HK Golfer Event Season: Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship in review
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION ISSUE 45
THE MASTERS AUGUSTA HISTORY PHIL MICKELSON GREG NORMAN TOP TIPS
DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 15
TOP 10 TUBBIES LEWINE MAIR SCOTTSDALE
CLUBHOUSE SECTION: ASTON MARTIN, BASELWORLD, SINGLE MALTS
26 On the Cover:
Phil Mickelson will be looking for his third Green Jacket at the Masters. Photo by AFP
26 | Masters 2010
13 | Tee Time
By The Editors
By Helen Dalley
Blooming azaleas, Green Jackets, Magnolia Lane – HK Golfer previews the first major of the year
38 | Without Boundaries
The LPGA is reinventing itself and it is Asian players who are leading its renaissance
By Lewine Mair
43 | Anything but Close
Liu Lok-tin ran away with the Montrose Fine Wines Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship over the Lunar New Year
By Alex Jenkins
54 | Top-10 Tubbies
By Ben Oliver
20 | 19th Hole
A world of molecular gastronomy awaits at the Mandarin Oriental’s Krug Room, one of the most unique dining experiences in Hong Kong
By Birdie Golf
24 | Liquid Assets
66 | A Peach of a Place
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HK Golfer road tests the brand new Aston Martin Rapide and previews the McLaren MP4-12C, perhaps the most eagerly anticipated supercar of recent times
60 | Desert Pilgrimage
By The Editors & Gordon Lee
16 | Driving Range
22 | Yachting
Scottsdale, Arizona has made a name for itself as a premier golf travel location. We investigate why
Built over a former refuse site, Guangzhou’s Peach Garden Golf Club is a great example of golf changing the landscape for the better
By Alex Jenkins
A review of the most eye-catching new watches and accessories on show at Baselworld 2010
With the departure of John Daly from the PGA Tour, HK Golfer examines other hefty golfers who have made it big
By Mak Lok-lin
The Louis Vuitton Trophy arrives in Hong Kong early next year, which spells good news for fans of monohull racing
By Cameron Dueck
Hong Kong people love wine and also seem to have an insatiable appetite for sushi. What are the appropriate matches for the delicate flavours for fresh raw seafood and why?
By Robin Lynam
25 | Single Malts
The latest thoughts from HK Golfer’s Caledonian critic of the golden nectar. This issue: Linkwood
By John Bruce
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION APR / MAY 2010 • Issue 45
Editor: Alex Jenkins email: email@example.com Sub-editor: Linda Tsang Playing Editor: Jean Van de Velde Contributing Editor: Lewine Mair Published by:
TIMES INTERNATIONAL CREATION
The Monument Course at Troon North has helped Scottsdale become a first-class golfing destination. See page 60.
DE PA R T M E N T S 8 HK Golfer Mailbag 12 Divots 42 From the President by William Chung 42 Around the HKGA 48 Junior Golf 50 Club Results 74 Final Shot with Peter Dawson
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HKGolfer Event Season: Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship in review
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION ISSUE 45
THE MASTERS AUGUSTA HISTORY PHIL MICKELSON GREG NORMAN TOP TIPS
DISPLAY UNTIL JUNE 15
TOP 10 TUBBIES LEWINE MAIR SCOTTSDALE
CLUBHOUSE SECTION: ASTON MARTIN, BASELWORLD, SINGLE MALTS
HK GOLFER is published by Times International Creation, 20/F, 28 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong. HK GOLFER is published bi-monthly © 2010 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.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
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HK Golfer Mailbag
Tiger – Still the Biggest Draw
I was particularly interested in the article on Tiger [“Has Tiger Tainted Golf ”, February-March 2010] and I think it is a great, balanced assessment. I would simply add my voice to those who do not think the game has been badly tainted. Whilst I do not agree with, and am disappointed by, Tiger's actions off course I believe that it will not sway true golf fans from our desire to watch his brilliance on course or think anything less of the game itself. More likely we simply add golf to our list of sports that have suffered as a result of too much corporate financial gain coming (in some cases exploited) from young, talented individuals. Golf, historically, was always a quiet achiever in terms of gathering followers and players and it is one of the few games that everyone, from young to old, can watch how the masters play and then on the weekend on occasion emulate them with a drive or a putt. When discussing golf, golfers know that it is primarily a game you play against yourself in your head and in moving your body. We all have our personal faults and failings but in golf we can all play like Tiger if we can get human motion and emotion in sync. Tiger, despite his failings, is as close to being the consummate golfer as we have ever seen. I n m o d e r n s p o r t , e xc e p t i o n a l c h a mpio n s d r aw fol lowe r s (e rg o sponsorship and wealth) because of their skill in the game. Generation Y is so used to reading about off field antics that they no longer expect or demand the champions to be pillars of virtue. They
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seek to emulate true skill and will buy, wear and use the brand of the champions because of that. In my view, whilst Tiger the corporate entity su f fered because h is sponsors are not happy with adverse publicity, Tiger the golfer, when he is ready, will still be the games biggest draw card and ambassador to the new generation of golfers because his skill and consistency has yet to be matched. John McFarland Sydney, Australia Editor’s reply: Thank you, John for your winning contribution. We’ll all see how big a draw Tiger is when he returns to action at the Masters. Turn to page 28 for the views of your fellow countryman Greg Norman and enjoy your bottle of Louis Roederer, courtesy of Links Concept, the prize for this issue’s best letter.
the course is significant, especially with regard to junior golfers, many of whom are achieving their own success on the local and international stage. I thought your article, which voiced opinions from both sides of the camp, was very well done, and it was good to see that the commentary didn’t descend into the tabloid-style ‘journalism’ that we’ve seen so much of recently. Keep up the good work. Terence Tsang Mid-Levels
In your February-March 2010 issue you asked whether any Hong Kong golfers had recorded more than 13 holes in one, the number at which Hong Kong Golf Club member Donald Moore currently stands. I can’t be sure but I heard a rumour that Mr Li Ka-shing, reportedly Asia’s richest man, plays every morning at Deep Water Bay and has achieved the feat on numerous occasions. Might he have the Hong Kong record? Danny Kam Clearwater Bay Editor’s reply: You’re not the only one to suggest Mr Li, Danny, but our investigations have so far proved fruitless. Although I would point out that on the few occasions I have played at Deep Water Bay in the morning, my visits did not coincide with his. One can only presume he plays a great deal less than what many people think.
We Want to Hear from You!
Like many people, I was shocked and dismayed by the Tiger revelations. I’ve been a fan of his for many years – and in fact, it was watching his success on the course that got me interested in golf in the first place. My case is not unique and I think it’s fair to say that Tiger’s influence on getting Hong Kong people on to
Have something to say about an article in HK Golfer or a topic affecting golf in our area? Send your thoughts and comments to email@example.com. Please also include your address, contact number, email and HKGA #. The winner of the best letter will receive a bottle of Champagne Louis Roederer courtesy of Links Concept.
WINNER’S WEDGE 16-year-old Liu Lok-tin plays his approach to the tricky par-four sixth on the New Course at Fanling during the final round of the Montrose Fine Wines Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship. Liu, who would par the hole, took the Championship in fine style, winning the prestigious event by 10 shots. Said a delighted Liu: “It’s the best win of my life.” The victory earns Liu a coveted berth into November’s Hong Kong Open, where he will tee it up with some of golf’s biggest names. –Alex Jenkins PHOTOGRAPH BY CHARLES McLAUGHLIN
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Unlucky Stewart Denied Again For the second year in a row, Hong Kong’s James Stewart was denied a place at the Volvo China Open after narrowly missing out at international qualifying at Discovery Bay Golf Club late March. Stewart, who was locked in a head-to-head battle with Chen Mingchuan for the coveted fourth and final place, was edged out after the Taiwanese holed a 15-foot birdie putt at the first playoff hole. “I was just unlucky today,” said Stewart, a member at the Hong Kong Golf Club. “You can’t do much when a guy holes putts of that length on the final two holes and then drains another one in the playoff.” Chen joins American Daniel Im, Australian veteran Scott Barr and amateur compatriot Tsai Tsung-yu (all pictured), who qualified at Discovery Bay during miserable conditions, in the US$2.5 million European Tour event to be played at Jinli Lake International Golf Club from April 15-18.
Away from the Fairways The new Submariner Date from Rolex
Mega Bucks at Mission Hills Hainan The Mission Hills Star Trophy, a celebrity Pro-Am event that will take place from October 28-31 at the newly launched Mission Hills Resort Hainan, has been announced by tournament organizers. The timing is significant – the HSBC Champions is played the week after – and the world’s biggest golf club will be looking to add a handful of world-class professionals to an already impressive field. Two-time Open champion Greg Norman has confirmed his participation alongside movie stars Hugh Grant and Matthew McConaughey. Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Li Ning has also signed up. The biggest surprise is Annika Sorenstam, who will bring herself out of retirement to play at the club’s brand new Blackstone Course (pictured), which was designed by Brian Curley. She’ll come up against South Korean Se Ri Pak, who has also confirmed her entry. The event, which has been billed as Asia’s answer to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, will feature 20 celebrities, 20 professionals and 120 amateurs. Somewhat unusually, the entire purse for the tournament – US$1.28 million – goes to the winning pro, making it the richest winning prize in Asian golf.
6 32.7 510
The number of amateurs that will tee it up at this year’s Masters tournament. Invitations are given to the current US Amateur champion (Byeong-Hun An) and runner-up (Ben Martin), the current British Amateur champion (Matteo Manassero), the current Asian Amateur champion (Chang-won Han), the current US Public Links champion (Brad Benjamin) and the current US Mid-Amateur Champion (Nathan Smith). The average age of the 73 winners of the Masters tournament. The youngest winner in Masters history was Tiger Woods (21 years, 3 months, 14 days in 1997) and the oldest was Jack Nicklaus (46 years, 2 months, 20 days in 1986). The oldest first time winner is Mark O’Meara, who won at the age of 41 years, 3 months and 29 days in 1999.
Which watches stole the limelight at Baselworld this year? Evan Rast has the low down
The number of yards that has been added to Augusta National Golf Club for the Masters tournament in the past 20 years. Nick Faldo won the 1990 Masters over a course that measured 6,925 yards. This year, the field will tackle an Augusta layout that measures 7,435 yards.
aselworld provided Patek Philippe with the opportunity to present advances in calibre technology, while Rolex, Chopard and Tag focused on updating classic models and Ulysse Nardin unveiled a user-friendly perpetual calendar.
“ I’m a little nervous about that to be honest with you. It would be nice to hear a couple of claps here and there. ” - Tiger Woods tells ESPN that he doesn’t know what to expect when he returns to Augusta National, where he has won four Green Jackets.
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CONTINUED OVERLEAF HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Basel Beauties (clockwise from top): The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust Lady 31mm (Yellow Rolesor) was an eye-catching addition; the retro look of the cool Silverstone from Tag; Ulysse Nardin's oh-so clever El Toro; the L.U.C Louis Ulysse - the Tribute pays homage to Chopard's founder. 14
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Rolex is updating its classic models for 2010 with the Oyster Perpetual Submariner Date and the Oyster Perpetual Explorer both receiving a makeover. The quintessential diver’s watch, the Submariner is now available in steel and boasts a new rotatable bezel fitted with a scratchproof Cerachrominsert (green or black available) with platinum graduations. It also offers improved legibility due to the hour markers and hands being coated in luminescent Chromalight. Another of Rolex’s most recognized watches – as worn by Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay as they scaled Everest in 1953 – the Oyster Perpetual Explorer has been given a slightly wider dial of 39mm. It is now equipped with a self-winding mechanical movement featuring a Perpetual rotor, a Parachrom hairspring and Paraflex shock absorbers, further enhancing chronometric precision and resistance to extreme conditions. L i ke Rolex , Patek Ph i l ipp e i s a l so redefining its classics for 2010, and its inhouse chronograph calibre, H 29-535 PS, a long-awaited manually wound movement, was introduced last November. One watch featuring this movement is the 5170J, a chronograph that has caused much excitement among collectors, being reminiscent of Patek’s coveted 1940s models with its unmistakably round Calatrava shape, rectangular pushers and diameter of 39mm. Also new to the market is the 5951P, a split-seconds single push-piece chronograph
with a perpetual calendar which features the CHR 27-525 PS split-seconds chronograph movement. Due to the slenderness of the host calibre, the developers of the calendar cadrature were asked to strive for compactness as well, and the result is a movement with an overall height of only 7.3mm, which can be admired from the sapphire-crystal display back. C hopa rd m a rke d it s 150 t h ye a r of watchmaking in 2010 by unveiling four new movements at Baselworld. The calibres – the L.U.C 4TQE, 1TRM, EHG and 1.010 – equip the L.U.C 150, the Engine One Tourbillon, Louis-Ulysse – the Tribute and the L.U.C 1937 respectively. My personal favourite is the LouisUlysse – the Tribute, a pocket-watch that can be transformed into a wristwatch, and pays homage to Louis-Ulysse Chopard, who founded Chopard in 1860. It is also a reinterpretation of an invention of Karl Scheufele I, who in 1912 developed an ingenious system allowing a pocket-watch to be worn on the wrist. Like the Engine One, this innovative watch is limited to just 150 pieces, in honour of Chopard’s anniversary. The L.U.C 150 is another special piece, being the most complicated watch ever manufactured by Chopard. Comprising 516 parts, it powers a perpetual calendar, the equation of time, sunrise and sunset times and an orbital moon-phase display. Due to its complexity, only 15 of these watches are available to purchase.
Tag Heuer, meanwhile, has gone retro for this year’s Baselworld, paying respect to the company’s 150th year as watch designers with an update on the Tag Silverstone. Named after the Formula One track in the UK, this cool chronograph was first launched in 1974, and its distinctive squared case with rounded edges was inspired by Steve McQueen’s 1969 Monaco, the Tag timepiece he wore in the movie Le Mans. Now with a softer edge and colourful dial, it looks sure to capture the passions of a new generation of watch enthusiasts. The counters, pushbuttons and crown configuration are the same as the original, which is made possible by using the Calibre 11 with Dubois-Depraz module, the world’s first automatic chronograph movement with micro-rotor. Typical characteristics of the movement are the date counter at 6 o’clock and the two pushbuttons, placed across from the crown in two indentations. The Silverstone became a defining symbol of the 1970s, and the top racing drivers of the era admired the chronograph for its name, unique shape and avant-garde look. Upon the watch’s launch, Clay Regazzoni and HKGOLFER.COM
Emerson Fittipaldi became Tag Heuer a mbassadors, a nd t he two legendary drivers chose the chronograph as personal lucky charms. Fittipaldi won his second F1 World Championship that year driving for McLaren while Regazzoni won the Silverstone Grand Prix in 1979. Finally, Ulysse Nardin has unveiled a perpetual calendar that it feels is the most user-friendly style of this watch ever produced, a nd t he El Toro is t he on ly perpetual calendar that adjusts forward and backward in seconds over the quick corrector position of a single crown. Its squeletted hands also make easy reading of all calendar functions. The hour hand, meanwhile, is adjusted instantly to a new local time with pushers (+) or (-) without taking the watch off the wrist or interfering with its time keeping, while the arrow keeps track of one’s home or reference time. The watch is available in a Limited Edition of 500 pieces. Ma k i n g i mprovement s or adjustments to existing models, then, was the focus of this year’s event, particularly for the two biggest names in the business, Patek and Rolex.
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Object of Desire Ben Oliver road tests the brand new Aston Martin Rapide – the coolest four-door, four-seat supercar of 2010
he Sultan of Brunei is unquestionably Aston Martin’s best-ever customer. During the 1990s he put around 300 Aston Martins into his collection of at least 3000 cars. Given that Aston only made 46 cars in 1992, there’s a good chance that without the Sultan back then, there would be no Aston Martin today. And its new Rapide is exactly the kind of car he likes. He and his brother Jefri commissioned Aston to build bespoke saloon and even estate versions of the old V8 Vantage, because he understood that a four-door, fourseat supercar is a spectacularly cool thing to have. Once again, Aston has turned to the Sultan for inspiration. The new Rapide won’t be anything like as rare as those Brunei specials, even though Aston’s sales, like those of all the top marques, have slowed over the past two years. In better times, Aston hopes to sell 2000 Rapides in a year, outstripping the DB9 on which it’s based and second only to the Vantage. So this is no low-volume collector-special: it’s a critical new model for the firm. The Rapide and DB9 are most similar forward of the windscreen. There’s an aggressive new double-deck eggcrate grille, but the engine behind it is largely unchanged; a 6-litre V12 made by Ford in Cologne, making 470bhp. The Rapide is 300mm longer than the DB9 and 59mm wider. Aston’s design director Marek Reichman insisted on the same single side-glass opening as the DB9, so although there is a pillar between front and rear doors, the Rapide has the world’s only glass-to-glass closure over the top of it. Close a door and there’s 16
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an impressive half-second of glass ballet as the windows – including the tiny front quarterlight – drop by varying amounts to ensure a precise seal. Those in the front don’t have to compromise; here the cabin is largely unchanged and still gorgeous after six years. The biggest change is that the Rapide’s construction is entirely outsourced to Austrian firm Magna Steyr. But don’t worry; those Teutons haven’t gone and made it all perfect. It’s still obviously handmade, with fabulous materials and detailing, but some reassuring Aston rattles too. But it’s the rear cabin that’s really interesting. The tiny doors open up and out with the same swan-wing effect as the fronts. The individual rear buckets look wild but lack any kind of adjustment. You have to lower yourself in with the same foot-bum-foot sequence required by other extreme sports car. Once there you’re locked in place like an astronaut at lift-off, and getting out is even more inelegant. HKGOLFER.COM
But there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Aston has somehow managed to crowbar in an (optional) rear-seat entertainment system with a seven-inch screen in each seatback, as well as double cupholders and separate air-con controls for each rear passenger. There’s even a decent boot; with the flip-down divider in place you can hide 300 litres of stuff out of sight, and if you fold both the divider and the rear seats down you can get nearly 900 litres in; two sets of golf clubs won’t be a problem. But is it comfortable? At six feet tall and sitting behind a driver’s seat set for me, frankly, no; my knees and head were in full contact with the seatback and headlining. It would be tolerable for about fifteen minutes, and a shorter driver-passenger combination might be fine. But when your car looks this good, do you really care about giving your passengers deep-vein thrombosis on the way to the shops? So how does it drive? HK Golfer was among the very first to test it. At the risk of sounding spoilt, the Rapide doesn’t feel that rapide; having an aristocratic V12 out front doesn’t automatically confer any accelerative advantage. The Aston will hit 100kph in 5.3sec; Porsche’s Panamera Turbo saloon is the closest this car has to a rival and is more than a second quicker. Even a humble Mercedes E500 can take a tenth out of that time. Of course it’s still a fast car; its extra weight means it’s just not as fast as the shape and the price might lead you to expect. It does its best work beyond 150kph, where mass counts for less and that slippery shape for more. Here, its urge feels elastic, unstrained and easily good for the claimed 296kph top speed, but how often will you get to experience it? And the soundtrack isn’t as hardcore as the other Astons. The blip on start-up and the high, hard howl under load are lacking. There’s still a great mechanical thrash from out front, but it’s a little anti-climactic if you’ve driven the rest of the range. As with the cabin and the looks, Aston claims it hasn’t compromised the Rapide’s dynamics just because it’s a four-door; this, it tells us, is still a sports car. And it feels like one as soon as you move off; there’s a lot of road noise from the bigger Bridgestones, and even in the softer of the two suspension settings the Aston’s harshness on a motorway is only borderline acceptable, though it absorbs bigger road craters with a refinement early DB9s wouldn’t recognize. But if you press it harder on a back road the extra 190kgs really shows and you’ll find its limits much earlier, with heave over crests and roll through bends. Tighten the damping and it’s much better without much loss in ride quality. For such a big car the Aston stays level and composed and you can make use of the feel and accuracy of the steering. HKGOLFER.COM
The Panamera will give the Rapide lessons on performance, handling and usability despite costing less. But if you’re going to spend an eye-watering amount of money either way, would you rather end up with a stretched 911 with questionable looks, or a sharky fourdoor supercar with one of the most desirable badges you can buy? Regardless of any dynamic shortcomings, enough buyers will opt for the latter to make the Rapide the success Aston needs it to be. The Sultan would understand.
SCORECARD How much? Engine: Transmission: Performance: How heavy?
HK$3.088 million 5935cc V12, 470BHP @ 6000, 443lb ft @ 5000 6-speed automatic with manumatic shifting 5.3 sec 0-100kph, 296kph 1950kg
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Great Expectations HK Golfer profiles the McLaren MP4-12C, perhaps the most eagerly anticipated supercar of recent times
ew cars have been as keenly anticipated as the new McLaren MP412C, or come with such a massive weight of expectation. But it’s understandable. When the first cars are made in 2011, the only other car in the McLaren line-up will be the one driven by Lewis and Jenson every other Sunday. And the only other road car to have borne the McLaren name alone – the legendary F1 of 1993 – is considered by many to be the greatest car ever made. McLaren isn’t exactly trying to dampen our enthusiasm; it says its new supercar will have the same purity of purpose as the F1, and will use everything it has learnt winning 164 Grands Prix and twelve driver’s world championships over 45 years. The famously demanding, detail-obsessed Ron Dennis quit as F1 team boss to oversee this new project. But when those first cars roll out of the Norman Foster-designed McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, England – and later a bespoke new factory nearby – they’ll face fierce competition from Ferrari’s sensational new 458 Italia, fierce scrutiny from petrolheads with skyhigh expectations, and fierce criticism from a world sceptical about supercars for environmental and economic reasons. And with two more, still-secret supercars planned, this car is critical to McLaren’s future. “We will be severely punished if we fall short,” says Dennis. Expect the standard MP4-12C to match the Ferrari on price, with future opentop and hardcore, lightweight versions costing more. Performance data is still secret but insiders insist the McLaren will outperform all its rivals, with a 0-100kph time in the low three-second range, and a top speed in excess of 330kph. Just like the F1 and the racecars, the chassis is made from ultra-light, ultra-stiff carbon fibre. While most low-volume sports car makers borrow an engine from 18
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a big carmaker – McLaren went to BMW for the motive power for the F1 – this time they’ve designed their own. It’s a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 mounted behind the rear seats and pumping out around 600bhp; the exact specification is still secret. It aims to answer the environmentalists by producing less carbon dioxide per unit of power than any other engine, including hybrids, but satisfy buyers with a screaming 8500rpm redline and a carefully tuned soundtrack. The dihedral doors, which swing up and out deliver proper supercar kerbside theatre, but serve a purpose too, making access more elegant. They’re operated by hidden, touchsensitive microswitches for better aerodynamics and a clutter-free look; the LED rear lights are also invisible until they’re switched on. With a car this keenly anticipated, if you wait until it’s officially on sale, you’re already too late and the queue will be at least a year long, and more likely two. The McLaren name promises a great drive, but guarantees a sound investment. If you think you’re going to want one in 2011, write to McLaren now. —Ben Oliver HKGOLFER.COM
Unlike Any Other
Edible flowerpots, huge cans of “caviar”, Piña Coladaflavoured ice cream – the Krug Room in the Mandarin Oriental offers a truly unique dining experience, writes Birdie Golf
I © BirdieGolfBlog.com (food); Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong (restaurant)
n 2014, the grandfather of molecular gastronomy, Ferran Adrià, will close his restaurant El Bulli in Spain after undertaking a two-year sabbatical to focus on a foundation for “gastronomic creativity”. This will be a major disappointment for many (myself included) as securing a table before Adrià takes off will be nigh on impossible. But don't despair. Uwe Opocensky, the Michelin-starred executive chef of the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is here to satisfy your appetite for this form of creative cooking. It takes place at the Krug Room, but locating the place is a challenge in itself. We couldn't find it on any of the signs in the lobby during our visit and had to seek help from the concierge. A waiter escorted us to a back door behind The Chinnery Bar on the first floor and on through a dark candle-lit corridor to the highly secret location. It felt like walking into a medieval cult gathering. As we entered the room, the funky ceiling light, made from inverted bowls and saucers surrounded by roses in test tubes hanging from the sides, illuminated a long marble table that accommodated the full house of 12 lucky diners. Naturally, we started with a glass of Krug Grand Cuvée, which was included in the tasting menu (HK$1,988 per person). But why stop at that? After all, they do boast the largest Krug champagne collection outside of France. Thereafter, we were entirely in Chef Opocensky's creative hands for a culinary journey through more than 10 intriguing courses. There were too many for me to describe each one in detail here, so I'll highlight a few courses that left the strongest impression. Our journey started with a dish called Lucky Oyster. The contents in each of the three oyster shells provided very aromatic oyster flavours, but surprisingly only one came from an actual oyster. Ironically, the oyster shell that provided the strongest flavour came not from the actual oyster but one containing a leaf, 20
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which had been grown in a greenhouse with seawater and crushed oyster shells mixed into the earth. Smart! Next we were served a huge can of caviar. WOW! We thought this was going to be a steal and that we would definitely get our money's worth this time. But it turned out that the “caviar” was just apple juice mixed with gold leaves and put overnight in a vacuum container with champagne. Not quite the same as Beluga, but the juices bursting in our mouths were sensational. The highlight of the evening was the Flower pot. A s t he na me suggest s, t he presentation looked exactly like, err, a flowerpot. Initially, we thought it was a table decoration. Leaves and other salad greens were stuck in the “earth”, which was actually salad purée mixed with breadcrumbs and anchovies. Everything Krug Room was edible except for Mandarin Oriental 5 Connaught Road the pot itself. The taste Central, Hong Kong wa sn’t bad; we ju st Contact: 2825 4014; had to overcome the mandarinoriental.com psychological fact that we were eating “soil”! I don’t think I’ll ever look at my house plants in the same light again. One of the desserts, of wh ich t here were several, was a work of a r t. T h is Hu m m i ng Bird had a body made of Piña Colada ice cream and dried yogurt for its wings. The presentation was so beautiful that at first we did not want to eat it. Luckily we did, as it was simply delicious. For the grand finale, we were presented with a concoction of petit fours that gave us the most fun we've had in a long time in a restaurant. The waiter started by spraying the room with a sweet scent to spruce up the atmosphere. Then the entire table was filled with sweets in the form of lipsticks and powder cases, burning cigarettes and cigars in ashtrays in addition to macaroons, Gummy bears stuck to whisky bottles and various other sweets, converting the whole room into a candy shop. Everything was edible, even the ashtray – they were all made from chocolate or sugar. There was even a large bowl of “cotton balls” that was actually cotton candy. And Mum always said not to play with our food... well, not any more! T h is wa s i ndeed a rea l ga st ronom ic experience, one that I hope to replicate in London and Berlin, home of the other two Krug Rooms Score: 19/20 Read more from Birdie Golf at www.birdiegolfblog.com HKGOLFER.COM
The Louis Vuitton Trophy arrives in Hong Kong early next year, which spells good news for fans of monohull racing, says HK Golfer yachting correspondent Cameron Dueck
ow that Larry Ellison has carried the America’s Cup back to the US – only the second man to have done so in the cup’s long history – it’s time to start thinking about what the showdown between him and Ernesto Bertarelli meant for sailors and boats around the world. It was hard for weekend sailors to relate to the Matrixlike machines that soared up and down the America’s Cup course on the Mediterranean Sea. While most recreational yacht racers become giddy at 9 knots, the 90-foot BMW Oracle and Alinghi multi-hulls were skimming over the water at a steady 20 knots with the capacity for much more. Very few people have ever had the thrill of moving that fast using only the wind. 22
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But those races may have been the beginning of the end for premier monohull match racing. America’s Cup has long been the pinnacle of match racing, where two similar boats face off against each other. Watching the showdown between the BMW Oracle’s trimaran and Alinghi’s catamaran made watching the previous generation of America’s Cup boats a bit like watching lawn bowls. Monohulls just don’t offer the same level of excitement and speed on a short, contained course where yacht racing is staged for spectators. The popularity of the Extreme 40s catamaran class, which raced in Victoria Harbour late last year, further shows that more speed is needed in order to keep the public interested in watching professional “around the cans” racing. The Extreme 40s, many crewed by America’s Cup racers who were out of work due to the court battles, delivered twice the excitement at less than half the cost of the older generation of America’s Cup boats. But there’s one name that could keep monohulls on the front page for a bit longer: Louis Vuitton. The luxury goods company left the America’s Cup after the 2007 edition following decades of high profile sponsorship. While Ellison and Bertarelli bickered, Louis Vuitton brought together many of the top racing teams in the world, recycled the boats used in the last America’s Cup, and in 2009 started its own premier match racing competition for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Louis Vuitton is bringing the sport back to its fans in ports around the world. Emirates Team New Zealand has just won the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, and in January 2011 the boats are scheduled to come to race in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. The boats are very evenly matched and the crews have been sailing them for several years so they know them well, resulting in bow-to-bow racing and some spectacular boat handling in tight confines. While the multihull Extreme 40s have become famous for their spectacular capsizes and crashes, the Louis Vuitton series is delivering its fair share of catastrophic gear breakage and crew theatrics made public by on-boat cameras. Normally Louis Vuitton is a name associated with luxurious spending, but Bruno Troublé, the silver-manned creator and public face of the series, has created a more affordable and competitive racing alternative to the billionaire’s bickerfest that America’s Cup had become. Ellison and Bertarelli’s court battle to hammer out the rules under which they’d race disgusted much of the sailing world, and Louis Vuitton tapped into those sentiments. With a large fleet of previous America Cup class boats available, HKGOLFER.COM
the Louis Vuitton Trophy has become the more affordable, accessible and therefore potentially popular series. It is also truly international, with teams coming from all the major sailing nations, and proudly flying their flags off their sterns in an added touch of style. So while Ellison and Berterelli set a new high water mark for yacht racing in terms of speed, spending and extreme engineering, Louis Vuitton is building a series that could well help extend the life of mono-hull match racing. And staged in the tight confines of Victoria Harbour, these racing machines will still deliver a compelling show, even if they’re no longer the latest and fastest boats on the market. But for amateur sailors such as myself it was a bit disheartening to turn off the America’s Cup coverage and return to Hong Kong waters on what I thought was a quick and nimble 40-foot racing yacht, only to struggle and sweat to keep her going at a jogging pace. Technology used in the America’s Cup will probably never make your current boat go any faster, but you can bet that if you splash out on a new racing boat in five years time, some of those pro gadgets will have filtered down to the kinds of boats that go out racing weekend after weekend. In particular, you can expect to see a return of the “wing” after BMW Oracle used it with such
efficiency. I say return because similar wings – albeit less advanced – have been around for decades, particularly in the world of multihulls. However, they have never gained a real foothold in the market because materials had not been developed to make them light and strong enough to compete with rapidly advancing world of sail making. With new composites and carbon fibre materials available, the wing has another chance to take off. The showdown between a catamaran and a trimaran is also sure to boost the popularity and performance of multihulls. Until now, multihull sailing boats generally fell into two categories; those that were cumbersome upwind sailors but had fantastic cabin space, making them popular with cruisers; and those that were wet, cramped and unpredictable but so fast and fun that racers were willing to put up with some pain for the payoff in pleasure. Seeing how high into the wind the two America’s Cup boats were able to point and the sheer grace with which they moved is sure to send designers back to their desks to produce fast yet more comfortable and seaworthy multihulls. So it’s not just the billionaires who contested the last America’s Cup that got to enjoy the benefits. Its delays made room for creative new racing formats and its technology gave weekend yachties something to dream about too.
In Hong Kong’s Premier Golf Magazine
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HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Pairing Wine with Sushi
Linkwood: The Right Call
Is it even possible? HK Golfer wine expert Robin Lynam assesses the options
n appearance of simplicity can be deceptive. Just as there is an art to acidity, and Riesling would be more fruity. The presenting sushi and sashimi so that they appeal to the eye as much taste of the shrimp is very delicate and, as such, as to the palate, there is an art to matching them with fine wine. requires a wine without any oak influence and no Conventional wisdom is that the perfect wine to partner malolactic fermentation. It has to be clean and lean the whole range of sushi and sashimi options is Champagne, with acidity to boost the flavour of the shrimp.” but not according to John Chan, senior assistant manager of Eel is t he on ly f ish for wh ich Cha n Nobu at the InterContinental Hong Kong. recommends red wine, and he suggests “Champagne is a multi-match wine, because it cleans all flavours in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape because of its minimal palate, but it does not help to develop another level of enjoyment in terms of the oak, sweet ripeness and smoky earthy notes. flavour,” says Chan, who has made a detailed study of the subject. Egg is particularly tricky to pair with wine, In Chan’s opinion there is no single wine that will enhance the full sushi and but Chan reckons that tamagoyaki will work with sashimi range, although he accepts that at a push a good white Burgundy will New World Chardonnay and likes to select buttery do. He does recommend Champagne with tuna and caviar. wines from the Napa Valley for that purpose. Kazuhiro Ugaeri, who manages Nadaman at the Island Shangri-La, recommends “Egg does not go well with acidic wine. As Chablis as a multipurpose such, egg omelette sushi seafood wine, and is a believer would be perfect with a in Champagne as a good Chardonnay with a sweet A match made in heaven? general match. spiced background,” he “Dr y white wines claims. such as Sauvignion Blanc, Wine is now a popular Chardonnay, French Chablis, pairing with Japanese Champagne, Pinot Grigio food both in Japan and and Trebbiano match well overseas, and in Nobu with sushi or sashimi. The Chan says customers who wine softens the fishy taste drink alcohol are split and sometimes enhances the about 50/50 between original taste and flavour of those who choose wine seafood,” says Ugaeri. and those who order Chan is inclined to match sake or cocktails. The different wines to different restaurant offers a special fish, and has a number of omakase menu wit h favourite combinations. different wines paired with For salmon he each course, including recommends a creamy style sushi and sashimi white such as Meursault - a selections. However, sake, 100% Chardonnay wine which has undergone malolactic fermentation but still the traditional match, he believes, is still the best has enough acidity to balance the palate. partner to sushi because of its affinity with the rice. For scallops he suggests dry white Bordeaux, preferably from Graves because “Wine is a different and dramatic pairing of its Semillon focus. with sushi and sashimi. Sake is a more subtle “This noble grape from Southern Bordeaux is also used for making Sauternes, and traditional pairing. I think cold sake has however this white Bordeaux , while having a dry style, also has the rich advantages over tea, especially because of the characteristics of a dessert wine, which is to say it is honeyish and slightly dryish temperature. It is preferable not to mix hot with a heavier texture,” says Chan. drinks with cold dishes,” he says. For sea-urchin he suggests going all the way to Sauternes, but choosing a Ugaeri is also a sake fan, but more supportive of tea than Chan. modern relatively drier style with slightly more Sauvignon Blanc in the cepage. “If you simply want to enjoy sushi, I “It has a little bit more freshness when compared to the grand old style of Sauternes, recommend green tea,” he says. “Green tea but without giving up too much on the viscosity and concentration” he argues. For sweet shrimp a slightly sweet but less concentrated wine, Chan thinks, is cleanses your palate before each serving of sushi or sashimi. As the sushi rice contains sugar and called for, and he recommends a clean totally unoaked white. “It can be Pinot Blanc or Riesling from Alsace, depending on the diner’s palate vinegar, it can leave one's mouth a little dry, and and preference towards the sweetness level. Pinot Blanc would be more focused on green tea is perfect for quenching thirst.” 24
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HK Golfer whisky editor John Bruce writes on the qualities of this fine Speyside malt
n my other life, when not writing this column, I’m employed by a risk consultancy. I have therefore come to understand the importance of making informed choices at pivotal moments and the potential consequences of making the wrong call. For example, if Paris had disdained Greek equine woodwork the Iliad might have had a “director’s cut”. It was the viewing of another “classic” – Bill Forsyth’s Local Hero – that inspired this pondering on the great “what ifs” of life. The 1983 film, for those of you lucky enough to have a first viewing ahead of you, tells the tale of an attempt by a US company, Knox Oil, to build an oil terminal in Ferness, a tiny coastal village in the northwest of Scotland. The project would make the small population of the village immensely wealthy but would destroy a pristine natural environment. The tale does not need retelling here but a short sequence about 30 minutes into t he f i l m prov ided me with the aforementioned inspiration. The main A merican character played by Peter Riegert is in the bar and tries a malt whisky. He is given what the landlord describes as a 42-yearold McCaskill but, as the landlord reaches for the bottle, clearly visible on the shelf beside it is bottle of that fine Speyside malt, Linkwood. This was not exactly a wrong call but it was definitely an opportunity missed. Located near Elgin in Morayshire, the picturesque Linkwood distillery was established in 1821 by Peter Brown and although no longer a family concern, the distillery has a magnificent reputation for “unremitting vigilance” in the production process. The story is often told of Roderick Mackenzie, the distillery manager in the 1930s who forbade the removal of even spider webs in case the quality of the whisky was adversely affected. This dedication has made HKGOLFER.COM
Linkwood one of the finest of single malts. There is, however, a catch as less than two percent of the whisky is marketed as single malt with the remainder being used by the distillery owners, United Distillers, in the production of well known brands such as Bells and White Horse. The distillery markets a 12-year-old in its Flora & Fauna series that is both fruity and smoky with an almost sweet finish and which is quite delightful in itself. There is also a 12-year-old matured in sherry casks, in which the sherry flavours are quite dominant, that is similarly enjoyable. However, as with many single malts that are available in relatively small quantities, it is the productions of the independent bottlers that do true justice to this whisky. This is, in itself, somewhat ironic as the distillery itself was historically a strong protectionist. Elgin Golf Course was built on land owned by the distillery and for many years the only malt whisky allowed to be sold in the bar was Linkwood. One independent bottler whose Linkwood has recently become more readily available in Hong Kong is Gordon and McPhail. Their 18-year-old Gordon Linkwood's picturesque distillery. and McPhail Reserve is more evocative of rich fr u its, even of gi nger and less smoky than the 12-year-old marketed by the distillery and the finish will appeal to devotees of the Speyside malts as it is almost entirely devoid of peaty overtones. There are many other Linkwood bottlings that I have yet to sa mple, a lt hough I have heard consistently complimentary assessments of their quality and I am hopeful that very soon I shall be sharing a few drams of a particularly well renowned Gordon and McPhail bottling with the esteemed publisher of this magazine. Whilst reputedly raking through his attic in his Scottish home for the ten shilling postal order that his Granny gave him in 1969, with which he intended to pay his editor’s bonus, he came across a bottle of Linkwood 50-year-old. In a display of unprecedented generosity he offered to share it with a well known Hong Kong banker and myself. My lawyer has a copy of the e-mail and I expect to be more successful than Tony Chan in the event of any dispute. The decision by any whisky lover to sample any of the Linkwood expressions would be as right for the aficionado as the choice to go paddling on the eighteenth at Carnoustie in 1999 was wrong for poor old Jean Van de Velde. In Local Hero, the construction project is “Trumped” after the head of Knox Oil, played by the late Burt Lancaster, has a change of heart after encountering the local characters and their enduring culture. I feel the Aberdeen councillors responsible for planning permission would benefit from a fresh viewing of Forsyth’s masterpiece, perhaps accompanied by a few glasses of Linkwood. HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Masters 2010 Springtime in Georgia is when the season well and truly starts. Blooming azaleas, Green Jackets, Magnolia Lane – the only one of golf ’s four major championships to return to the same venue each and every year is also the most eagerly awaited event on the international golfing calendar. Turn the page to read the thoughts of Archie Albatross, who picks his Masters contenders; there’s an interview with Greg Norman, the man who has possibly suffered more Masters heartache than anyone in this history of the game; and on page 32 Henry Lord and Peter Pugh look at the foundation of Augusta National Golf Club and analyze the changes to the course over the years… 26
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price but the question mark will be how this brash young man will handle the emotional pressure and tactical requirements of the Augusta stroke play caldron. One stat worth bearing in mind: in his five appearances at the Masters he has never missed the cut.
Rory McIlroy World Ranking: 11
The Northern Irishman has precocious talent and is on the verge of shocking the world with a significant win. I can see Rory ignoring all tradition and treating the Augusta course to a demonstration of youthful confidence. To see him leading after the first round would be no surprise. That said, however, 33/1 for the victory holds less appeal than the prices for his more experienced compatriots.
Luke Donald World Ranking: 23
A quiet man with ideal major tournament temperament. Was third in 2005 and at 66/1 has to be worth a punt or equivalent sell on the spreads. The best value in the pack.
Justin Rose World Ranking: 59
Justin has taken the early lead in the Masters twice before, so knows all about how the course treats young pretenders (note to Rory!) and will have undoubtedly learned from those experiences. His recent results show that he is improving, but at Augusta class trumps current form and this young man has the course pedigree and personality to succeed. Best odds of 50/1 suggest that the layers also believe he is something of a course specialist.
Paul Revere's famous warning during his midnight ride was clearly meant for the citizens of Massachusetts rather than Georgia, but resident tipster Archie Albatross believes it foreshadows the upcoming Masters tournament as well as it did the Revolutionary War in 1775.
ritish golf has not been so well represented in the world rankings since the mid Eighties when Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle all recorded famous victories at Augusta. At time of writing, Brits currently hold three top 10 positions (Casey , Westwood and Poulter) and can count no fewer than six in the top 25. (McIlroy, Donald and Fisher). The all English face-off in the final round of the Accenture Match Play championship in February (with Poulter besting Casey) illustrated clearly that the current generation of British golfers can come to the US and compete with the best of the locals. The Masters has a special place in the hearts of most British golfers with the sublime BBC coverage attracting a cult following in the UK. After the Open itself, the Masters is the one most Brits want to win next.
Lee Westwood World Ranking: 4
Now qualifies as a veteran on the European circuit and has taken over Monty Doubtfire's role as perennial favourite for the European Order of Merit (Race to Dubai). Had an excellent run in the 2009 Majors (including a third place finish at the Open and eighth at the USPGA) and has proven in both match and stroke play events that he can handle pressure. Decent value at 22/1. 28
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Best of the Rest
Phil Mickelson has singularly failed to take advantage of the absence of the world number one this season. It’s true that he typically avoids standard tournaments early in the year but, by his own admission, he needs more playing time to sharpen his game. With two Green Jackets hanging in his wardrobe, he clearly has the measure of how to play Augusta and should at some point feature. Better value may exist by backing a man who has absolutely rededicated himself to the game this year: Ernie Els. The Big Easy has played hard all spring in California and Florida which culminated in a comfortable victory at the WGC tournament at Doral. Els has a habit of winning in streaks and although the Masters crown has so far eluded him, he does have a fine record at Augusta. Highly likely to produce a top five finish. Did I miss anyone? Oh yes, a certain Mr T Woods has confirmed he will emerge from the shadows and play his first event of 2010 at Augusta. It will be great theatre but even the gutsy Archie Albatross will not predict his finishing position. However in breaking news, the odds on him encountering a buxom streaker later this summer during the Open at St Andrews have been slashed to 2/1. Now that's a bet worth taking on for fun…
Paul Casey World Ranking: 5
Has become ultra reliable in the last 18 months. Loves match play and the big stage and has built an impressive resume on the PGA Tour in 2010. In four tournaments through the WGC at Doral, Paul has been in the top 10 on every occasion. He has enough Augusta experience to take that form over to Georgia with confidence. Take an each way bet on the Englishman. 20/1 is the best available price.
For Queen and Country (clockwise from top left): Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Paul Casey and Luke Donald will all be looking to become the first British winner of a major since Paul Lawrie captured the 1999 Open Championship at Carnoustie.
Ian Poulter World Ranking: 6
Has developed more in the last 12 months t ha n perhaps a ny ot her of t h is g roup. Triggered by a strong Ryder Cup in 2008, the Hertfordshire-born Poulter has worked very hard since, and after a solid 2009 earned his maiden PGA Tour victory just last month. 28/1 for the man with such momentum seems a long HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
The Masters Interview
to come back to? Yes, absolutely, because it’s a controlled environment. But his life is different now. There’s no question about it. Everywhere he goes he’s going to get scrutinized the whole way. Certain questions are going to be asked, even from the gallery as he walks from green to tee. He’s going to be exposed a lot more than he’s ever been exposed in his life, so it’ll be interesting to see how mentally he handles it. I think he’ll handle it fine. Time is a great healer in many ways but he’ll always be remembered for what happened – the hair trigger that ignited in November. Is it going to be over and done with for him? I don’t know. It’s going to be a tough battle for him.
He may never have got his hands on the coveted Green Jacket but there are few golfers in the history of the game that have more Masters experience than the 55-year-old Australian. HK Golfer caught up with the Great White Shark at Mission Hills Resort Hainan You made your Masters debut in 1981 and managed to finish fourth. What surprised you about Augusta and what advice would you offer this year’s debutants – players like Han Chang-won, who gained entry into the field after winning the Asian Amateur Championship? Prior to 1981 I had only seen Augusta Nat iona l on telev ision , so I had a preconceived notion of what it was going to be like. And when I arrived I was shocked at the undulations and magnitude of the undulations. I was shocked that you never really had a flat lie unless you were on the tee. That never came across as I was growing up watching the Masters. So that impacted me the most. It can be a nerve-wracking experience for the first timer, so it’s good to go early. Don’t go too early so that you exhaust yourself but go early and embrace it all. Enjoy the golf course and enjoy the process. You think, ‘I’m here at probably the premier major event of all time.’ You have to see if you have the mettle within to take it on.
AFP (Norman x2); Matthew Miller (Augusta); Charles McLaughlin (Payne)
Is there still a mystique to Augusta? Sure there is. There’s always going to be an Augusta mystique. There’s the thrill of playing for the first time and the thrill of being in contention for the first time. If you are a player with a quality about his game, you’re going to feel it. I have the same feeling, too, with the British Open – the history and nostalgia of the event dictates that. If you have enough quality as a player to perform well and experience it all – well, it’s a unique feeling. You qualified for the Masters 12 months ago after finishing in the top five at the Open Championship the year before. How did the course setup compare to when you played during the Eighties and Nineties? I was shocked at first. It was 420 yards longer than when I played it and it played even longer because of the soft conditions early on in the tournament. Everyone hears about the changes but you don’t really see them on television. But they were phenomenal changes, right from the very first hole. The tee now is back where the old putting green was when I last played there. So the thought of driving it over the bunker on the first hole is gone. That hole alone plays 50 yards longer than it did. The seventh hole has changed a lot, the eleventh hole has seen 30
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dramatic change. It’s different. It’s a hard golf course for those who don’t drive the ball 320 yards. But it’s still a phenomenal course. A great course. You’re not in the field this year but do you ever get back to Augusta? I go back there and play with member friends of mine. I’m lucky like that. I can sneak up there for a weekend and have a good time and no-one knows about it. It’s a great spot. I’ve been a stanch proponent and supporter of the structure of the Masters. A lot of people look at it like it’s a dictatorship. But you know what? They have every right to be that way. They can do it. They have created something. They have invested in the future of golf, with events like the Asian Amateur Championship, so kudos to them. I think [chairman] Billy Payne has done a phenomenal job. He was part of the International Olympic Committee and knows what it takes to grow sport on a global basis. He’s taken that into the Masters, and all of a sudden Augusta has a difference sense about it. What is your favourite Masters moment? Probably shooting 30 on the front nine. Everybody said the front nine was the hardest nine at Augusta and the back nine was the moving nine. I believe when I shot 30 on the front nine, that really put me back into contention. I can’t remember what year it was, but I remember at one point going down 7 and 8, I thought about the fact that I could shoot 29 on the front nine. That was the number in my mind at the time. HKGOLFER.COM
And your worst? Probably hitting the four-iron to the eighteenth in 1986 instead of a five-iron [Norman missed the green and failed to get up and down, which would have forced a playoff with Jack Nicklaus]. The other bad loss was in ’96 [to Nick Faldo], when I had the six-shot lead. That was another of the bad ones. They’re probably about equal but for different reasons. Tiger has announced that he’ll make his comeback at the Masters. Can you see him winning it, despite his lack of tournament preparation? I wou ld n’t say a lack of preparation. Tiger Woods at Augusta and going forward is going to be a different Tiger Woods. His world is different now. Has he hurt the game of golf? I truly believe he has to some degree. He has to be responsible. When you become the number one player in the world – and there’s only one number one – you have to be responsible for everything else that comes with that. So it’s good for Tiger to be back. Will he win? He’ll win again. Will he win the Masters this year? I don’t know, I can’t predict that. Will he be one of the favourites? Yeah, I think he’ll be one of the favourites because he loves it. Is it the right tournament for him HKGOLFER.COM
Augusta Aura (clockwise from left): Norman during his final day meltdown in 1996; the Shark is full of praise for Augusta chairman Billy Payne; thirty yards have been added to the par-five fifteenth in recent times.
When you were number one, were you aware of the responsibilities you had? Absolutely. You know you’re carrying the weight of the game of golf and the country you represent when you’re number one. Everywhere you tee it up you’re responsible for putting bums on seats, for people turning on the television to watch you. It really permeates right through. You’re therefore responsible to your corporations, so yes you’re very much aware of it, even more so when you go beyond that and become the brand. He’s got his brand and he’s got his image and quite honestly he’s suffered. Hopefully he’s learnt the lessons from it. Nobody likes to see their private laundry aired out in front of everyone but you have to be aware of it. You enjoy it when it’s going the other way, but you have to accept the responsibility.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Augusta Through the Ages
character of work I like, I want her views and also her personal impressions in regard to the way the work is being carried out.’ Hollins, who could afford the trip, did go to Augusta and MacKenzie said later that she was very impressed with the design. In spite of these little setbacks in communication, when the course officially opened in January 1933 it was seen as a major shift away from penal towards strategic architecture in American golf. Previously, many of the best courses had used fairway hazards and rough to tax the player. Jones preferred to ‘reward the good shot by making the second shot simpler in proportion to the excellence of the first … The elimination of purely punitive hazards provides an opportunity for the player to retrieve his situation by an exceptional second shot.’ Evidence of this ethos remains today on holes 2, 9, 10, 13 and 15, where portions of tee-shot landing areas use down-slopes so that extra ball distance is the reward for ideal drives played to that portion of the fairway. Furthermore, Augusta originally had only 23 bunkers, which was substantially fewer than any previous MacKenzie design and suggests that Jones’ overall contribution was significant. (Today the number of bunkers is closer to double that, but this is still a small amount compared to other championship courses.) It seems incredible now, given its reputation as probably the most exclusive golfing establishment on earth, but when Augusta National opened, because of the Depression it was almost impossible to sell memberships and as a result the Club became virtually bankrupt. Indeed, it was never able to pay MacKenzie fully for his work. After his last ever trip to Augusta in April 1932, when the grass still had not been planted, MacKenzie had called the course ‘my best opportunity, and I believe, my finest achievement’. However, as he passed away at his home in Pasatiempo on 6 January 1934, he sadly never lived to play or even see the course in its finished form.
Taken from Henry Lord and Peter Pugh’s wonderful book, Masters of Design: Great Courses of Colt, MacKenzie, Alison & Morrison (Icon, ₤40), this excerpt covers the work of architect Dr Alister MacKenzie and the legendary Bobby Jones in the creation of Augusta National Golf Club and looks at how the course has changed over time.
oth Jones and MacKenzie had a shared love of the Old Course at St Andrews for its natural strategic elements and wanted to impart similar aspects to Augusta, adapting them as the differences of turf and terrain allowed: wide fairways full of humps and hollows, heavily contoured greens, relatively few but importantly placed bunkers, and not overly penal rough to avoid slow play. While MacKenzie concocted the layout of each hole, Jones spent weeks hitting test shots during the course’s construction and added his own ideas so that the design would give members the opportunity to enjoy themselves, while asking highly skilled professionals to place their shots accurately if they wished to gain the best angle of approach to the pin. MacKenzie visited Augusta from 14 to 16 July 1931 and drew up a plan while staking out the holes in the field with Jones. By the time MacKenzie returned in October the fairways had been cleared and by January 1932 the plan had been finalised and put into effect, with grass seeding completed by 27 May. There seem to have been one or two hitches 32
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in the interim before Augusta opened for play, particularly to do with money (this was, after all, the depth of the Great Depression). Clifford Roberts [who co-founded the club with Jones] had not paid a promised advance to MacKenzie and so the doctor refused to come to a meeting, suggesting that his associate, Marion Hollins, might go instead. ‘Not only are her ideas valuable’, he wrote in a letter to the Club, ‘but she is thoroughly conversant in regard to the HKGOLFER.COM
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Looking back (from previous page): The eleventh hole at Augusta, photos taken in the 2000s and 1950s; the approach shot into the tenth looks the same today as it did 60 years ago; MacKenzie and Jones walking over the ground that would become Augusta National. 34
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One of the Club’s goals, as a means of raising itself out of debt, was to host a lucrative tournament on its new course. To do so would also sate Bobby Jones’ desire to redress the USGA’s (United States Golf Association’s) geographical bias of always holding national championships north of the old Mason-Dixon line. Originally the Club hoped it would be the 1934 US Open, but its early summer scheduling meant that it came at a time when the South’s climate was considered too severely hot for play. Undeterred, Roberts and another founding member, Grantland Rice, decided that a major event was what the Club required to get it established, and inaugurated an invitational spring tournament headed by the publicitygenerating Bobby Jones. Originally called the Augusta National Invitational Tournament, within two years its name was changed to the Masters, which Jones, with his understated and gracious nature, initially objected to. ‘I must admit it was born with a touch of immodesty,’ he said. MacKenzie had routed the layout at Augusta National around its wisteria-clad clubhouse, with the two nines looping out and back to this venerable plantation building that sits on the highest point of the course. In his original plan the holes were numbered as they are today, but MacKenzie soon changed it so that the current 1st hole became the 10th. His intention was probably to provide a better view of the home green to members who might be watching from a proposed new clubhouse that was, in the end, never built. Indeed, the first Masters tournament, held in 1934, played in this direction before the Club switched the nines back the following year.
The reason for this was that the current front nine thawed first on frosty mornings, allowing golfers to tee off earlier, and it also made for a more exciting tournament finish. The reputation of the Masters grew quickly until it was considered one of golf’s four modern Majors, with Augusta being the only permanent venue to hold such a championship annually. As a result it has been one of the most altered arenas in sporting history. Since the 1930s the game’s all-time greats – Nelson, Hogan and Snead; Palmer, Player and Nicklaus; Ballesteros, Faldo and Norman – have all pushed their abilities to the limit at Augusta and the course has answered back. To begin with these changes were about improving the strategic nature of the holes, but as equipment steadily advances year upon year the emphasis has increasingly been on refining greens to a frightening speed and extending the course’s overall length. (Today Augusta stands at just under 7,500 yards.) In 1997, the twelve-stroke Masters victory of 21-year-old Tiger Woods was a combination of such powerful hitting and brilliant putting that it prompted significant course alterations. Before the 1999 tournament, the 2nd and 17th were lengthened and the 15th and 17th made narrower. For the first time, rough was allowed to border the fairways. Power is still rewarded at Augusta, but it now needs to be accurate power. As the Masters tournament became bigger and bigger, there was also pressure to make the holes more dramatic for spectators. In 1947, for example, the par-three 16th hole was completely redesigned by Bobby Jones and executed by the architect Robert Trent Jones (no relation). It was originally a short pitch of about 120 yards across a branch of Rae’s Creek the size of a small ditch. The hole was modelled on the 7th at Stoke Poges (a course designed by MacKenzie’s onetime partner, Harry Colt). MacKenzie admired this hole but the copy at Augusta proved not to be much of a test, and so the creek was dammed to create a large pond and the green moved to the right of the water. The tee was transferred from one side of the 15th green to the other, which lengthened the 16th to 170 yards. It has since been extended to 190 yards. The putting surface falls sharply from right to left making for some dramatically difficult putts. The result has been some wonderfully exciting incidents on that hole, especially in the final round of the Masters. Although not as radically as the 16th, almost every tee, bunker and green has been altered in some way. Augusta’s most infamous run of holes, the 11th to the 13th, which play around Rae’s Creek and one of its tributaries, has also evolved from the original design. Nicknamed ‘Amen Corner’ in 1958 by the great writer HKGOLFER.COM
Herbert Warren Wind who was covering that year’s Masters for Sports Illustrated, prior to 1950 the stretch began with a par-four dogleg right containing a centre-fairway pot bunker that could not be seen from the tee. The hazard was Jones’ idea as it reminded him of the sort of hidden, local-knowledge bunkers to be found on his beloved Old Course. The 11th hole has since been straightened and lengthened over time to over 500 yards, the bunker has long been filled in, and the creek that ran close to the front left of the green and around the back has been dammed to make a pond. The par-three 12th hole has also seen some change. Having had only five yards added to its length, two further bunkers have been added to the bank behind the green which was initially built with only a single front bunker. The beautiful par-five 13th hole, curving left around a tree-lined fairway that has Rae’s Creek running down its left-hand side before snaking dangerously in front of the green, managed to hold on to its original length of 465 yards until 2001 when Augusta National purchased a small parcel of land behind the tee from the adjoining Augusta Country Club, enabling the Masters tee to be moved back by about 30 yards. The timeless appeal of the 13th hole, the reason why it is one of the least altered on the course, was perfectly described by Jones in Golf Is My Game:
often put it, of ‘most enjoyment for the greatest number’. Rather, it has become the ultimate tournament venue that keeps the best players in the world on their toes every spring when the Masters begins. Yet for all that has changed, some things about Augusta have never altered. Its continual beauty, history and mystique make it one of golf’s few hallowed places. For those lucky enough to play there, walking over the Hogan or Nelson bridges around Amen Corner evokes the same stirring of the soul and lightening of the heart that one gets when walking over the Swilcan Bridge at St Andrews. As long as golf is played, those extraordinary feelings will never change. EXCERPTED FROM MASTERS OF DESIGN: GREAT COURSES OF COLT, MACKENZIE, ALISON & MORRISON BY HENRY LORD AND PETER PUGH. PUBLISHED BY ICON (2009) AND AVAILABLE THROUGH WWW.ICONBOOKS.CO.UK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
In my opinion, this thirteenth hole is one of the finest holes for competitive play I have ever seen. The player is first tempted to dare the creek on his tee shot by playing in close to the corner, because if he attains his position he has not only shortened the hole but obtained a more level lie for his second shot. Driving out to the right not only increases the length of the second, but encounters an annoying side-hill lie. Whatever position may be reached with the tee shot, the second shot as well entails a momentous decision whether or not to try for the green. With the pin far back on the right, under normal weather conditions this is a very good eagle hole, because the contours of the green tend to run the second shot close. The chief danger is that the ball will follow the creek. The most difficult pin locations are along the creek in the forward part of the green. A player who dares the creek on either his first or second shot may very easily encounter a six or seven on this hole. Yet the reward of a successful, bold play is most enticing. Many have levelled against Augusta National the criticism that much of the strategy has been lost in the countless penal revisions that have taken place to the layout over the years. It cannot be denied that the course has transformed from the one Bobby Jones had intended it to be for his friends – a course, as Alister MacKenzie so HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Past Masters! In this magnificent picture from the USGA Museum, we see the competitors from the 1935 Masters, the second time the event was held. Gene Sarazen took the title, beating Craig Wood in a playoff. It was in the final round of this event that Sarazen played “The Shot Heard around the World”, holing a 5-wood for an albatross (doubleeagle) on the fifteenth hole.
The Players (from left to right) Back row: Phil Perkins, Joe Jacobus, Byron Nelson, Al Espinosa, Harold McSpaden, Denny Shute, Freddi Haas, Al Watrous, Gene Kunes, Dick Metz, Willie Kline, Johnny Dawson, Jack Munger, unidentified, Orville White, Ky Laffoon, Ralph Stonehouse 36
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Middle row: Andy Kay, Tommy Armour, Jules Huot, unidentified, Bill Mehlhorn, Fred McLeod, Jock Hutchinson, Frank Walsh, Craig Wood, Ray Mangrum, Clarence Clark, Jimmy Hines, Mike Turnesa, Joe Turnesa, Vic Ghezzi, Abe Espinosa, Walter Kozak, unidentified. HKGOLFER.COM
The photograph features almost all of a stunning field of the best golfers of the day, including at least 18 major winners (with 48 titles between them) and over 650 tournament wins. Notable absentees from the image include top amateur Lawson Little (who finished sixth) and Walter Hagen (tied 15th).—Dr Milton Wayne
Front row: Jim Foulis, Tony Manero, Bobby Cruikshank, Gene Sarazen, Charlie Yates, Paul Runyan, Bobby Jones, Olin Dutra, Johnny Farrell, Willie MacFarlane, Jimmy Thompson, Harry Cooper, Johnny Revolta, Henry Picard.
Can you name the unidentified players? Write to email@example.com
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Hee Young Park, one of the latest in a long line of Asian stars, tees off during the HSBC Women's Champions.
Lewine Mair reflects on the state of the LPGA Tour and the Asian players leading its renaissance PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTY IMAGES
hough the women professionals have been jet-setting around the world for years, it is only now that they have started to come across as members of the so-called jet-set. In Singapore, on the occasion of the recent HSBC Women’s Champions, golf and glamour went hand in hand as never before. At the start of the week, there was a crush of photographers at Changi Airport waiting to capture Michelle Wie on what was her first visit to the island. The now 20-year-old Stanford student did not let them down. Looking the million dollars and more that she is worth, she stepped from the plane in vibrant pink boots and armed with the latest in Louis Vuitton handbags. Two days later and there was a pro-am dinner at Raffles, where the players looked every bit at home as on the fairways. That larger-than-life figure, Christina Kim, was swirling Singapore Slings in the company of rookie professional Amanda Blumenhurst. Wie was sporting a par-three of a knitted and bejewelled dress, while plenty of others were no less eye-catchingly attired. “These women certainly dress to impress,” said Ross Kinnaird, one of Getty Images’ top photographers. In terms of golfing fashions, it goes without saying that Singapore, with its high temperatures, provides a better backcloth for the latest lines than, say, a wet day in the south of England. At Tanah Merah, where every day was hot and sunny, competitors looked light years removed from the golfing women of even twenty years ago. Many were sporting outfits which could have had them heading for the tennis court as easily as the golf course, though golf would seem to allow for a touch more style. Take Se Ri Pak, who wears stunning oriental shirts designed by her sister. Christina Kim, though her taste might be a little loud for some, tops all of her outfits off with a back-to-front Kangol beret. “It’s not what you wear it’s how you wear it,” she advised cheerfully.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Christina’s good spirits are not unique. Though the girls remain as competitive as ever, they give the impression of working as a team to ensure that they make the most of their product on the road out of recession. It is the element of West accepting East and vice versa which has contributed as much as anything to the new aura and atmosphere. At first, when the Asian women, with particular reference to the Koreans, arrived on the Americans’ patch, there was more than a touch of resentment. They were seen to be taking more and more of the spoils but not too many of them were contributing to the good of the whole. For years, the LPGA had enjoyed the best of relations with their pro-am partners but, all of a sudden, there were complaints that some among the Asian element were not giving sufficient attention to the amateurs. On the one hand, they did not have enough English to make conversation. On the other, there were those who were too locked into their own games to want to pay too much heed to the hooks and slices going on around them. According to Sue Jones, assistant manager to Hee Young Park, the latest generation of Korean and Asian players “get it”. She cited Hee Young, who did not have so much as a word of English when she arrived in the States for the Nabisco tournament of 2008. Today, Hee Young is as likely to be seen with a book of English grammar in her hand as her wedge, though she long ago discovered that fragmentary English, when interspersed with smiles, can work wonders. 40
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Jiyai Shin is another who has had no trouble in seeing t he bigger pict ure. Far from taking umbrage when Caroline Bivens, the former commissioner, demanded that the Asians learn English – a n instr uct ion which would have gone down rather better had the good lady called for everyone to learn a second language – Shin could see her point of view. Last winter, after she had wrapped up the L P G A’ s 2 0 0 9 m o n e y list, she devoted a month in Australia to working on f it ness a nd Engl ish conversation. As much as anything else, Shin felt she was doing herself a favour. She likes to socialize and, as her caddie, Dean Herden, mentioned on that Singapore evening when he collected his Caddie of the Year honours, she always arrives two hours ahead of a day’s starting time to allow for time to chat to fans and friends alike. The 49-year-old Juli Inkster, who was tied with Ai Miyazato going into the last day at Tanah Merah, has been a fascinated observer of developments over the last ten years. “Everything has changed for the better,” she said. Initially, the long-term LPGA members were no different from the pro-am players in finding it difficult to establish any kind of a rapport with the new arrivals from the Far East. First
impressions suggested that the newcomers did nothing other than practice and play. Inkster, though, did not take long to discover that many of them were huge characters. After running off a list of names, she picked out HeeWon Han, a graduate of Rukoko University and the mother of a three-year-old son, as one with whom she had forged a particularly good relationship. “Like the rest,” she said, “Hee-Won has really come out of her shell.” The aforementioned Shin has a truly fascinating life story, much of it tinged with sadness in that her mother died in a car crash in 2003. Even now, when you ask about her hobbies, she will recite what she has always said – that she listens to music. If you persist, she goes on to tell of a couple of records she has made back home in Korea and how she is studying for a degree in Physical Education. Her father would have been happy enough for her to focus on her golf but there came a day, some three years ago, when she said to herself, “I’m so stupid, I only know golf.” She is now a student at Yonsei University and, though most of her work is done on line, this winner of the 2008 Ricoh British Women’s Open revels in the winter weeks she spends at home and attending classes. The latter include English, maths and science and she is set to graduate at the end of this year. Yani Tseng from Taiwan is in the same position. When she was young, her parents were forever encouraging her to play golf rather than go to school. It led to a family rift, one in which she confronted her father and said that she would stop golf altogether if she were not allowed to complete her education. Yani had her way and, though she will tell you that there are days when she wonders if she will ever catch up after so much early disruption, she hopes one day to be able to set a kindergarten teaching certificate alongside her golfing titles. “I’ve always loved children and teaching them is what I want to do when I stop playing,” she explained. No less than the latest breed of Americans on tour, the Asian players are all “finding themselves” HKGOLFER.COM
and contributing to the environment which has Michael Wan, the new commissioner, feeling understandably excited about his brief. Wan said that one of the first things he noticed when summing up what he was taking on, was the “round-the-world” nature of the business, both in terms of tournaments and personnel. The top ten of the 2009 money list, he noted, took in as many as seven nationalities. It all told him that his was a tour “without boundaries” – and limitless scope. That Whan speaks at such a rate of knots is not the worst thing. To no small degree, it somehow contributes to the feeling that everything to do with the LPGA is moving at a healthy rate – including the pace of play.
Singapore Swing (clockwise from far left): Cristie Kerr, Michelle Wie, Morgan Pressel and Natalie Gulbis at Raffles; LPGA commissioner Michael Wan says the tour has limitless scope; Jiyai Shin winning the HSBC Women's Champions in 2009; Taiwanese star Yani Tseng wants to go into teaching children after she stops playing.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
From the President The first few months of the New Year is always a busy period for the Hong Kong Golf Association – and 2010 hasn’t proved any different, with a number of tournaments taking place during this time. As reported in the last issue of HK Golfer, the Hong Kong Seniors Open, which was held at the Hong Kong Golf Club, proved to be a great success and attracted many overseas players. The tournament was won by the highly talented Stefan Albinski of Australia. The start of this year, however, was highlighted by the Montrose Fine Wines Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship, which was won in brilliant style by up-andcoming-youngster Liu Lok-tin. As I mentioned in my last letter, it was my hope that junior golfers would do well at Hong Kong’s prestigious local men’s tournament, and my wish was granted with an almost flawless display by the 16-yearold in very difficult weather conditions over the Lunar New Year holiday. Lok-tin, who has been a part of the HKGA’s Junior Development Programme for many years, won in quite brilliant style, defeating his nearest opponent by 10 shots. He was full of confidence heading into the event, having won the HSBC China Junior Open just two weeks previously, and never looked liked faltering. It’s this kind of performance which I hope he can replicate on the international men’s stage, where he can really make a name for himself. His opportunity will come at the Hong Kong Open in November, which he qualified by
winning the Close Amateur Championship. I am sure that he will be looking forward to teeing it up with the greatest names in golf, and I wish him the best of luck. In the ladies’ equivalent event, which took place at the end of March, Tiffany Chan overcame her opponents with a magnificent display by shooting round of 72, 69 and 68 over three days at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. The Diocesan Girls’ School student, another of the HKGA Junior Development Programme’s young talents was in sparkling form, defeating the reigning champion – Stephanie Ho, another junior – by a large margin. Tiffany has won countless tournaments in Hong Kong and overseas, so it was wonderful to see her finally triumph at the Close, which is considered the premier local ladies’ event. The success of the HKGA’s Junior Development Programme wouldn’t be possible without the help of our corporate sponsors, so I’m delighted to say that EFG Bank has pledged to continue their support. Albert Chiu, the bank’s chief executive for Asia, made the announcement during the EFG Bank Junior Golf prize presentation dinner held at the Hong Kong Football Club in February. Needless to say, EFG’s role in the development of golf in Hong Kong is unsurpassed, and I’d like to offer my sincere thanks once again for placing their faith in the HKGA.
—William Chung President HKGA
EFG Continues Support of HK Juniors
EFG Bank has confirmed that it is continuing their support of the Hong Kong Golf Association’s Junior Development Programme. The announcement was made by Albert Chiu, chief executive for Asia, at the EFG Bank Junior Golf prize presentation dinner held at the Hong Kong Football Club in February. The Zurich-based bank, which has a presence throughout the region, contributes HK$1 million annually to the HKGA for the development of young golfers in Hong Kong. Chiu (third right) is seen here with Robert Chiu, EFG Bank’s executive chairman for Asia (second right) and HKGA president William Chung.
HKGC Reign Supreme at Inter-Club
The Hong Kong Golf Club has won their third consecutive HKGA Inter-Club League Premier Division title. The club won three of their four matches played to finish ahead of Discovery Bay Golf Club in second place by two points. Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club placed third, a further two points adrift. HKGC members Anthony Taylor, Victor Ma and Stuart Murray are seen here collecting their silverware from HKGA president William Chung. In the First Division, DBGC finished on top, winning four and halving one of their six matches. They pipped HKGC into second place, with Clearwater Bay in third. The 2010 Inter-Club League will be sponsored by Julius Baer. 42
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Anything but Close Liu Lok-tin came of age at the Montrose Fine Wines Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship, trouncing the field by a whopping ten shots REPORT BY ALEX JENKINS PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHARLES McLAUGHLIN
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Max Wong was crowned Mid-Amateur champ
Shinichi Mizuno carded three 73s
onfidence, as any self-help book will tell you, breeds success. Liu Lok-tin knows this more than most. Having bagged his first significant title only two weeks previously at the HSBC China Junior Open in Hainan, the strapping 16-year-old arrived at Fanling over the Lunar New Year brimming with the stuff and duly destroyed the field at the Montrose Fine Wines Hong Kong Close A mateur Championship. Armed with one of the longest drives in Hong Kong amateur golf and a red-hot putter, Liu, unlike his rivals, ignored the cold and generally miserable conditions to canter to a ten-stroke victory. In terms of performances, it was arguably the most dominant in the event’s recent history. “I felt good all week,” said a clearly delighted but humble Liu, who fired a final round of level par 70 for a four day total of 287 (seven-overpar). “I’ve never been so confident on the golf course.” Although Liu entered the tournament in a rich vein of form, it would have taken a brave punter to back him to win before the start of the event. While Roderick Staunton was missing, reigning champion Steven Lam, former winner Max Wong and the highly rated Tim Orgill were all there – and all were highly fancied to put in strong showings. While Liu had finished second to Lam in the same event last year – thanks largely to a brilliant 67 in the third round – there were still a few doubts concerning his consistency. Having the tendency to blow hot and cold in tournaments past, Liu has seemingly laid those issues to rest with some conviction. At six-foot-five and nearly 200 pounds, Liu has long had the power to overawe courses. 44
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When he’s on-song with t he big st ick , few pa r fours require anything more than a wedge for the second shot. The par fives are at his mercy. But it was his composure, more than his awesome ball-striking ability that shone through at Fanling. Opening with rounds of 73 and 72, Liu found himself locked at the top of the leaderboard with fellow junior Terrence Ng on fiveover-par. Lam, who opened brightly with a 71, had faded to a 77 in the second round, but with 36 holes to play on the final day, he was by no means out of it. As it was, Liu’s nearest opponents froze in the bone-chilling conditions of the morning round, while he stamped his authority on the championship with a solid 72 to open up a seven-stroke lead. In truth, the final 18 holes were a cakewalk. Buoyed by a new-found appreciation of the tricky New Course greens, Liu, who attends Elegantia College in Sheung Shui, was rarely troubled and signed off with a best-of-the-event 70 in the final round. It was, quite simply, the perfect end to a perfect week.
Oliver Roberts celebrates holing an enormous putt on the sixteenth
Tim Orgill splashes out of a bunker during the final round
Liu Lok-tin in action
HONG KONG CLOSE LEADERBOARD
Chris Halpin enjoyed a solid tournament
Hong Kong Golf Club, New Course February 14-16, 2010
1 2 3 4 5= 8= 10 11 12 13 14= 16= 19 20
LIU Lok Tin Max WONG* Shinichi MIZUNO Steven LAM Mark McDONALD Christopher HALPIN Terrence NG Tim ORGILL Stuart MURRAY Anthony TAYLOR Oliver ROBERTS Kelvin INGE Jay WON Winston WU Michael STOTT LEE Cheuk Lam Ian CHUNG TANG Kei Hin Cameron HALLIDAY Todd HOOPER
73-72-72-70 74-74-76-73 73-81-73-73 71-77-76-77 77-75-75-75 80-75-70-77 73-72-79-78 79-73-76-75 75-79-74-75 75-77-78-78 77-73-86-74 79-73-76-83 76-78-85-75 77-78-82-79 75-78-82-81 74-84-79-80 75-79-83-80 79-77-77-84 76-82-80-82 83-74-87-83
287 297 300 301 302 302 302 303 303 308 310 311 314 316 316 317 317 317 320 327
Mark McDonald placed fifth
* Mid-Amateur Champion
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Terrence Ng got off to a bright start
Lam Clinches Order of Merit Title Despite not being at his best during the week, Steven Lam’s fourth place finish was enough to secure him his second successive HKGA Order of Merit title. The 17-yearold earned 18 points from the event to finish with a total of 60 points from the six counting tournaments – Hong Kong Close, Hong Kong Open, UBS Open/Faldo Series Qualifying, Kau Sai Chau Amateur, Macau Amateur and Midsummer Classic. Lam’s haul bettered Close champion Liu Lok-tin (51.5), who collected 30 points for his win to claim second. Roderick Staunton (40) placed third, with up-and-coming Shinichi Mizuno (39.5) finishing in fourth. The highlight of Lam’s year was unquestionably his brilliant performance at the Faldo Series Hong Kong qualifying event, which was held over the North Course at Kau Sai Chau. Opening up with a course record 65 in the first round, Lam tacked on a 68 in the second to win by an astonishing 25 shots.
An intelligent filter
Stuart Murray stares down an approach
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An out of synch Steven Lam still managed to claim the Order of Merit title
Liu Lok-tin in discussions with his caddie and fitness coach Kape Sieber
Practitioners of the craft of private banking
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HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Summit Cup Results 3 6= 9 10= 14 19= 21
Terrence Ng Steven Lam Tony Jiang Liu Lok-tin Leon D’Souza Fritz Lo Alan Jiang
77-70 77-74 73-80 76-78 77-81 82-81 83-82
147 151 153 154 158 163 165
Ng Shines at Chung Shan Terrence Ng flew the flag for Hong Kong at the Summit Cup 2010 Zhong Shan Junior Golf Fund Invitational, which was held during the last week of February. Ng, who played well at the Montrose Fine Wines Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship two weeks previously, carded rounds of 77 and 70 at Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club to finish in third spot. The inaugural tournament was hosted by China’s number one golfer, Liang Wen-chong, who is committed to developing junior golf in the mainland. After winning the 2007 Singapore Masters, Liang contributed his winner’s cheque of US$183,000 to the cause. Steven Lam was the next best Hong Kong finisher, rounds of 77 and 74 earned him a tie for sixth. Tony Jiang also secured a top-10 after carding scores of 73 and 80.
HK Struggle at Faldo Series Asia Hong Kong players disappointed at the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club in mid-March. Represented by Stephanie Ho, Steven Lam, Liu Lok-tin and Kitty Tam, the foursome (pictured here alongside Nick Faldo, Tenniel Chu of Mission Hills and national coach Brad Schadewitz) couldn’t get to grips with the Faldo Course at the world’s largest golf club, which was once again hosting the six-time major champion’s prestigious internationally acclaimed championship. Coming up against the cream of young Asian talent and a number of youthful European stars, it was Ho who fared the best of the Hong Kong contingent. The 17-year-old carded rounds of 82, 75 and 79 to finish in 34th place. Lam mixed flashes of brilliance with uncharacteristic mistakes to finish one spot lower, while Liu failed to replicate the form that earned him the Hong Kong Close Amateur title, ending the tournament in 56th. The tournament was won by Japan’s Masamichi Ito, who overcame Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Chi-hsien on the first hole of a sudden death playoff.
MacGregor Launch New Range MacGregor, long-time supporters of junior golf in Hong Kong, have launched their newest range – the NV-F series of golf equipment, which features the unique Fujikura MOTORE shaft. The company, whose products are now designed and manufactured exclusively in Japan, will once again sponsor the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship on April 7-8 at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. Hong Kong national coach Brad Schadewtiz attended the product launch at Asia Golf Club and is seen here with the HKPGA’s Wilson Choy, Ms Cindy Li, Mr Yoichi Sekiguchi, director of MacGreor Japan, and Mr Johnny Wong of MacGregor Hong Kong.
Faldo Series Asia Results 34 35 56 57 48
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Stephanie Ho Steven Lam Liu Lok Tin Kitty Tam
82-75-79 79-73-84 82-81-84 89-82-77
236 236 247 248 HKGOLFER.COM
Around the Clubs The Hong Kong Golf Club
Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club
Captain’s Cup February 28 D Moore won the Captain’s Cup played over the Eden Course and J Hyun was the runner-up.
Super Seniors Trophy – Gross Section March 10 T Collins won the Super Seniors Trophy Gross Section played over the Eden Course with 27 points. D Innes was the runner-up with 24 points. Super Seniors Trophy – Nett Section March 10 B Kam won the Super Seniors Trophy Nett Section played over the Eden Course with 36 points. J Dyer was the runner-up with 35 points on countback over the last nine holes from F Sutcliffe. Junior Championship March 21 HMV de Lacy Staunton won the Junior Championship played over the New Course and MQ Cheung was the runner-up. Club Championship March 21 MCK Wong won the Club Championship played over the New Course, defeating T Orgill 5&4 in the final. D Williams and D Nimmo were the other semi-finalists.
CNY Scramble February 3 Winners: Runners-up:
Cecilia Szeto, Haj Wilcox, Chikako Yabe & Mirenda Lok (59 C/B) Callie Botsford, Diana Ting, Catherine To & Fizzy Pavri (59)
February Medal* February 10 Division 1 Gross Winner: Haj Wilcox (45 C/B) Nett Winner: Diana Ting (37) Runner-up: Anita Chu (38) Division 2 Gross Winner: Lily Lau (51) Nett Winner: Liz Amez Droz (39) Runner-up: Cecilia Szeto (43) * reduced to 9 holes due to fog
February Stableford February 17 Division 2 Winner: Miko Kudo (36 points) Runner-up: Lily Lau (33) Foursomes Trophy February 24 Winners: Winnie Lam & Diana Ting (68) Runners-up: Sunny Kang & Liz Amez Droz (70) March Medal March 10 Division 1 Gross Winner: Nett Winner: Runner-up: Division 2 Gross Winner: Nett Winner: Runner-up:
Oshima Kok (89 C/B) Haj Wilcox (80) Chikako Yabe (81 C/B) Lily Lau (97) Cecilia Szeto (76) Miki Motogui (77)
Lady Captain’s Cup March 10 Winner: Haj Wilcox (80 C/B)
Have you thethe following experience: You are to taketoa shot, distance Have youever everhad had following experience: Youready are ready take the a shot, the your junior caddy tells you is different from your gauge. He knows the course, you don’t. distance your junior caddy tells you is different from your gauge. He knows the What will do? What will you do? course, youyou don’t.
t happens to all of us, even to professional players. It’s not that you are
Stuart Gethin (74) Eugene Pak (77) Stuart Gethin (71 C/B) Eugene Pak (71)
GolfSites’ GPS function provides you with distances to greens, bunkers, water and other important markers on the courses
Chairman’s Cup February 21 Winner: John Lai (40 points) Runner-up: Raymond Chan (38)
GolfSites have most of the courses from China and South East Asia
Club Champion: Max Wong (left) became the first player to win the HKGC Club Championship three years in a row. Wong defeated Tim Orgill 5&4 in the 36-hole final. HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
1st and 2nd shots’ distances.
The professional caddy for your
Captain’s Cup February 21 Gross Winner: Gross Runner-up: Nett Winner: Nett Runner-up:
Electronic Scoring System
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Copper Bowl 2010 March 10 Winner: Lily Lau (76 C/B)
Special feature allows you to measure your driving distance Quick input system allows you to concentrate on your game Statistical feedback for you to improve your game
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Destination: Khao Yai Come join the fun at the TAT Amateur Team Championship
Thai Treat: The excellent Toscana Valley and Kirimaya courses await the competitors of the TAT Amateur Team Championship; the Greenery Resort.
K Golfer has been appointed official media of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) Amateur Team Championship, which will take place from Jun 3-6 in the beautiful region of Khao Yai to the north of Bangkok. Open to all golfers in Hong Kong, the championship promises to be a competitive but fun-packed event, with an array of first-rate prizes on offer to the winning teams and individuals who successfully manage to master the scenic Toscana Valley and Kirimaya Golf Club courses. Priced at just HK$5,588, which includes flights, transfers, accommodation, green fees and non-golfing excursions, the tournament will showcase the best courses in the region combined with the unique hospitality of Thai culture. For more details see the advert opposite and call the event organizers on 2534-9770.
Toscana Valley is the most exclusive course in the region and is normally only open to members of the club and their guests. Designed by world-renowned architect Bob McFarland, the course is enhanced by the stunning backdrop provided by the Khao Yai hills, while the Tuscan-style clubhouse affords panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Kirimaya Golf Club has regularly been voted among Thailand’s top courses. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course, which is part of the upscale Kirimaya Resort, lies on the edge of Khao Yai National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hewn out of the tropical lush landscape, Kirimaya is an unforgettable layout, one that takes full advantage of its beautiful setting.
One of Khao Yai’s most popular tourist spots is the PB Winery. The winery sits amidst a lush 320-hectare plantation, of which 80 hectares is dedicated to growing grapes. Now into its sixteenth year of operation, it has become the birthplace of Thailand’s premium wines and is considered the leading winery in Southeast Asia.
Ideally located within easy access of Khao Yai’s top sights, the 256-room Greenery Resort is a high-end hotel featuring deluxe accommodations, an onsite spa and a variety of dining options. Breakfast is included as part of the TAT Amateur Team Championship package.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
top 10 feature
TOP 10 TUBBIES
Mak Lok-lin rues the departure of his favourite fatty and ponders some other overweight golfing achievers
t had to happen. John Daly missed yet another cut – at Torrey Pines in January – and announced that he was done with golf. It seemed especially sad to me, as not only was I witnessing the exit of one of the few characters left in the game, I was also seeing the (considerable) back of probably the only current player fatter than I am! In an attempt at on-course trendiness I once splurged my pay packet on a shirt from Guess, and all my playing partner could say was, “200 kilos?” The only “thin” elements in my game are the chips I regularly shoot through the back of the green and I lost my chance for Hollywood fame when I failed to lose enough weight to play Jabba The Hutt in Star Wars. (Editor’s Note: It’s true, Lok-lin’s enormous; we would wide-berth him in the office if it was possible). As I chewed on my cheeseburger (a hefty two pounder with extra cheddar, of course) and chugged down a bottle of trans-fat un-health drink at the halfway house, I began to ponder about Daly and the other heavy hitters the game has seen over the years…
Daly exploded onto the world golf scene in his rookie year of 1991, when he won the USPGA Championship at Crooked Stick. He had been the ninth (and last) alternate into the field and had to drive through the night from his Arkansas home in order to make his first round tee time. Without even having a practice round, Daly fired a 69 and ultimately won by three shots from Bruce Lietzke. Perhaps not surprisingly, he was named PGA Rookie of the Year. From the very start, unfortunately, Daly – aka “The Lion”, “Long John” and “Wild Thing” – became better known for what he did off the course than what he achieved on it. Battles with alcohol and drugs dogged his early career and Daly soon found himself the subject of several lawsuits regarding drunken domestic disputes. In all, Daly was divorced three times and although his weight has always been an issue, it was in the midst of the tabloid frenzy of the early nineties that he ballooned over 300 pounds. Despite all this, he miraculously managed to win a second major, the 1995 Open Championship at St Andrews, where he beat Constantino Rocca in a playoff. He has won a total of five PGA tournaments and would have contended a great deal more had he not thrown away leads with spectacular blowups – Daly seemed to be the master of mounting up double digit scores on individual holes. Throughout his trials and tribulations, he retained his reputation as a superb short game player, renowned in particular for his soft hands and touch on and around the greens. In 2008, he shot a spellbinding 62 in the final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open – missing the course record by a shot – despite only parring the final four holes. Following “Lap Band” surgery in 2009, which limits the amount of food he can consume, John started shedding the pounds and currently weights in at under 185. Unfortunately, his game seems to have gone the same way as his girth and in 2010 he announced he was quitting the tour. Watch this space.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
John Daly, seventeenth fairway, 2008 UBS Hong Kong Open, Fanling HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Duval used to be a poster child for golf fitness. In late 1997, after seven second place finishes, he finally got his first PGA Tour win, which he followed up with two more in less than a month. By the end of 1998, he had won four more and had started to dominate opponents – thanks in part to his intimidating physique and seemingly unfazed demeanour (remember those wraparound shades?). He soon reached the summit of the game, becoming the world’s number one ranked player, although it didn’t hurt that Tiger Woods was restructuring his swing with Butch Harmon at the time and would only win once that season. In 1999, Duval made an eagle on the final hole at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic to shoot a 59 and win the event by a single shot. It was only the third 59 ever recorded on tour and the first in the final round. By now, however, Woods was back and Duval seemed to feel that building up his strength was the best way to combat the Tiger onslaught. He soon became obsessed with bodybuilding. His final win (of 13) – and his first major – came at the 2001 Open Championship at Royal Lytham, but his game was already in decline and he hasn’t won since. He is currently on a bit of a revival, which more than one observer has put down to him quitting the workouts, getting married and gaining more than a few pounds.
A mere five foot six with her hands up, Pat Hurst won fat fans everywhere when she won a ladies’ major, the 1998 Kraft Nabisco. Voted LPGA Rookie of the Year in 1995, she has won six times on tour. However, some have remarked, perhaps unfairly, that her winning total would have been much higher had she adopted any kind of fitness regime. She had an outstanding amateur career, winning both the US Junior and US Women’s championships, but struggled to get on tour and actually gave up at one point to work in her local Nevada Bob’s golf store. She finally re-entered LPGA Qualifying in 1994, succeeding in her third attempt. The rest, as they say is history. Her record in the majors is impressive, with one win and ten top-10 finishes, and she has represented the US on five Solheim Cup teams.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Everyone recognizes the all-time record major winner as a dapper figure with long, wavy blonde hair. Famed the world over as the best player – and the best-dressed (with his own clothing line) – he because the gold standard for other golf professionals. Literally so, given his “Golden Bear” nickname and brand. However, it wasn’t always thus. A s a precocious amateur and in his early days as a young pro, Jack was actually known as “Ohio Fats” and sported a spiky crew cut that did nothing to flatter his rather round figure. A magazine article in 1965 gives his weight as 210 pounds, his waist at 35 inches and his hips at 42 inches. The same article confirms t he “ Oh io Fat s ’ nickname but also adds, rather u n k i nd ly, “ Baby Beef”, “Whale Boy” a nd “ Big Bea r ”. Remarkably none of this seemed to get to Jack and he happily talked of fans cheering him on using t hese names. Needless to say, when his form d ipped duri ng a rather less successful run of form, this cheering became catcalling and Nicklaus started to slim down in the late sixties. HKGOLFER.COM
Edwart Stewart Oliver, Jr. was 25 when he burst onto the national stage in1940. His first three PGA Tour wins got him noticed, but two other factors made him a household name. The first was his appearance: only five foot nine but weighing in at 240 pounds, he was immediately nicknamed “Porky” by the press and his fellow players alike. He took it all in good humour, something that would endear him to spectators across the United States. The second factor was, well, the “Second Factor”. Oliver became famous for finishing second in every major (except the Open Championship, which he never entered). In the 1940 US Open he took it one stage further. He actually finished in a tie for first, but was subsequently disqualified (along with five other players) for starting his final round 15 minutes early.
In a great career, Oliver won eight PGA Tour events and six others worldwide (including two Philippine Opens). He played in three Ryder Cup teams and had ten top 10 major finishes (not counting his 1940 adventure). Delightfully rotund, his size didn’t stop him enlisting and serving in World War Two during his peak years.
AFP (Duval/Hurst/Stadler); www.historicalgolfpictures.com (Nicklaus/Oliver)
No prizes for guessing Craig’s favourite karaoke song: the Beatles classic, I am the Walrus. He earned the moniker because, aside from his gargantuan girth, the moody Stadler also sports wild facial hair resembling tusks. However, as with our other examples, he had the game to match his outsize persona. Not ma ny k now t hat Stad ler had a n outstanding amateur career, winning the US Amateur while still at the University of Southern California (he was an All-American every year at college). As a pro he won 13 PGA Tour events (plus seven more on other tours), but 1982 was his banner year. He won four events, including his only major – the Masters, defeating Dan Pohl in a playoff. In all, he finished in the top-20 in 27 major championships. Craig played on two Ryder Cup teams – in 1983 and 1985 – and in 2003 he won the BC Open to become the first PGA Tour winner aged over 50 in almost 30 years. Needless to say, he quickly became the leading money winner when he joined the Champions Tour. This isn’t the first time Craig has appeared in a HK Golfer Top 10. In Top 10 Rulings (see Oct-Nov 2009 issue), Stadler made it onto the list thanks to an infringement where he was deemed to have “built a stance”, kneeling down on a towel to take a shot. Stadler’s son Kevin is also a professional golfer and weighs in excess of 250 pounds, making him a definite chip off the old block. After winning the 2006 Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Kevin’s game stuttered a little, although he found form in 2009, just losing out to Ryan Moore in a playoff for the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship.
Hefty hitters (clockwise from top): Craig "The Walrus" Stadler won the Masters in 1982; Oliver finished second in the Masters, US Open and PGA and won the Philippine Open twice; Nicklaus shed the pounds in the late sixties; Hurst won the Kraft Nabisco Championship after a stellar amateur career; Duval is showing a resurgence in form of late.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Undoubtedly the best British female player of all time, Laura has battled to control her weight throughout her career. A staggering 250-plus pounds at her peak, she managed to shed over 75 pounds through dieting, although it would appear that not all has stayed off. Not that it matters. Her record is outstanding, with four major wins and over 20 top-10 finishes. She has played on eleven Solheim Cup teams, appearing in every event to date. Having started as a pro 25 years ago, she triumphed in New Zealand as recently as last month, which took her tally to 73 worldwide wins. It is her personality, however, that shines through. Since 2001, she has been commentating for the BBC at events – including the Open Championship – and found great success behind the microphone. She owns a racehorse, greyhounds and is a regular at the track. She is also a football fanatic and was magnificently fined for taking a portable television with her during the final round of the 1996 Evian Masters so she could watch England versus Spain in the European Championships. England won on penalties and Laura won with a 14-under-par total!
Asia’s own larger-than-life representative on this list is Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat. In 2009, in only his second year as a pro and still a teenager, he romped away with his first title when he won the Mercedes Benz Tour’s Singha Pattaya Open at Burapha Golf Club by 11 shots. That win included a jaw-dropping round of 61. Unbelievably, that wasn’t the big man’s first 61 on tour, as he accomplished the feat in his very first professional event – the Singha E San Open – where he placed sixth. Whilst looking positively skinny alongside mega-hefty compatriot Prom Meesawat, Aphibarnrat proves he’s no lightweight with some sizeable stats of his own: measuring less than five foot nine in his softspikes, the burly Thai tips the scales at over 230 pounds. Since graduating to the Asian and Japan Tours (where he ranked second in driving distance in 2009), Aphibarnrat has come close in a number of events – most recently at the European Tour’s Maybank Malaysian Open where he finished in a tie for third. Undoubtedly one of the brightest talents in all of Southeast Asia, it’s surely only a matter of time before he breaks through – in a big way!
Cruelly labelled “Phat Phil” by some of the more scurrilous members of the online golf blogging community, Phil has seen his weight swing quite dramatically during his years on tour. He had an outstanding amateur career, not only becoming the first left-hander to win the US Amateur title but he also won a PGA Tour event – the Northern Telecom Open in Tuscon – while still a student. He was a thin young thing at the time, but it’s fair to say he’s gained a significant amount of weight since. Li ke Pork y Ol iver, Ph i l wa s k now n throughout the game as the “best player to never win a major” thanks a series of near misses. Indeed, he holds the record for most second place finishes at the US Open with five. Mickelson broke his duck in 2004 when he won the first of his three majors with victory at the Masters. He would repeat his Masters win in 2006, which immediately followed a win at the US PGA at Baltusrol in 2005. That nice run of results didn’t stop him from blowing the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot however. Standing on the final tee and leading by one, the San Diegoborn Mickelson proceeded to slice his ball wildly and wound up making a double bogey to lose by a single shot to Geoff Ogilvy. Amazingly, Phil is actually right-handed, but taught himself to play left-handed by “mirroring” his father’s swing.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
AFP (Davies/Mickelson); www.historicalgolfpictures.com (Alliss/Aphibarnrat)
Ever yone k nows t he si l k y-voiced commentator for BBC and ABC, but less know that he was one of the best English golfers of all time. Son of Percy Alliss, a Ryder Cup star of his day, Peter went on to play in eight Ryder Cups himself, making the Alliss’ the first fatherson combo to do so. In all he amassed 23 tour wins, and had five top-10 finishes in the Open. In 1958 he won three events in succession, a record that has since been matched – by Nick Faldo (in 1983) and Seve Ballasteros (in 1986) – but which still stands today. Mentored by the great Henry Longhurst and now considered something of a national treasure in the UK, his oft-repeated quotes includes the classic, “He used to be fairly indecisive, but now he’s not so certain.” Peter is also renowned for his little phrases such as: “I wonder…”, “Cor blimey, O’Reilly…” and of course, “It’s a funny old game…” Although portly now, Alliss was svelte in his prime. So why is he in our top 10? Incredibly, when he was born in 1931 (in Berlin, where Percy was a club pro) Peter weighed a gargantuan 14 pounds 11 ounces, a European record at the time. Sizeable Swingers (clockwise from top): Alliss weighed a staggering 14 pounds 11 ounces at birth; Thailand's Aphibarnrat is making a big impact on the Asian Tour; Davies is undoubtedly the best British female golfer of all time; Mickelson's weight has fluctuated significantly in recent years.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
The HK Golfer Guide to Scottsdale, Arizona, which is emerging as one the premier golf destinations in the United States
A Player’s Guide
BY THE EDITORS & GORDON LEE PHOTOGRAPHY BY LONNA TUCKER
egardless of whether you’re a 30-year veteran or a relative newcomer to the game, the names of the world’s greatest golf destinations are instantly familiar. Everyone knows that to enjoy the best of links golf, a trip to Scotland – taking in the Old Course at St Andrews and Muirfield – is in order. Melbourne’s wonderful array of sandbelt courses – the likes of Royal Melbourne, Kingston Heath and Commonwealth – are a must for lovers of the more rugged form of the game. Woodland golf doesn’t get any better than at Pine Valley in the pinelands of New Jersey, while those hankering after sweeping ocean vistas should head directly to the Monterey Peninsula and the courses at Pebble Beach and Cypress Point. Desert golf courses, which are found mostly in the southwestern states of America and the Arabian Gulf, don’t yet enjoy the same reputation – but that’s largely because they’re a relatively new phenomenon. The quality of golf in Scottsdale, Arizona – widely considered the global capital of desert golf – is first rate and the uniqueness of its courses means that they could one day rival they’re better-known counterparts.
Scottsdale Stunner: The Scott Miller-designed Chollo Course at We Ko Pa. 60
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
WHERE TO PLAY We Ko Pa (Cholla Course) HHHHH
What I will take away most from this course is the unencumbered views of the beautiful Sonoran desert – what feels like miles and miles of it – and the red-rocked mountains rising up in the distance. We Ko Pa means four peaks in a native Indian dialect. There is not a single house or building visible from the course and the tranquility is simply unbeatable. Arizonabased architect Scott Miller has combined old and new techniques here. For example his use of false fronts and smallish greens is inspired by the work of designers from the Golden Age of golf course architecture. And on the seventh, a tree bed is planted in the middle of the fairway so one has to play around or over it. The par threes are a particularly well-thought out set of holes, with all measuring different yardages so you’ll never play the same club twice. One or two holes might be deemed a little contrived – Miller has gone and made them as punishing as possible – but other than that it is a very well balanced course and certainly very picturesque, especially when you play the last few holes under the setting sun. Contact: (1-480)-836-9000; wekopa.com Green Fee: US$75-210 Yardage: 7,225 Par: 72 Course/Slope Rating: 73/136 Designed by Scott Miller
Troon North (Monument Course/ Pinnacle Course) HHHH/HHH
Both courses were originally designed by the dynamic pair of Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish – with the former returning a few years’ back to make improvements to the routings, which according to the residents pros, has greatly improved the flow. Weiskopf has gone on record to say the he likes to see constant changes in elevation throughout his courses and both these layouts meet that criteria – the continually shifting land provides a fair challenge and keeps you interested the whole way around. The Monument Course is perhaps the easier from tee to green, but the greens are testy. The par-fives are standouts. To find them in 62
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regulation one has to think carefully about choosing the correct lines from the tee – many of the fairways are angled making alignment all the more difficult. Nearly outstanding, the Monument unfortunately finishes on rather a dull note, the closing par-four eighteenth being one of the blandest on the course. With its tighter landing areas, the Pinnacle Course is a more demanding but also a more artificial test. Featuring many forced carries and greenside rocky outcrops – mini deserts, if you will – the Pinnacle can be unkind on the recreational golfer. Not unfair – but it can catch first-time visitors off their guard. This is a course that needs to be played a few times before it can be tackled with any degree of confidence.
Desert Dream: The Saguaro Course at We Ko Pau is the club's newest addition (above); lavish bunkering and rocky outcrops await at Troon North's Monument Course (left).
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Arizonan Aces: The eighteenth on the Pinnacle Course at Troon North finishes in front of the awardwinning clubhouse (top); the CrenshawCoore-designed features some of the strongest bunkering in the region.
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Unlike the Monument, which has splendid views of the desert and its accompanying cacti and other flora, the views from the Pinnacle are blocked by upscale housing that flanks the fairways. Nevertheless, there are no weak holes here and there is a nice rhythm to the layout. Troon North has regularly been named as the premier golfing facility in Scottsdale, and overall – taking into account the clubhouse, course maintenance practices, management and service – it lives up to that reputation. Contact: (1-480)-585-5300; troonnorthgolf.com Green Fee: US$55-295 Monument Course Yardage: 7,070 Par: 72 Course/Slope Rating: 72.9/147 Pinnacle Course Yardage: 7,025 Par: 71 Course/Slope Rating: 73/149 Designed by Tom Weiskopf & Jay Morrish
Talking Stick (North Course) HHHH
Talking Stick feels a world away from the manicured perfection of Troon North due to the severity of its desert backdrop. So much so that mustangs (feral horses) are often spotted roaming the landscape in search of their next meal. Designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, who believe in a minimalist approach to golf course architecture, and sited on tribal land, very little earth was moved during construction and the result is a course dictated more by nature than any other in the region. Playing hard and fast, the course is reminiscent of the classic sandbelt tracks around Melbourne and has a definite maturity to it, something that many other courses in Scottsdale lack. Locals reckon that Talking Stick has the finest bunkering in the immediate area – and it would be hard to disagree. These deep, rugged hazards can be especially costly to ones score, but fortunately there’s always a route around them. Credit to the designers: there are always options at Talking Stick; you’re never forced into playing any hole one particular w ay. Ta l k i n g S t i c k probably doesn’t get the respect it deserves, but for purists of the game a nd genera l ly more experienced players, this is a definite must-play. Contact: (1-480)-860-2221; talkingstickgolfclub.com Green Fee: US$40-170 Yardage: 7,133 Par: 70 Course/Slope Index: 72.7/123 Designed by Ben Crenshaw & Bill Coore HKGOLFER.COM
USA (303) 663-1000
China 86 151 0360 1588
A Peach of a Place
Built over a former refuse site, Guangzhou’s Peach Garden Golf Club is a great example of golf changing the landscape for the better BY THE EDITORS PHOTOGRAPHY BY TOM BREAZEALE
As a pure golfing experience, Peach Garden is a lot of fun. Sensibly, Hollinger has kept the landing areas wide and the rough is as short as the fairway grass at lesser clubs. Instead of forcing you into hitting fairway woods and long irons off the tee (like so many courses in the region that are flanked by jungle do), Hollinger practically thrusts the driver into your hands. There’s little in life that feels better than connecting sweetly with the longest club in the bag – and there’s more opportunity to do so here than at any other course in the immediate region. Although Peach Garden’s three nines aren’t overwrought with trouble, low scoring is not easy to come by due to the imaginative green complexes. Not only are they protected by expansive bunkering – and in the case of the par threes, by potentially threatening amounts of water – the putting surfaces are a danger in themselves. Multi tiers, runoffs and collection areas place the onus on one’s short game, and even gifted exponents will do well to prevent three putting at least once. Peach Garden is a good example of a relatively new course doing things right. Conditions have
Since entering the China market in the early nineties, Mark Hollinger from JMP Golf Design Group has become one of the most prolific architects on the mainland, with over fifteen projects to his name. The American, whose work includes the highly-rated Luxe Hills in Chengdu and the wonderful South Course at Agile in Zhongshan, has garnered a reputation for turning featureless sites into compelling courses – and he’s done it again with Peach Garden Golf Club. Situated to the west of Guangzhou in Nanhai (a thirty-minute taxi ride from Guangzhou East Station, which is served by the MTR’s Guangdong Through Train from Hung Hom), the club, which officially opened in 2005, is located within a “vacation zone” and consists of twenty-seven holes and an agreeable clubhouse. The Fontainbleu Hotel, a so-say five-star resort, is a five-minute shuttle bus journey from the club and a good choice for those not wanting to tear back to Hong Kong in the same day. 66
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Over the years, Chinese golf developers have received a bad rap from environmentalists for what they (in some cases, righty) perceive as the insensitive bulldozing of prime woodland and farmland sites. Indeed, the central government’s reasoning behind the continuing moratorium on golf course construction is to protect valuable pastures for agricultural cultivation. While this moratorium hasn’t stopped the emergence of hundreds of new courses springing up across the land (developers get around this by building courses on land planned as “green space”, “exercise fields” and “arboretums”), even the HKGOLFER.COM
Guangzhou Greens: Peach Garden's conditioning has so far proved impressive
beard and sandal brigade wouldn’t have too much of an issue with Peach Garden’s delightful rolling parkland-style layout. Hollinger was “highly uninspired” when he made his first site visit back in 2000. The property was littered with a disbanded brick factory and an enormous refuse site. Furthermore, the land lacked quality soil and a decent water supply. It was, quite literally, a dump. Fast forward a decade and the course blossoms with a variety of vegetation and its attractive landscaping has undoubtedly enriched the whole area. To say the land use transformation has been impressive would be understating the matter. HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Need to Know Peach Garden Golf Club
Green Fees (Visitors): RMB650-1,450 (WD/WE) Contact: Nanguo Peach Garden, Songgang, Nanhai, Foshan City, Guangdong. +86 (0)757-8523-1888; peachgardengolf.com
East/West Course Yardage: 7,236 Par: 72 South Course Yardage: 3,480 Par: 36 Designed by Mark Hollinger (JMP)
VISION so far proved exemplary, with the Paspalum fa ir ways a nd Bermuda Tif Eagle greens providing silky playing surfaces, a direct result of the club spending money where it counts.
Clubhouse / Amenities
Bunkered: Hollinger's imaginative hazards leave a lasting impression.
Well equipped without being too large, flashy or pretentious (for the region), Peach Garden’s nineteenth hole houses a comfortable locker room and restaurant, which serves up Chinese and international favourites. The health spa at the nearby Fountainbleu Hotel is the place to go for a post-round rub down, while the friendly staff, generally speaking, has more than a grasp of English thanks to an extensive learning programme initiated by the club’s management.
Peach Garden is a good example of a relatively new course doing things right. Conditions have so far proved exemplary, with the Paspalum fairways and Bermuda TifEagle greens providing silky playing surfaces, a direct result of the club spending money where it counts. In many ways, then, this is the ideal club. While its location won’t suit those looking for a quick jaunt across the border, Peach Garden is well worth consideration for those who have business in Guangzhou or are contemplating a short break away. It’s worth noting that when the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link opens (the China track is scheduled for later in the year, with Hong Kong coming online in 2016), journey times will be significantly reduced.
Luxe Hills, China Hole 2 Par 3
WORLD CLASS RESULTS Mark E. Hollinger ASGCA
Address: 1513 Folger Drive, Belmont, California 94002 USA Tel: 1-650-620-9670 Fax: 1-650-620-9707 China: (86)136-6018-6366
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
WORLD GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP (WGC) EVENTS
EUROPEAN TOUR – RACE TO DUBAI 2010
WGC – CA CHAMPIONSHIP
TPC Blue Monster at Doral, Florida, March 11-14 Ernie Els fended off a challenge from fellow South African Charl Schwartzel to win the CA Championship by four strokes, serving notice a month before the Masters that he is back on form. Els and Schwartzel were even with eight holes to play, but Els proved the steadier player down the stretch as he pulled away in a testing breeze at Doral's Blue Monster in the US$8.5 million World Golf Championships event. Els fired a bogey-free six-under par 66 to finish at 18-under 270, ending a two-year victory drought. He collected US$1.4 million for his second WGC victory, his 17th triumph on the PGA Tour. “I felt my game was in good shape. I just wanted to come out and prove it to myself, Els said. “I've got a take a lot of positives from this heading into the Masters next month.” Schwartzel shot 70 to take the US$850,000- runner-up prize on 14-under with Irishman Padraig Harrington, German Martin Kaymer and American Matt Kuchar another three shots behind in a tie for third. “I had to really trust those changes I made last weekend and today was a great day for it,” Els said. "The wind was blowing and I had to come up with the goods.” 1 2 3 3 3 6 6 6 6 6
Ernie Els Charl Schwartzel Martin Kaymer Matt Kuchar Padraig Harrington Paul Casey Bill Haas Graeme McDowell Alistair Presnell Alvaro Quiros
68 66 70 66 67 70 67 70 70 72 66 69 71 71 67 68 70 68 67 72 69 72 68 69 71 66 70 71 74 68 70 66 72 70 72 64 72 69 69 68
WGC - ACCENTURE MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP
Ritz-Carlton GC, Dove Mountain – Arizona, Feb17-21 Ian Poulter defeated Paul Casey 4 and 2 in the first ever all-European World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship final. An extraordinary week for The European Tour - which provided all four semi-finalists and seven of the last eight – ended with Poulter, dressed all in pink, achieving a brilliant maiden victory on US soil. Poulter took home the Walter Hagen trophy for his win at Dove Mountain, which is appropriate given both men's notorious attention to detail when it comes to what to wear on the course. “He was very snappy,” quipped Poulter. “Are you saying I'm a snappy dresser?” Poulter moved hotel rooms at the start of the week due to noise, but had become paranoid when the new room number ended in 13. After taking the biggest prize of his career the 34 year old admitted his concern had been misplaced. “I kind of like Number 13,” he added. “I was very concerned, I should say, more concerned than what most people would think. I was very much thinking about moving rooms again, but I guess it worked.” Camilo Villegas won the third-fourth consolation match, defeating Sergio Garcia 5 and 4. 1 2 3 4 5 5 70
Ian Poulter Paul Casey Camilo Villegas Sergio Garcia Retief Goosen Stewart Cink
$1,400,000 $850,000 $600,000 $490,000 $270,000 $270,000
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
270 274 277 277 277 278 278 278 278 278
$1,400,000 $850,000 $426,666 $426,666 $426,666 $214,300 $214,300 $214,300 $214,300 $214,300
WORLD PROFESSIONAL GOLF RANKINGS As of March 15, 2010
10 Padraig HARRINGTON IRL
11 Rory McILROY
12 Camilo VILLEGAS
13 Geoff OGILVY
14 Henrik STENSON
15 Robert ALLENBY
COMMERCIALBANK QATAR MASTERS
Doha GC, Qatar, Jan 28-31 Robert Karlsson completed a stunning comeback from the eye injury that ruined his 2009 campaign with a comprehensive three stroke victory at the Commercialbank Qatar Masters. After becoming the first Swedish player to be European Number One in 2008, Karlsson was sidelined for four months last year suffering from blurred vision caused by fluid behind the retina in his left eye. But at Doha Golf Club the 40 year old was back to the best which saw him win twice in 2008 to ensure a second successive Ryder Cup appearance. Karlsson produced the round of the week to win with a stylish bogey free seven under par final round. "That's the thing I am most happy with,” said Karlsson. “It's not really the win, it's fantastic to win, but to play four really good rounds together, that's the most satisfying." 1 2 3 3 5 5 5 8 9 9
Robert Karlsson Alvaro Quiros Brett Rumford Lee Westwood Paul Casey Bradley Dredge Oliver Wilson Thomas Bjorn Niclas Fasth Ricardo Gonzalez
68 70 70 65 71 70 68 67 69 66 73 69 68 69 70 70 71 69 66 74 67 69 70 74 67 70 72 71 73 70 70 68 70 68 73 71 72 72 71 67
273 276 277 277 280 280 280 281 282 282
OMEGA DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC
Emirates GC, Dubai, Feb 4-7 Evergreen Spaniard Miguel Angel Jiménez courageously edged out European Number One Lee Westwood at the third play-off hole to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic following a thrilling see-saw final day at the Emirates Golf Club. The flamboyant 46 year old appeared to be out of the title race on the first two play-off holes and saw Westwood miss two championship putts after the pair had topped the leaderboard at 11 under par, a shot clear of Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee. Jiménez narrowly missed the water at the first extra hole and holed out from 12 feet to keep his bid alive on the second. He then held his nerve from four feet in near darkness at the third time of asking after seeing Westwood miss his par effort. Defending champion Rory McIlroy climbed to seventh in the world rankings following his sixth place. 1 2 3 4 4 6 6 8 8 8
€294,584 €196,387 €99,512 €99,512 €63,277 €63,277 €63,277 €44,188 €33,264 €33,264
Miguel Angel Jimenez Lee Westwood Thongchai Jaidee Martin Kaymer Edoardo Molinari Rory McIlroy Alvaro Quiros Gregory Bourdy Henrik Stenson Tom Watson
70 67 68 72 72 65 68 72 70 66 69 73 71 70 68 70 68 70 70 71 68 70 69 73 69 69 67 75 74 70 70 68 76 69 69 68 73 70 71 68
277 277 278 279 279 280 280 282 282 282
€296,500 €197,644 €111,367 €82,191 €82,191 €57,818 €57,818 €39,968 €39,968 €39,968
MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN
Kuala Lumpur G&CC, K.L., March 4-7 18 year-old teenage golf sensation Noh Seung-yul of Korea secured a dramatic one-stroke victory over compatriot K.J. Choi at the Maybank Malaysian Open after pulling off an audacious final-hole birdie. The Korean produced the unlikeliest of birdies at the par five 634-yard 18th hole to close out the US$2 million tournament with a final round four-under-par 68 and a 14-under-par 274 winning aggregate total. His three wood second shot to the final hole flew over the hospitality unit to the left of the green and eventually coming to rest on the concrete cart path, some 30 yards from the hole. After being granted relief from the cart path, the young Korean stayed cool under pressure and hit a sublime chip shot over the left-hand bunker to within 18 inches of the hole to and tapped-in for his second Asian Tour and maiden European Tour success. 1 2 3 3 3 6 7 7 9 10
Noh Seung-yol K.J. Choi Soren Hansen Kiradech Aphibarnrat Rhys Davies Danny Willett Johan Edfors Thongchai Jaidee Jason Knutzon Mark Brown
69 70 67 68 67 70 69 69 70 67 69 70 68 69 68 71 65 69 71 71 72 69 68 68 69 69 69 71 66 71 69 72 73 67 72 67 71 71 72 66
274 275 276 276 276 277 278 278 279 280
$333,330 $222,220 $103,333 $103,333 $103,333 $70,000 $55,000 $55,000 $44,800 $35,850 HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
PGA TOUR RESULTS 2010
LADIES TOUR RESULTS 2010
AT&T PEBBLE BEACH NATIONAL PRO-AM
Pebble Beach, Los Angeles, Feb 11-14 Dustin Johnson rolled in a threefoot birdie putt on the famous eighteenth hole to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – and disappointed a lot of people. No offense to Johnson, a 25-yearold hot, young talent who, by defending the tournament title, became the first newcomer since Tiger Woods to win in each of his first three PGA Tour seasons, but he ruined an awfully good story. One shot back of the winner, waiting for a chance to be part of a threeway playoff if Johnson's final putt did not fall, was David Duval, the people's choice, a sentimental favorite hoping to reestablish a career. He didn't get the chance. Johnson, who began the day 18 under and tied with co-leader Paul Goydos, shot 74, but on a wind-beaten day when only seven players broke 70, it was just enough to hold off Duval's 69 and J.B. Holmes with 71. 1 2 2 4 5 5 5 8 8 10
Dustin Johnson David Duval JB Holmes Steve Marino Paul Goydos JP Hayes Josh Teater Tom Gillis Phil Mickelson Tim Clark
64 68 64 74 67 68 67 59 65 67 68 71 68 67 67 71 67 65 64 78 68 71 63 72 70 67 68 69 69 68 69 69 68 67 69 71 70 68 68 70
270 271 271 273 274 274 274 275 275 276
$1,116,000 $545,600 $545,600 $297,600 $226,300 $226,300 $226,300 $186,000 $186,000 $137,433
WASTE MANAGEMENT PHOENIX OPEN
TPC Scottsdale, Arizona, Feb 25-28 US Ryder Cup player Hunter Mahan carded a second straight 65 to win the Phoenix Open by one stroke. It was the second PGA Tour title for Mahan, who came from a four-shot deficit overnight to edge out rookie Rickie Fowler by a single stroke. Mahan's sixunder 65 burst to life on the back nine as he carded an eagle and two birdies in four holes form the 13th to record a 16-under total of 268. It was tough luck on Fowler, who was left with the second runner-up spot of his burgeoning career a 68 for 269. Reigning U.S. PGA champion Yang Yong-Eun of South Korea also carded a 65 to finish one shot further back in third. The major winner held the outright lead but blew his chance when he found water off the 17th tee. Fowler, beaten in a playoff at the Frys.com Open in his second event on Tour, played it safe on the par-five 15th as he did not attempt to go for the green in two and then could not find a birdie in the remaining holes. 1 2 3 4 4 4 7 8 8 8
Hunter Mahan Rickie Fowler YE Yang Chris Couch Mathew Goggin Charles Howell III Vaughn Taylor Robert Allenby Matt Every Bryce Molder
68 70 65 65 65 67 69 68 66 70 69 65 67 66 70 68 66 67 70 68 69 66 68 68 68 68 68 68 69 65 69 70 63 70 68 72 68 67 70 68
268 269 270 271 271 271 272 273 273 273
$1,080,000 $648,000 $408,000 $248,000 $248,000 $248,000 $201,000 $156,000 $156,000 $156,000
Siam CC, Chonburi, Feb 18-21 Japanese star Ai Miyazato rallied to win the season-opening Honda PTT LPGA Thailand, holing a birdie chip on the final hole for a 9-under 63 and a one-stroke victory over Norway’s Suzann Pettersen. Miyazato, six strokes behind Pettersen after the third round, was 6 under in a six-hole stretch midway through the round, then birdied three of the last six holes to match the tournament record of 21 under set by Pettersen in October 2007. Pettersen finished with a 70 over Siam Country Club’s Old Course. She had a chance to force a playoff on the par-five eighteenth, but missed a 23-foot eagle try. The 24-year-old Miyazato earned $195,000 for her second LPGA Tour title. She also won the Evian Masters last year in France and has 15 victories on the Japanese tour. 1 2 3 4 4 6 6 6 6 10
Ai Miyazato Suzann Pettersen Yani Tseng Karrie Webb Cristie Kerr Laura Davies Maria Hjorth Momoko Ueda Song-hee Kim Amy Yang
67 67 70 63 66 64 68 70 68 68 68 69 69 69 70 67 68 71 66 70 70 71 70 65 69 66 70 71 70 65 69 72 67 68 68 73 70 72 65 70
267 $195,000 268 $125,840 273 $91,288 275 $63,729 275 $63,729 276 $37,549 276 $37,549 276 $37,549 276 $37,549 277 $27,903
HSBC WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS
Suwan G&CC, Bangkok, Feb 4-7 India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar produced a brilliant course record eight-under-par 64 to win the seasonopening Asian Tour International by one shot. Starting the final round six strokes back, Bhullar reinforced his growing reputation as one of Asia’s brightest prospects with a superb come-frombehind victory, the second of his career, at the Suwan Golf and Country Club. The 21-year-old Indian sank an eagle and six birdies for an unblemished card and edged out Korea’s Hwang Inn-choon, who signed for a 69 for second place in the US$300,000 event. Japan’s Tetsuji Hiratsuka, runner-up last year, took third place with a 68 while overnight leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand carded a disappointing 73 to finish tied fourth with Jbe Kruger of South Africa, three behind the winner.
Tanah Merah CC, Singapore, Feb 25-28 Ai Miyazato won the HSBC Champions to become the first LPGA Tour player in 44 years to sweep the first two events of a season, closing with 3-under 69 for a two-stroke victory over Cristie Kerr. Miyazato, the 24-yearold Japanese star who won the LPGA Thailand the week before, took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 16th — a hole she played in 5 under for the week — and parred the final two holes to finish at 10 under on Tanah Merah's Garden Course. “This is obviously a great start for me,” Miyazato said. “I try to stay in the present in what I do and that's really helping my game at the moment.” Marilynn Smith was last player to win the first two events in a season, accomplishing the feat in 1966. Babe Zaharias (1951), Louise Suggs (1952) and Mickey Wright (1963) also swept season-opening events.
1 2 3 4 4 6 6 6 9 9
1 2 3 3 3 3 7 7 9 9
ASIAN TOUR RESULTS 2010 ASIAN TOUR INTERNATIONAL
HONDA PTT LPGA THAILAND
Gaganjeet Bhullar Hwang Inn-choon Tetsuji Hiratsuka Jbe Kruger Kiradech Aphibarnrat Ted Oh Lin Wen-hong Piya Swangarunporn Lucas Lee Antonio Lascuna
71 71 71 64 72 70 67 69 71 72 68 68 70 72 69 69 68 70 69 73 76 70 71 65 71 74 70 67 70 72 69 71 68 74 72 69 70 72 71 70
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
277 278 279 280 280 282 282 282 283 283
$47,550 $32,550 $18,300 $13,545 $13,545 $8,810 $8,810 $8,810 $5,746 $5,746 HKGOLFER.COM
Ai Miyazato Cristie Kerr Song-Hee Kim Jiyai Shin Yani Tseng Suzann Pettersen In-Kyung Kim Vicky Hurst Angela Stanford Jee Young Lee
69 71 69 69 68 73 71 68 69 70 75 67 71 71 72 67 74 67 71 69 70 70 72 69 70 72 71 69 73 71 69 69 68 71 74 70 73 73 68 69
278 280 281 281 281 281 282 282 283 283
$195,000 $123,739 $65,207 $65,207 $65,207 $65,207 $35,906 $35,906 $24,964 $24,964
WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Commonwealth GC, Melbourne, March 11-14 Taiwan's Yani Tseng won the Women's Australian Open on Sunday, birdieing seven of the last 12 holes for a bogey-free 7-under 66 and a three-stroke victory over 2009 winner Laura Davies. The sixth-ranked Tseng, the 2008 LPGA Championship winner, had a 9-under 283 total on the Commonwealth Golf Club course. She opened with rounds of 74, 71 and 72 to begin the day four strokes behind third-round leader Karrie Webb. “It was very exciting, my whole body is still shaking,” Tseng said before the trophy presentation. "My heart is still at over 200 beats a minute. I just felt I needed to get some more birdies coming home, and it worked out." She birdied the final two holes and hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation. 1 2 3 4 4 6 7 8 9 10
Yani Tseng Laura Davies Karrie Webb Katheri ne Hull Giulia Sergas Lindsey Wright Stacy Lewis Hyun-Soo Kim (A) Anna Nordqvist Hee-Kyung Seo
74 71 72 66 68 76 71 71 73 70 70 74 73 70 70 74 70 69 75 74 71 74 74 70 75 71 72 72 78 69 72 72 75 70 73 74 72 78 70 73
283 €63,333 286 €42,222 287 €29,555 288 €19,211 288 €19,211 289 €14,144 290 €12,033 291 NIL 292 €9,922 293 €8,866
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
Open Championship Q&A:
The chief executive of the R&A talks to HK Golfer ahead of the 150th anniversary of golf ’s oldest major championship
his year marks the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship. Are you expecting this to be the highlight of your tenure so far? I’d rather answer that afterwards [laughs], but every Open Championship is a highlight for me. I wouldn’t want to pick one out but the 150th edition is obviously going to be very poignant. We’ll be running our fourhole past champions’ event as we did in 2000, which is going to be wonderful. We have 32 living champions and we’re hoping for a big turnout. There have already had a lot of acceptances, so the fans can look forward to that. St Andrews itself makes it a special Open. Presumably Tiger will be back in the field… His return is very good for golf. I hope his personal situation has settled down and it’s great to have him back. St Andrews is a course he loves and I’m sure he’ll be with us in July. We’re looking forward to seeing him. Can you explain the reasoning for installing the new tee on the famous seventeenth on the Old Course, which adds approximately 40 yards to the hole? The new tee is straight back on the same line as the existing tee, so it’s just longer. The hole has never been lengthened. At The Open in 1900 the hole played the same length as it did in 2005. But the way the hole plays has changed completely over the years. We’re basically trying to get a longer second shot into the hole. We want the professionals to be hitting a less lofted club, which is more likely to bring the traditional hazards – the road bunker and particularly the road at the back – more into play than we have seen in recent times. We see a lot of professional golf at the Old Course – The Open every five years and the annual Dunhill Links – so we’re very conversant on how the pros play the seventeenth. What we’ve been seeing is that they can get in position off the tee with less than a driver or they have a relatively lofted second shot. When they have a seven-iron in their hands they’re very good with distance control. They’re not so good with a two- or three-iron.
The new tee hasn’t been put in play yet but have the players voiced any opinion? That’s right; the new tee will be in play for the first time at The Open. At the Dunhill we took some of the players and showed them the new location and explained our reasoning. Their reaction was positive. 74
HK Golfer・APR/MAY 2010
You played to a very good standard when you were at Cambridge and made it onto their university team. Do you play much these days, and if so, what’s your handicap? Oh gosh, that was a very long time ago [laughs]. Never take a job in golf if you want to play. I play when I can and I still love it. But frustratingly, it’s not enough. I think my handicap has technically lapsed, but if I can get a week’s golf in I probably play to about a three, which is what I masquerade off. Do you have a favourite Open Championship, either before or during your reign as chief executive? The one I remember the most as a kid was [Royal] Lytham [& St Annes] in 1969 when Tony Jacklin won. It had been so long since a British player had won the championship that I confess to having a tear in my eye at that one. I remember it very well. During my time, which is since 2000, the first one would take a lot of beating. Tiger Woods was at his dominant best and we had the four-hole past champions’ event. But all the Opens are marvelous, so I hope that’s not ducking the question because it’s genuinely true. What’s your personal best on the Old Course? Funnily enough it was the first time I played it, which is what they say about the Old Course. If you don’t know where the trouble is you can get round it quite well. And I did get it round in just under 70. Is the Old Course your favourite of The Open courses? The Old Course has an atmosphere like no other – coming back into the town at St Andrews is very special. But I do love them all. Muirfield is a very fair course, Carnoustie is the toughest, I think. Lytham is perhaps in some ways the most subtle. But they’re all great courses. Can we look forward to seeing a British winner of The Open this year? We’re seeing European golfers coming through very strongly recently; the English players in particular are creeping up the world rankings. I don’t know what Tiger’s been playing like, but he will probably be the man to beat as usual. But there are so many good golfers from all parts of the world that picking a winner is a much harder occupation than it used to be. –As told to Alex Jenkins HKGOLFER.COM