Cerachrom insert”. For optimal legibility, the numerals and graduations are moulded

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Rolex advertised the GMT-Master on the cover of Time Magazine in the 1950s

into the ceramic and then coated with a thin layer of gold or platinum via PVD. The GMT-Master, a true “tool watch”, evolved continually to offer increasing technical performance. The GMT-Master II has won over a much wider audience, proving itself to be an ideal watch for crisscrossing the globe. HKGOLFER.COM


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HK Team Prepares for 2018 WUGC Hong Kong will send Men’s and Women’s team, each consists of 3 players, to participate the 2018 World University Golf Championship (WUGC), from 16-19 May at the Pradera Verde Golf Club in the Philippines, writes Louie Chan.

T

Daniel Wong

Matthew Cheung (left) and Terrence Ng (right)

Isabella Leung (left) and Michelle Cheung (right) HKGOLFER.COM

h e W UG C m a i nt a i n s it s status as a favourite, not only among the world’s amateur golf tournaments but also, a m o n g t h e c o mp e t it io n s of International University Sports Federation. The WUGC always takes place on magnificent courses and has travelled to different continents. Tiffany Chan pulled off one of the greatest results in the history of Hong Kong golf by winning the 2014 WUGC individual title in Switzerland. The HK golfing golden girl beat a strong field that included two members of 2014 US Curtis Cup team at the Crans-sur-Sierre course in the heart of the Swiss Alps. This year, the HK Men’s team consists of Matthew Cheung, Terrence Ng and Jonathan Lai; while Isabella Leung, Michelle Cheung and Jasmine Chee form the HK Women’s team. These are all the top amateur players who are currently studying at University or graduated in 2017. “Our Men’s and Women’s team have been working really hard. They went down to the tournament course in the Philippines for training last month, and they all seem to like the course. They all have been playing well and other than one player from the Women’s team, they all played the tournament course, so they know what to expect.  As a coach, I know how hard these guys worked, and we try not to put any extra pressure on them. We have a pretty strong team this year, all we can ask from them is to try their best. The WUGC is one of our biggest team tournament this year. The other major team tournaments are Asian Games (Indonesia) and Asians Pacific Amateur Championship (Singapore),” said Tim Tang, High-Performance Manager of the Hong Kong Golf Association.   For more information about the 2018 WUGC, please visit https://wugc2018.com/. HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

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“Unbeatable” Kho and Chan Crowned Hong Kong Junior Close Champions Taichi Kho finished his junior career in Hong Kong by winning the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship by a huge 19-stroke margin, writes Louie Chan.

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Daniel Wong

Chloe Chan (Overall Girls’ Division) and Taichi Kho (Overall Boys’ Division), the 2018 Hong Kong Junior Close Champions

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a ichi Kho and Chloe Cha n won t hei r nat iona l Junior Close titles in their re spec t ive d iv ision , bot h by hu g e m a rg i n s , at t h e Discovery Bay Golf Club. 17-y e a r - o l d K h o , a s t u d e n t a t t h e Discovery College in Discovery Bay, was unbeatable on his home course. The teenage golfing star shot a total of 204 to defend his overall Boys’ championship title by a 19-stroke margin. Yue Yin Ho and Ryan Leung finished second and third at 223 and 232 respectively.

"It was a great week, a nd I ’m rea l ly pleased with the outcome. I feel like all the work I have put into my golf recently is really rewarding. I came out pretty rusty and lost two golf balls on Thursday. But I feel like that my local knowledge really helped me. I made the right decisions and stays pat ient, a nd somehow made nine birdies during that round gave me a lot of momentum going into the second day. I was able to finish strong with an underpar score. On the last round, the back nine got quite windy and gave all of us difficult playing conditions. But DB being my home course, I was able to hit all my shots in all the right places and made smart choices. So, it def in itely helps by k nowing t he course so well," said Kho. 14-year-old Chloe Chan also claimed the overall Girls’ champion by a huge margin. The Hong Kong national team player shot a total of 224, 11 strokes less than secondplace d S el i na Li (235). I na ra Sha r ma finished third at 238. Leading final scores: Boys’ Division: 204 - Taichi Kho (66 70 68), 223 – Yue Yin Ho (75 72 76); 232 – Ryan Lam (78 78 76); 234 – Jackson Chong (82 78 74), Jason Fan (82 72 80). Girls’ Divisions: 224 – Chloe Chan (77 72 75), 235 – Selina Li (79 74 82); 238 – Inara Sharma (81 78 79); 241 – Tiffany Wu (85 74 82); 243 – Stephanie Wong (81 81 81). For more information about the Hong Kong Junior Close Championships result, please go to w w w.hkga.com/eng/ events/20180403.aspx?p=l

HKGOLFER.COM


Taichi Kho wins the Overall Boys’ Division by a 19-stroke margin

Yue Yin Ho finished runner-up in the Overall Boys’ Division

Roars like a tiger!

Taichi lines up for his putt

Chloe wins the Overall Girl’s Division by an 11-stroke margin

HKGOLFER.COM

Selina Li finished runner-up in the Overall Girls’ Division

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2018 MASTERS REVIEW

AFP/Getty Images

Catch Me If 30

You Can HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

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Patrick Reed and caddie Kessler Karain cross the Sarazen Bridge on the 16th hole during the final round of the 2018 Masters

“Captain America” is now the Masters champion. Patrick Reed picked up the nickname with his stellar performance at the last Ryder Cup. At the 2018 Masters, the 27-year-old Texan held a 54-hole lead with three shots going into Sunday. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler all tried to come after him. But Reed never flinched and finished with a one-shot victory at Augusta National, writes Louie Chan.

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A lot was made on the Sunday’s round about the Reed-McIlroy matchup and their last Ryder Cup showdown

AFP/Getty Images

Patrick Reed is presented with the green jacket by Sergio Garcia during the green jacket ceremony after winning the 2018 Masters

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P

atrick Reed’s victory marked his first-ever Major win and made him the ninth firsttime major winner in the last 10 Majors. His victory burnt down all the narratives that had been established coming into the weekend: Tiger back in the Masters field for the first time in three years, Rory McIlroy going for a career Grand Slam, Spieth trying to get over the 12th-hole-shaped monkey on his back, and Justin Thomas looking to solidify the run he started last summer with his own green jacket. Instead, Reed just showed up at Augusta on Thursday, shot a 69. Then followed up with a 66 on Friday and a 67 on Saturday to give him the 54-hole lead and put him three shots ahead going into Sunday’s round. And he wasn’t done there. Spieth played majestically on Sunday, tying the final-round course record at the Masters with a 64. He went 5-under through the first nine holes, which led to some TV broadcasters begin signaling the 62-watch alarms. And then Spieth followed that up with some truly special holes on the back nine: a birdie on 12 followed by an astonishing birdie putt at 16. His tee shot on the 18th clipped the last branch in his way, dropping his ball some 267 HKGOLFER.COM


The golden young generation of American golfers - Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth

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Tiger Woods on hole 1 during the final round

Top: AFP/Getty Images; left: ©Augusta National 2018

yards from the green. His 8-foot par putt for a record-breaking 63 narrowly missed on the right. Spieth put up the most unlikely fight and was on the verge of the greatest comeback in the Masters history. He started nine shots behind going into the final round and was inches away on two shots from a chance at another green jacket. But Reed just held on all day long, When the roars for Spieth sounded around Augusta, Reed was listening. As Spieth crept up the leaderboard, drawing nearer and nearer to where Reed sat for much of the day at 14-under, Reed held steady. He found a way out of every jam - each of Reed’s three bogeys on the day was followed up by a birdie within the next two holes - and every errant shot he hit was quickly remedied. He finished the day with a 71, his only round of the weekend not in the 60s, but it was exactly enough. A lot was made before (and during) Sunday’s round about the Reed-McIlroy matchup and their last Ryder Cup showdown. But Augusta National proved to be a much tougher opponent than anyone Reed could have faced head-to-head on Sunday. He started the day with a three-shot lead, but bogeyed the opening hole, seemingly giving his opponents a chance. He’d go on to finish the front nine

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©Augusta National 2018

Jordan Spieth birdies hole 16 during the final round

Rickie Fowler acknowledges patrons of Augusta National during the final round 34

HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

at even par, but with the surging Spieth and a quietly resilient Fowler in front of him. McIlroy, meanwhile, will have to wait another year for a shot at the career Grand Slam. Trailing by three shots to start the final round, he closed to within one shot after two holes. That was as close as he came. McIlroy’s putter betrayed him, and he was never a factor on the back nine. He closed with a 74 and tied for fifth. When Reed bogeyed hole 11, it looked like a prime opportunity for Spieth to make his move. But sure enough, right after the window opened, Reed slammed it shut again with birdies on hole 12 and 14. Each time Reed’s competitors thought they’d found a way in, he locked it down. Reed walked up to the 18th green while echoes of cheers for Fowler - who’d birdied to get within one of Reed - still seemed to ring. Fowler holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 67. He had to settle for his third runner-up finish in a Major. He left the scoring cabin when Reed two-putted for par down the slippery slope on the 18th green and waited for a chance to greet Reed. ‘‘Glad I at least made the last one, make him earn it,’’ Fowler said with a grin. HKGOLFER.COM


Masters champions Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tom Watson playing the Par-3 Contest

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A scoreboard is seen as Patrick Reed plays the fourth green during the final round of the 2018 Masters

LEADING FINAL SCORES 1

Patrick Reed

United States

69 66 67 71

273

2

Rickie Fowler

United States

70 72 65 67

274

3

Jordan Spieth

United States

66 74 71 64

275

4

Jon Rahm

Spain

75 68 65 69

277

5

Rory McIlory

N. Ireland

69 71 65 74

279

Cameron Smith

Australia

71 72 70 66

279

Henrik Stenson

Sweden

69 70 70 70

279

Bubba Watson

United States

73 69 68 69

279

9

Marc Leishman

Australia

70 67 73 70

280

10

Tony Finau

United States

68 74 73 66

281

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Top: ©Augusta National 2018; Left: AFP/Getty Images

Reed’s reception at the 18th green seemed to be just a little less warm, fitting of his place among his fellow young Americans. Currently the holders of all four major tournaments are Americans aged 27 and under. Starting with Brooks Koepka’s win at the U.S. Open, then Spieth’s victory at the Open Championship, followed by Thomas’s takeover at the PGA Championship. The young golfers on the PGA Tour are all vying for golf superstardom. Sunday proved to be Reed’s day of reckoning, as he firmly demonstrated that nothing scares him, even being a final-round leader at Augusta National. He sure isn’t the most popular man on the tour, but he proved on Sunday he should be one of the most feared. “A lot of people, for a long time, maybe don’t say his name as often as they should. That’s what I think,” Justine, Reed’s wife, was saying shortly after her husband completed his win. “I’ve always thought he’s a great player. That’s what he did today. He showed his true colors.” “I walked up to the first tee and had a really welcoming cheer, but then when Rory walked up to the tee, you know, his cheer was a little louder,” said Reed. “But that’s another thing that just kind of played into my hand. Not only did it fuel my fire a little bit, but also, it just takes the pressure off of me and adds it back to him. You had a lot of the guys picking him to win over me, and it’s just kind of one of those things that the more chatter you have in your ear and about expectations and everything, the harder it is to play golf.”

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THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

The

Truest

Test in

PGA TOUR

Golf

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No amateurs, no qualifiers, no sponsor exemptions and no club professionals, just the very best golfers on the planet going toe-to-toe. Chuah Choo Chiang gives his preview of THE PLAYERS Championship.

Fan experience is built into the DNA of the Pete Dye-designed TPC Sawgrass Stadium course HKGOLFER.COM

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T

PGA TOUR

Tiger Woods was over the moon when claimed the first of his two PLAYERS Championship in 2001 40

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he illustrious list of champions is second to none and includes golfing giants such as Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Fred Couples, Adam Scott, Nick Price, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Jason Day and Rickie Fowler. Throw in one of the richest prize purses in the world of golf at US$10.5 million, this showpiece event on the PGA TOUR glitters amongst the rest where its home venue at TPC Sawgrass offers what players believe to be the truest test in the game. And to top it all, it showcases the strongest field assembled anywhere around the world where there are no amateurs, no qualifiers, no sponsor exemptions and no club professionals, just the very best golfers on the planet going toe-to-toe to battle for the right to be known as THE PLAYERS champions. Welc o me to T H E PL AY E R S Championship, the PGA TOUR’s flagship tournament. Exempl if y i ng excel lence, ever y facet representing THE PLAYERS has a touch of prestige and class as it annually provides the stage for drama, golf ing history and excitement to unfold at the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass.

Such has been its growing stature since its inauguration in 1974, commentators and golfers have labelled it as the unofficial ‘f ifth major’ in the men’s game. But in realit y, T H E PLAY ERS Championship should probably be best known simply as THE PLAYERS, where the event’s name is stylised in caps for one reason that it stands above the rest. T h e w h o ’s w h o i n m e n ’s g o l f w i l l gather at TPC Sawgrass from May 10 to 13, knowing that victory will come with a champion’s cheque of US$1.89 million plu s ot her perk s i nclud i ng a f ive-yea r exemption on the PGA TOUR. And oh, it comes with bragging rights to be known as THE PLAYERS champion. Rickie Fowler, the 2016 champion, said: “It’s one of the toughest courses we play all year. Probably the toughest field that we play all year. So, you got to be - I mean whoever is winning is taking care of business, beating the best players at the time and conquering one of the toughest courses that we play.” “The f ield is as strong as any f ield in the game of golf,” professed Adam Scott, T H E PL AY ERS cha mpion i n 20 0 4. “ The tou rna ment has ga i ned stat u re throughout the years.” When 14-time major winner Tiger Woods HKGOLFER.COM


South Korea’s Si Woo Kim stunned the field last year to emerge as the youngest PLAYERS champion

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champion in 1999 and now a TV pundit, warned: “It tests basically everything from a mechanical and hitting standpoint, as well as to a mental approach. This golf course is tough. You’ve got to have all facets of your game working if you want to contend around here.” One of the key features of the Pete Dye-designed Stadium course is the fact that it was created with the fan experience built into its DNA. This fan friendliness spreads throughout the tournament experience including all the modern amenities and technology that today’s fans expect, but the highlight by far is the views of golf which are unlike any other tournament in the world. The closing stretch of holes including the famous island-green par 3, 17th hole has become as familiar as any on the golf calendar. Food, fun, charity and junior golf initiatives, golf merchandise, kids’ zone, dedicated autograph zones, recycling efforts and even a church chapel service form the many activities and services surrounding THE PLAYERS Championship. More than 200,000 fans have come through the turnstiles annually. PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan has often been asked how he would define the status of THE PLAYERS Championship. “It’s our showcase of excellence. We continue to do everything we can to enhance every facet of this event. And we do that so that you all and our fans can talk about its significance. This is one of the greatest championships in the world, and we’re excited about it. “Our focus is making it the best championship it can possibly be, the best championship in the world, and how people assess it, how the media assess it, how our players, what their perspective on it, that’s part of the public discourse. But we think we’re going to compete like heck to continue to do everything we can to raise the profile of this great championship.”

AFP/Getty Images

claimed t he f irst of his t wo PLAY ERS Championship in 2001, he was over the moon. “It is special to be able to win a championship like this, on an extremely demanding golf course, with probably the best field assembled in all of golf - all of golf for the entire year. It is extremely rewarding to do that. And like everybody is saying, it’s probably the fifth major,” said Woods. Those yet to have their names enshrined in the Roll of Honour are driven to do so as it provides the gloss to their CV. Jordan Spieth, a four-time Major winner and the FedExCup champion in 2015, is amongst those gunning for success this May. “It is the toughest tournament to win in golf, and recognising that makes you know who you’re playing against, and at this stage, and this is a major championship,” said Spieth. Its depth is probably the reason why no player has succeeded in defending his title. South Korea’s Si Woo Kim, who stunned the field last year to emerge as the youngest PLAYERS champion, will take another stab at history. “I would like to change that,” he said. Aside from contending against the crème de la crème, players have to negotiate the Stadium Course, which some merely says messes with golfers’ heads. David Duval,

Chuah Choo Chiang is Senior Director, Communications of the PGA TOUR and is based at TPC Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

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FEATURE

Kim’s No Kid:

Si Woo Kim Continues to

Grow

As the defending PLAYERS champion, the 22-year-old South Korean aims to become the first repeat champion at TPC Sawgrass, writes Chris Cox.

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ostalgia litters the champions’ dining room at TPC Sawgrass, where framed portraits of Si Woo Kim adorn dark wood walls and mementoes of his highest achievement sit proudly atop mantelpieces. Fond memories of the 22-year-old’s triumph at THE PLAYERS Championship remain fresh inside the doors to this exclusive room, not far from the Stadium Course, where he won the event in stunning fashion last May. The memories all came rushing back to the South Korean when he returned earlier this spring to the site of his win. “It’s my first time (coming back) since lifting up the trophy last year,” he said. “Coming back to this course has been so amazing. To see my pictures up on the wall, to drive up to this course, it brings back a lot of memories.” Kim was the youngest winner in PLAYERS’ history when he captured the 2017 event at age

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21. But he doesn’t look much like a pupil these days. He’s back at the Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on this day to unveil his signature TPC Sawgrass menu item - Korean barbeque short ribs - and donate his championship-winning driver to the club, alongside other past winners’ clubs like Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Now, the two-time PGA TOUR winner look s ever y bit t he pa r t of a sea soned veteran. “My first win at (2016) Wyndham (Championship), I was actually very nervous, because I didn't have any experience winning,” he recalled. “But entering PLAYERS, I was going for my second win, so I felt a little more comfortable in that sense. But going into that season, I was battling back injury, and I was feeling nervous just being at the fifth major.” That nagging back injury was merely one part of Kim’s challenging adjustment to life on the PGA TOUR. The Seoul, South Korea, native not only struggled to get accustomed to everyday life in

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AFP/Getty Images

Si Woo Kim got up and down 10 times during a bogey-free Sunday round to win THE PLAYERS Championship last year

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Si Woo Kim was the youngest winner in PLAYERS’ history when he captured the 2017 event at age 21

AFP/Getty Images

the United States. He also had to re-earn his TOUR card after missing the cut in each of his first six starts in 2013 - which came after he already deferred his debut for six months because he wasn’t yet old enough to compete (the PGA TOUR has a minimum membership age limit of 18 years old, and Kim earned his card at 2012’s qualifying school at just 17 years, five months). Add in that recurring back problem last season - which plagued him not only during his PLAYERS win but in the weeks that followed - and it’s evident his early years on TOUR have been anything but easy. “I think coming to the States, and living in the States, has helped me really mature as a person,” he said. “The first couple of years I had a really hard time adjusting. I was really lonely a lot of the time, but I think living here and fighting through that has helped me really mature and grow as a person. “I think the food was a tough part for me, and also transportation,” he added. “In Korea, when you’re done (playing) you drive, but here, since the country is so big, you have to fly everywhere. So, for me, that was really difficult, and just not having a lot of friends here.” Now, more than five years later, his steady growth and maturity both on the course and off appear to be on full display. He earned back his card after two solid seasons on the Web.com Tour - which included a win at the 2015 Stonebrae Classic. Kim then reintroduced himself to the PGA TOUR with authority in 2016. His rookie season saw him advance all the way to the FedExCup Playoffs, becoming one of just two rookies to earn a spot in the TOUR Championship, joining eventual PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Emiliano Grillo. Kim’s rookie season was highlighted, of course, by his win at in Greensboro, which came, thanks in part, to a course-record, 10-under 60 in the second round. That 60 included eight birdies and an eagle. His 21-under 259 tied the course record and made him the youngest player to win on TOUR that season.

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With first-win jitters out of the way, Kim notched his second victory the following year at THE PLAYERS, where he once again became that tournament’s youngest winner. He got up and down 10 times during a bogey-free Sunday round, went 16-for-22 in scrambling for the week and boldly opted to use his driver off the deck on the par-4 14th, 270 yards from the hole. That shot landed on the front part of the green, helping him make par. The win made Kim one of only four players in the last 25 years with two tournament titles before his 22nd birthday, joining Woods, Sergio Garcia and Jordan Spieth. “I was very proud of Si Woo, to see how he was focused and kept calm throughout the tournament,” said fellow South Korean K.J. Choi, an idol of Kim’s and the 2011 PLAYERS champion. “I really saw the bright future of Korean golf, to see a young guy like Si Woo win the PLAYERS Championship. I was really proud of him.” It was Choi who aided Kim in his path to victory in Ponte Vedra Beach, as he provided valuable insight into the Stadium Course layout during practice, before sharing his own experience and emotions of being atop the

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K.J. Choi (right) and Si Woo Kim remain the lone South Koreans to win THE PLAYERS

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Kim believes the pressure of high expectations following THE PLAYERS hindered him late last season and early this year, as evidenced by the mixed bag of results thus far for the now-22-year-old. He had a trio of top-10 finishes, finishing third at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, 10th at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and tied for ninth at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play in late-March. But he has finished no higher than 35th in any other start. He’s currently 49th in the FedExCup Standings and 50th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Sound familiar? “Entering last year, I noticed that all of the players in the field were ranked higher than me,” he said, laughing. Kim will carry an air of confidence with him into this year’s PLAYERS Championship. He understands how to navigate the vaunted Stadium Course, has experienced the adrenaline that comes with a Sunday round atop the leaderboard and now knows what it feels like to return as a champion. He faces a big test as all the TOUR’s big guns - Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Jason Day, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed - have already won tournaments this season. It has all the makings of a repeat performance. “My shot-making has been great, my putting has been great, and it’s given me a lot of confidence in my game,” he said. “I know the short game is very important at this course and this tournament, so I’m going to go in with a lot of confidence and just work hard on my game.” That confidence has always been a work-in-progress since he first burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old in 2012. And with all the adversity he faced giving way to newfound maturity, he believes he’s positioned himself for a long career in the United States. “I just need to eat Korean food,” he said, laughing.

HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

AFP/Getty Images

leaderboard ahead of Kim’s final round. It’s no surprise, then, that the 47-year-old was one of the first to reach out to the burgeoning star following his victory. “K.J. actually gave me a call after I won THE PLAYERS, and he congratulated me that way,” Kim recalled. “It’s such an honour and an amazing feeling to share that with another Korean, to have two Koreans win this tournament. “When I went back to THE CJ CUP, I brought the trophy back to Korea, and we took a nice picture together. Going forward, I hope to win more tournaments for Korea. It’s just been an honour to share that with K.J.” Choi and Kim remain the lone South Koreans to win THE PLAYERS, and both will take their shot at a return to the winner’s circle May 8-13 at TPC Sawgrass. Any title defence will not come easy. No PGA TOUR player has ever won The PLAYERS in consecutive years. “I actually heard that after I won last year,” he said. “Someone told me that there hadn’t been any back-to-back champions. I’ve noticed a lot of champions that come back don’t play well. I would like to change that, and I’m preparing hard to come back and defend my title this year.”

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BUNKER MENTALITY

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Banking on the

Rankings

Mike Wilson reflects on the risers and fallers in the men’s global game and attempts to identify the modern-day greats.

Greg Norman, #1 on the OWGR for 331 weeks over 11 spells in the midst of the most indepth competitiveness in world golf HK GOLFERăƒťMAY 2018

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© Augusta National 2017

O Tiger Woods celebrates after winning his maiden Major at the Masters in 1997 52

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ver the years golfers come and go, some even come back again for a second shot at stardom, whilst ot her d isappea r a l most as mysteriously as t hey originally appeared, which is why greatness in golf needs to be measured if not in generations, then certainly in decades. It’s hardly the breaking news to announce that, 10 years ago, one Tiger Woods was leading the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR). Perhaps slightly more noteworthy is that Spaniard Sergio García was on his coat-tails in second place way back then, followed by Tiger’s great rival Phil Mickelson, Irishman Pádraig Harrington in fourth, with Fijian Vijay Singh competing for the top five. Five years on, in December 2013, it is arguably more newsworthy that Tiger remained as golf’s Alpha Male, considering his meteoric and catastrophic fall from grace when colliding with a tree and fire hydrant outside his Florida home in November 2009. By then, Spaniard García had collapsed, back in 20th place, fallen out of love with the game as he fought - and consistently failed - to win a Major title he craved, and, in truth, his talent deserved. Big Phil, courtesy of a maiden Open Championship win at Muirfield was still

up there in fourth, the ‘Ice Man’ cometh, Henrik Stenson, inside the top-10 five years earlier. One notable entrant into the top-50, in 49th place, Rory McIlroy, the new kid on the block, the heir apparent to Tiger’s crown as the best - and at his best - unbeatable exponent of men’s professional golf. Up to the arrival on the scene in 1997 of the utterly dominant force that was Tiger Woods, #1 in the OWGR alternated, on merit, between Bernhard Langer, the world’s first world #1. Followed by, at various times, Seve and Greg Norman, who traded blows like a pair of heavyweight prize-fighters, top spot changing hands between the pair on no fewer than 10 occasions. Norman, a credible candidate for the best golfer of all time - he was competing and winning in an era of unprecedented talent at the top - went on to top the OWGR six more times, 11 in total. Faldo, Woosnam, Couples, Els and Woods all dared to take the Great White Shark down a peg or two, holding arguably the most highly-prized accolade in the game for the last time in December 1998. Enter Tiger Woods. Others came and went. Ernie Els, David Duval, Vijay Singh, who was the last man to top the rankings in March 2005 before Woods went on a quite extraordinary run of winning golf, staying at #1 until Lee Westwood briefly HKGOLFER.COM


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series of Byzantine, complicated mathematical calculation (now we know what he did during those interminable hours spent in the air) have been able to call themselves, ‘World number-one.’ Who’s next in line to halt the inexorable march of power-golfer Dustin Johnson at the top of the world and become the 21st holder of the coveted crown? Of the runners and riders on endurance and durability, it would have to be Sergio García, a decade close to the summit. In practice, more probably relative newcomers, Justin Thomas or García’s compatriot John Rahm or Japanese youngster Hideki Matsuyama, who would, if successful, become the first Asian player in the 32-year history of the OWGR. Quite a feat if he can achieve that. But, Greg Norman, #1 on the OWGR for 331 weeks over 11 spells in the midst of the most in-depth competitiveness in world golf; or Tiger Woods, 623 weeks across 10 spells covering 13 years, which of the two is – at least in terms of the OWGR – first amongst equals? Probably Norman, based mainly on who else was around and interrupting his inexorable march to the top. But, let there be no doubt. If Woods, back now in the top-1,000 were to claw his way back to the summit of the sport, now that would be the greatest achievement not only in golf but in modern-day sport.

Dustin Johnson became the world number one golfer since February 2017, a position he is yet to relinquish HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

AFP/Getty Images

inherited the crown for an unbroken run of 281 successive weeks at the summit. Still more heirs apparent, from German wunderkind Martin Kaymer, who managed eight weeks on top. Luke Donald (56), Rory McIlroy, 95 weeks across seven spells at #1, a disappointing return for a young man expected to sweep all before him. Adam Scott was making a fleeting appearance at the top in 2014, on the back of his 2013 Masters victory. Since then, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day performed a lightweight version of the ‘Seve and the Shark show’. The American holding top spot four times to the Australian’s three, before Dustin Johnson, his enfant terrible days seemingly behind him becoming Numero Uno in February last year, a position he is yet to relinquish. And, whilst those who reached the summit but were unable to set-up camp there could rightly claim to have been, on a given week in a particular year to have been the best player on the planet. Others, most notably Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson - alongside García, surely the best players never to have been OWGR #1 - Henrik Stenson and Harrington have, like Mickelson and García, made their mark by way of longevity. To date, only 20 men in the world of professional golf since the-then IMG boss Mark H McCormack introduced the result of a

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TOUR INSIDER

As as It

Real Gets

Asian Tour

Asian Tour's Calvin Koh shares his favourite underdog stories regarding some of the Asian golf ’s leading stars.

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Gavin Green clinched his maiden Asian Tour title at the 2017 Mercuries Taiwan Masters HKGOLFER.COM

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Calvin Koh (right) hosts the press conference after Younghan Song (left) won at the 2016 SMBC Singapore Open

S Asian Tour

ports offers the purest of all human emotions, and it’s real as it gets. It’s not fake and does not set out to deceive. I had the privilege of getting up close and personal with many of golf ’s leading stars in my last decade with the Asian Tour. Each had compelling stories to tell and being given uncensored access to the trappings of their minds; there’s always a life lesson to learn. Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Gavin Green of Malaysia sat through a rollercoaster ride of emotions in 2017. From being denied yet another win and learning the passing of his grandfather at the Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea, Green showed great character, picked himself up and would go on to clinch his maiden title at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters two weeks later. As the young Malaysian would describe, ‘the defeat in Korea was hard’, but it was never too tough for him to ‘try harder and win’. It was a great comeback story that would be retold to future generations to come. I love the underdog stories as they show that even superheroes can be brought down to earth. Unheralded Korean Younghan Song emerged as the man who rewrote the headlines when he held his nerve to pull off a one-shot triumph over former world number one Jordan Spieth to lift the SMBC Singapore Open title in 2016.

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His takeaway from the winner’s press conference was not one that speaks of his sense of entitlement but a priceless selfie with Spieth, which was enough to be kept in his memory and photo bank for a very long time. Form is temporary, but class is permanent. Losing form or confidence is all part and parcel of sports as many golfers will attest. While wins will be celebrated and remembered, what will be imprinted into the minds of people is a character too. India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia led for three rounds at the UBS Hong Kong Open but fell short on the final day for what would be another incredible victory outside India. But even in defeat, Chawrasia accepted his loss was ‘part of the game’ and he would ‘do better the next time around’. The humble Indian is a son of greenkeeper in Delhi. He went through his own struggles but stayed true to his humble grounds. Sport, in its purest sense, is a mirror and reflection of ourselves as a human being. It tells a lot about oneself. To these guys, take your bow as you have exemplified the true meaning of sports. Calvin Koh heads the press operations and media partnerships for the Asian Tour. HKGOLFER.COM


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and the China Tour Order of Merit. Pang Zheng, CGA Secretary-General, hailed the launch of the Asia Pacific Classic. “The Asia Pacific Classic will present new opportunities for China golf and promote the growth of the game in Asia. It will be a great tournament and a truly competitive one for golf fans to enjoy as the players will do their best to challenge for the title,” Pang said. Asian Tour CEO Josh Burack expressed his deepest appreciation to the host venue, which has been a long-time partner of the CGA. “The Asian Tour is excited to send our players to Henan Province to compete with the China Tour players at the Asia Pacific Classic. The St. Andrews Golf Club has been hosting China Tour events for many years, so we are honoured to hold our tournament at their prestigious club which has been such a reliable partner of the CGA and Chinese golf.” Fan Zhiqiang, Chairman of the St. Andrews Golf Club, is hopeful that the tournament will boost the golf industry in the region. “We are committed to hosting professional golf tournaments and we will continue to help develop the Chinese golf and as well as sports industry. St. Andrews Golf Club welcomes all players to come, and enjoy the hospitality of the Central Plains,” he said.

Bowen Xiao, China Tour and Asian Tour full membership golfer HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

Asian Tour

T

he A sian Tour will return to China for the inaugural Asia Pacif ic Classic, which is slated to take place at the St. A ndrews Golf Club in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, from May 17 to 20. The US$300,000 Asia Pacific Classic, cosanctioned by the Asian Tour and the China Tour, will be promoted and operated by Beijing based promoter CGD (Beijing) Sports Industry Co., Ltd (CGDs). The Asia Pacif ic Classic, which is the Tour’s second stop in China this season, will feature a 156-man field that comprises of 80 Asian Tour professionals and 70 players from the China Golf Association (CGA) and the China Tour, as well as six sponsor invites. T he tou r na ment welcome s Rolex a s its Official Timekeeper and is part of the Asian Tour’s strategic partnership with the CGA where the goal is to grow and develop professional golf in the region.   The champion of the Asia Pacific Classic will earn a one-year winner’s exemption o n t h e A si a n Tou r w h i l e C h i n a Tou r professionals, who join as associate members, will have their earnings counted towards the Asian Tour Habitat for Humanity Standings

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Banished to the Castle

THE KILTED CADDIE

Image courtesy of VisitScotland

The Kilted Caddie explains why he was sent back to The Castle Course from his newly gained position down at The Old Course…


The famous Swilken Bridge at the Old Course in St. Andrews HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

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O The R&A is the pinnacle and example to the world of golf 64

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k I’ll admit it. I have two massive and rather lofty golfing ambitions. One is to become a member of The Royal and A ncient i n St A nd rews a nd t he other to be sent as a journalist to Augusta to cover the Masters. The first is virtually a no-hoper. In fact, I would say that there is about as much chance of me being ‘put up’ for the R&A as me going up to Oxbridge or my hair growing back. For the kilted caddie is not in the Royal and Ancient’s good books at the moment, after I wrote an article for this publication, which resulted in my very nearly having my license withdrawn from the Links Trust and hence my livelihood. At the start of last season, I was ushered into see a very serious and matter of fact looking Caddie Master who held a copy of the said article, alongside another piece of paper which transpired to be my final letter of warning from the Links Trust. Yes, I had been in trouble before when I painted a tongue in cheek picture of the typical St Andrews caddie drinking many pints of lager and smoking rather a lot. Apart from these literary infringements, I have a pretty unblemished history as a

caddie on the Links, even a rather positive one if I may say so myself. A n y w a y, w i t h m y l a t e s t a r t i c l e I was now, by all accounts, touching the boundaries of bringing the ‘reputation of caddies into disrepute’. Slightly shocked a nd aggrieved I shared t his wit h some friends who quite rightly pointed out if this was in fact possible? Fair point. But further and seriously, my article had seemingly caused a bit of a ‘rumpus’ in the upper echelons of the Royal and Ancient, and I presume the Links Trust, and by all accounts I am treading on very thin ice. Moreover, I was ‘punished’ as such by being sent back to The Castle Course from my newly gained position down at The Old which I had been looking forward to. This is a bit like being sent to Coventry I suppose or being put in the corner to stand and face the wall as happened back in primary school. My article did state that the R& A was in some manner ‘elitist’ but what’s wrong with that? I mean Oxford and Cambridge are elitist and it’s a very good thing. We need el ite i nst it ut ions l i ke we need to aspire to the elite in ourselves and try our best. It’s all well and fine. Don’t take this the wrong way chaps. HKGOLFER.COM


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‘professional foul’ and other accepted, crass and outlandish behaviour. We are clean, upright and advocate fair play. Indeed, selfregulated fair play. Let’s get ourselves well away from that fine line that demarcates elitism from snobbery. So, I’m very much of the opinion that a couple of fine caddies in your ranks may be a very good thing altogether. I’m sure Old Tom would have been well up for it? Indeed, as I am. Now, as for working at Augusta next spring I’m very settled on the idea and waiting patiently for the call. Just like I’m waiting for an invite to Meghan Sparkle’s wedding bash. I’m really looking forward to m i x w it h fel low w riters i n t he new Press mansion, enjoy the pimento cheese, cray f ish etou f fee, some bra ised brisket of b e e f a nd of c ou r s e , a we e d rop of Crozes-Hermitage! In fact, I dare say after that I will be able to pen a ver y n ice a r t icle. A nd I swea r I won’t even ment ion t he Roya l and A ncient. Well unless I’ve been put up by t hat stage and in which case t he r e p o r t w i l l b e ou t s t a n d i n g a n d m o s t complimentary indeed. Please go to thekiltedcaddie.com to find out more about The Kilted Caddie.

AFP/Don Emmert

However, I think the major issue was i n p ok i n g a bit of f u n at t wo eld erly gentlemen who had become rather semiconscious and in a blissful state of repose, toge t her on a cha i se long ue. But for heaven’s sake, old gentlemen and young for that matter, are probably doing this in all sorts of golf clubs, and chaise lounges, up and down the country, indeed across the wide world. It’s not a shameful or poor state to get into. It’s rather good for you actually. Churchill swore by it. Daily. It doesn’t matter. Have a thick skin about that sort of thing. It’s not particular or a slight to the club that is the Home of Golf and its governing body. 'I mean it's all going swimmingly for you guys at the moment, the coffers have never been fuller and ladies are now in the ranks. And good talented lassies I’m sure. Yes. I have no problem with that. It’s right and proper. Good 21st century stuff. However, let ’s get ever yt hing in perspective here and not act unreasonably to caddies with delicate a nd sensit ive d isposit ions (a nd wayward pens!) You are t he pinnacle and example to the world of golf and govern a very noble a nd t reasu red ga me. It ’s t he R& A not F I FA . We a re not i n t he ga me of t he

Going to Augusta to cover the Masters is every golf journalist’s dream HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

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ADVERTORIAL

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EVENT

2018 United Hearts Charity Golf Tournament The 2018 Charity Golf Tournament hosted by the United Hearts Youth Foundation Photography by Daniel Wong was successfully completed at the Hillview Golf Club in Dongguan, Guangdong. The event has been held for sixteen consecutive years to raise funds to build schools in the mountain areas of China. In October 1999, a group of volunteers coalesced their efforts to serve the community by helping children. United Hearts Youth Foundation was officially registered as an NGO in 2000 with an objective to provide the children in Hong Kong and rural China with more learning opportunities and better school environment. Since then, United Heart’s visiting team has been exploring suitable sites in the rural areas to build schools. They witnessed the establishment of the schools in Hunan and Guizhou in May 2001 and attended the inaugural school ceremonies. Until now, schools are built every year to provide more opportunities for the children, especially those living in distant areas, to receive education in nearby schools and shorten their commuting time. This year, over 100 enthusiastic golfers signed up for the Charity Golf Tournament again. David Young, Chairman of United Hear ts a nd Joh n ny Wong, Cha irma n of Event Organising Committee gave welcoming speeches to kick-start the event. Dr Austin Wu was the Gross Stableford individual champion, while Gary Ng won the Nett Stableford individual division title. The HK Impaired Golfers Association Team won t he Gross Stableford team division title, and the Philip Wong Team was the Nett Stableford team champion. Va r i o u s s p o n s o r s i n c l u d i n g DB S Shenzhen Branch, Hillview Golf Club, Golf007, Equinix Hong Kong Ltd., UPP Indoor Golf Bar, King Power Group (HK), Munsingwear, Le coq sportif, Srixon, XXIO, TaylorMade-Adidas Golf、Porterline, The One Golf Club, Waterfall Sports & Wellness, Golf Corner, Hong Kong Honma Golf Co., Ltd. and Katana Golf, etc., had contributed to the success of this event. HKGOLFER.COM

The Shenzhen Branch Manager of DBS presents a RMB30,800 cheque to David Young, Chairman of United Hearts Foundation

The HK Impaired Golfers Association Team won the Gross Stableford team division title HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

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A two bedroom lateral apartment, overlooking the prestigious Cadogan Square. Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge, London, UK • Guide price £6,250,000

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2 bedrooms Shower room Reception room Kitchen

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3 bedrooms apartment with views over the world famous Royal Albert Hall. Albert Hall Mansions, Kensington, London, UK • Guide price £4,850,000

• • • •

3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms En suite shower room 3 reception rooms

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Jason NORTH

Sebastian NEWALL

M: + 44 (0) 7977 036 397

M: + 44 (0) 7716 860 571

T: + 44 (0) 20 7935 5797

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E: j.north@barnes-international.com

E: s.newall@barnes-international.com

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CROSSWORD

2018 US OPEN ©2018 Dr Milton Wayne

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ACROSS

DOWN

1. See 16D 4. See 22D 6. See 19D 10. See 11D 11. (& 5D) Hoping to reclaim crown he won at Chambers Bay 13. (& 23A) Young Japanese star, last year’s joint runner-up 14. See 16A 15. (& 25A) The “Wee Ice Mon”, a 4-time winner 16. (& 14A) Augusta legend with most wins by an amateur player 17. (& 18D) 2018 host course 23. See 13A 25. See 15A 26. (& 3D) Paternal commemoration on Sunday of tournament every year 27. See 20D 28. This year’s host state (3,4)

2. See 8D 3. See 26A 5. See 11A 7. See 12D 8. (& 2D) Legendary Scottish champion, only man to win 3 consecutive titles 9. See 24D 10. See 21D 11. (& 10A) Youngest ever US Open winner 12. (& 7D) South African, last winner here in 2004 16. (& 1A) Defending champion (picture) 18. See 17A 19. (& 6A) Only man who can win Grand Slam! 20. (& 27A) Only German winner, Pinehurst 2014 21. (& 10D) 6 times a bridesmaid! 22. (& 4A) “Golden Bear”, his first pro win was a US Open 24. (& 9D) Former World #1 with the largest margin of victory

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WIN "THE GOLFERS" PRINT To enter, complete the crossword and send a scan or photo of the completed grid to Crossword@HKGolfer.com, with “May Crossword” as the subject. Remember to include your name, address and contact number. Entries close on 15 June 2018. ONE LUCKY WINNER WILL BE DRAWN FROM THE CORRECT ENTRIES.

A luxury print, measuring 38” x 26”, has been produced and is available exclusively in Asia through the HK Golfer. Each print is accompanied by a printed key identifying each of the characters, and makes the perfect gift for any golfer. Yo u m ay a ls o v isi t H KG o l f e r Sh o p. co m, w r i te to store@hkgolfer.com or call us on 3590 4153 if you wish to purchase a print for only HK$888 (inc. free delivery).

PREVIOUS ANSWERS

Congratulations to C.H. Leung of Yuen Long who won the March crossword

Hill & Adamson, “The Golfers” HKGOLFER.COM

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FINAL SHOT

Hesketh Golf Club in Southport

Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck Charles McLaughlin talks to the former British military officer and businessman about his best ever round, favourite courses and how he made his hole in one. When did you start playing golf? I started to play golf with a very old set of wooden shafted clubs inherited from my father’s cousin on the Tidworth Golf Course when I was serving with airborne force and based in the Garrison in 1969. I was a fair cricket batsman and applied my stroke play to the clubs and then as now over hit hence my current handicap of 29! However, the combination of exercise, fresh air and good company was and is compulsive! The only time that I have taken lessons was with my late wife on the Gold Coast of Australia. How often do you play? I try to play every week as I am a member of the ‘Dad’s Army’ group at the Shek O Country Club. In reality, we simply get to lunch but enjoy it nonetheless. In addition, every two years we make a golf tour, and this year we shall be heading to Dornoch for a five-day trip. What’s been your best ever round? Difficult one to answer this as it is difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff as there have been so many mediocre rounds. However, I think the best that I can recall was in Sanya, Hainan, when I was playing with a group of Chinese businessmen and Senior Cadres back in1999 when it was not difficult to shine. The most memorable event on the round was on a par 5 hole. When having driven off to a reasonable distance, I saw a person in the middle of the fairway who stubbornly refused to give way, when we shouted at him in Putonghua and English. Some of our four 74

HK GOLFER・MAY 2018

ran over and found that it was one of the gardeners who had a King Cobra trapped under his rake. One of my partners using his wedge removed the head with a fine stroke. Then an argument ensued as to who would have the carcass for soup. Meanwhile, I went down with a bogie! Hole in one? I achieved this on the 17th hole at Shek O with a 5-iron when playing alone. But there was a team of greenkeepers who witnessed it, and the Secretary accepted. I always play this hole now with my 5-iron but never get close enough! Do you have a favourite course? My favourite course is the Sultan of Brunei’s Private Course, which I was lucky enough to play as a friend of mine was the chief of Staff of the Royal Brunei Army. The attractions being that any ball that went into the jungle was placed in the middle of the fairway, and the arrival on the green was celebrated by a team of young ladies serving ice-cold drinks and delicious snacks! If that is not good enough, then the wonderful links at Hesketh Golf Club in Southport where on a breezy day your drive starts to return! Who would be in your dream fourball? Captain John Felice RN, Squadron Leader Olaf Hammerbeck (he trained but never got to play a round) and Christian Hammerbeck (my son) with my late wife Joyce marking my card! HKGOLFER.COM


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