Style: Chilean Wine, JS Watch co., all-new Range Rover Sport ...
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION ISSUE 76
HKGOLFER.COM MAY 2013
SPRING SPECIALS: THE LATEST GEAR
Adam Scott Ends 77 Years of Masters Misery DISPLAY UNTIL 15 JUN
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HK Golfer Issue 76
34 On the Cover:
Adam Scott ended 77 years of hurt by becoming the first Australian to win The Masters after a gripping play-off victory over Angel Cabrera. Photo by AFP
28 | Australia Day
12 | In Focus
Adam Scott’s victory on the second play-off hole against Angel Cabrera at last month’s Masters Tournament was a monumental achievement in this proud sporting country’s history. By Paul Prendergast
34 | One of a Kind
A report on the ongoing success of JS Watch co. Reykjavik, one of the most unique watchmakers in the world. By Robert Reid
46 | East and West
24 | Driving Range
52 | The Challenger
26 | Liquid Assets
58 | Away from the Crowd
38 | Numbers Game
62 | Spring Specials
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
The 2014 Range Rover Sport is the fastest Land Rover ever made, but that’s only one of the reasons why our motoring correspondent will be getting his order in promptly. By Ben Oliver
A profile of Willie Park, Sr – winner of the very first Open Championship, but a player who never enjoyed the adulation that his rivals – men like “Old” Tom Morris and Allan Robertson – received. By Roger McStravick The eastern coast of Java, around Surabaya, doesn’t automatically spring to mind quality golf. But it’s here where you’ll find two courses, a mere hour’s drive from the centre of the city that certainly reward the intrepid traveller. By Duncan Forgan
21 | Tee Time
The play of Guan Tian-lang, the Chinese 14-year-old amateur, at The Masters was truly sensational, but here’s hoping he follows the advice of his mentors and focuses on his long term goals. By Alex Jenkins Jiyai Shin, a two-time Women’s British Open champion, talks about the different approaches players from Asia and their counterparts in Europe and the US take to the game. By Lewine Mair
A pictorial review of the past 30 days – both regionally and globally. By The Editors
From customizable balls to adjustable drivers and funky grips, our equipment editor picks 10 of his favourite new releases. By Charlie Schroeder
A look at the history – and overwhelming success – of Seña, arguably Chile’s most famous and sought after wine. By Richard Sutton
A numerical look at how The Masters was won and lost. By The Editors
70 | Golf & Investing/5 Minutes With ... James Stewart, the locally-based pro and entrepreneur talks about his standout performances, his admiration for Tom Watson and his investment philosophy. By Alex Jenkins HKGOLFER.COM
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THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION May 2013 • Issue 76
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21 Clubhouse 40
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From the President
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HK Golfer Mailbag man that the penalty didn’t make him miss out), I don’t believe he should have been somehow let off for what was clearly continual slow play, and therefore an infringement of the rules. I was fortunate enough to be at Augusta during the tournament and got to watch Guan at close quarters. There is no doubt about it: he can be painfully sluggish from the time he reaches his ball to pulling the trigger. But the good news is that he’s obviously young enough to be able to rework his pre-shot routine and become a quicker player as a result. He clearly has tremendous talent, and he handled the penalty with real class, so in many ways, catching this unfortunate habit and nipping it in the bud now will be better for him in the long run. Just as importantly, I hope the many millions of young golfers around the world take heed. Slow play has become a real problem; not just at world-class professional events but at courses everywhere. Name and address withheld
An Inspirational Masters
Penalty Was Wrong for Guan
Congratulations to HK Golfer for correctly identifying Adam Scott as one of the top contenders in this year’s Masters [April 2013 issue]. As always, this major tournament delivered sensational drama and incredible golf. The Masters could not have a more worthy champion than Scott, a true gentleman and golfing talent. Angel Cabrera showed his class with his fantastic golf under pressure and graciousness in defeat. Their mutual respect and sportsmanship should be an inspiration to all golfers. And let’s not forget the unfathomable accomplishment of the kid, Guan Tian-lang, who probably has two weeks of homework to make up! Thank you, Augusta.
What an amazing Masters that was! It was wonderful to see Adam Scott recover from the trauma at last year’s Open Championship and win that elusive major; Angel Cabrera has gone up in everyone’s estimations for his magnificent sportsmanship; while the whole Tiger Woods near-disqualification debate proved fascinating. What I can’t agree with, however, is the penalty Guan Tian-lang received for slow play, which was the first in Masters history. Was he slow? Undoubtedly, yes. Is he the only player in all 77 editions of this fantastic event to take longer than he should? Undoubtedly, no. A quiet – or not so quiet – word in Guan’s ear after the round was over would have got the message across effectively enough without causing the furore it did. Sometimes common sense should prevail over the strict letter of the law.
Doug Williams Via email Editor’s reply: Thanks Doug, although the real credit for predicting Scott would have a good tournament should go to Paul Prendergast, the author of the story and, you guessed it, an Australian. Like many, I figured Scott had missed his major chance at Lytham last year. But you’re right: the sportsmanship shown in the play-off was fantastic to see and, hopefully, a real inspiration to younger players.
Penalty Will be Good for Guan
We Want to Hear from You! Have something to say about an article in HK Golfer or a topic affecting golf in our area? Send your thoughts and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Am I the only one who thinks that Guan’s penalty for slow play during the second round of The Masters was a good thing? I’m certainly in the minority when discussing the subject with my regular golfing friends. While I think his accomplishment in making the cut was outstanding (and I’m glad for the young
Victor So Central
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Asia Focus He’ll Never Forget Scott Hend secured his third Asian Tour title with a brilliant come-from-behind victory at the Chiangmai Golf Classic at the end of March. The 40-year-old Australian, one of the longest hitters in professional golf, tore apart the Alpine Golf Resort on the final day with an eight-under 64 which reeled in local favourite and overnight leader Prayad Marksaeng. Hend, who took home a cheque for US$135,000 and this impressive trophy , was frank about his hopes heading into the Sunday: “To be honest, I didn’t think I had a chance to win ... [but] obviously it all fell together.” Photo by Asian Tour
Global Focus Basking in the Glory A constant drizzle was never going to be enough to stop Adam Scott from parading the latest addition to his wardrobe – the Green Jacket, the most coveted piece of tailoring in the game – after his stunning play-off victory over 2009 Masters champion Angel Cabrera. Scott looked a different man from the one who carded four consecutive bogeys to hand last year’s Open Championship title to Ernie Els. Keeping his nerves in check, the Australian pipped his Presidents Cup teammate Cabrera with a 12-footer for birdie on the second hole of sudden death, the demanding 10th, to send the folks “Down Under” wild. Photo by Scott K Brown / Augusta National
HK Open Champ Jiménez Returns to the Fairways
Reigning Hong Kong Open champion Miguel Angel Jiménez is back in action on the European Tour after recovering from breaking his leg in a skiing accident in December, although the popular Spaniard missed the cut at the Open de Espana, his comeback event.
Jiménez (pictured) carded rounds of 76 and 74 at El Saler late last month to fail to make it to the weekend action by some margin. But the important thing is he’s back. The 49-year-old set a European Tour record when he claimed victory at Fanling last November by holding off Sweden’s Fredrik Andersson Hed on a tense final day. He became the oldest winner on the Tour at 48 years and 318 days, beating the previous record held by Des Smyth. With three wins in total at Fanling – he also triumphed in 2004 and 2007 – Jiménez also has one of the best records in Hong Kong Open history. “My leg is improving daily,” the cigar-chomping Spaniard said. “I work out every morning in the gym and I’m actually a little ahead of schedule on my rehab. I am not 100 per cent fit, but I want to test myself and see how I feel. “When I took up skiing I knew the risks that I was taking, but I love it so much I could not stop,” Jiménez had earlier said. “I was going down a hill and lost control briefly and when I fell it was very sore. I knew immediately that I had broken something. I broke the top of the tibia in my right leg, just where it meets the knee, and they put in two pins. I was playing very well [prior to the accident] but these things happen in life.”
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| TOUR TALK
Changes, New Technology in Store for The Open
The Shark Takes a Swipe at Anti-Doping Procedures
The venerable course at Muirfield will be lengthened by 158 yards for this year’s Open Championship. The changes mainly deal with new tees at the second, fourth, ninth, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th holes. There has also been some reworking of bunkers, and the 10th fairway has been moved to accommodate a bigger practice range. Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, said: “we will be setting the course up to challenge the golfers.” Muirfield is hosting the The Open for the 16th time since 1892. Ernie Els won the last title at the course in 2002, when it measured 7,034 yards. This year’s course will be 7,192 yards, with par remaining at 71. According to the BBC, the R&A will also use LED scoreboards for the first time at The Open and will offered Wi-Fi access for fans to follow the tournament on their smartphones, which will be allowed on the grounds. “Our championship committee is very engaged in trying to enhance the spectator experience,” said Dawson (pictured). “We are trying to give fans access to what’s going on all around the golf course. If we can get to that then I think golf spectating will take a huge leap forward. We hear many people say golf is easier to watch on television, but you don’t get the atmosphere quite as much as if you are present.”
Charles McLaughlin (Dawson); AFP (Norman)
Two-time major champion Greg Norman says golf’s anti-doping procedures are “disgraceful” and blood testing needs to be instituted as soon as possible. “You only have to look at what happened to Vijay Singh just recently to know the drugs issue is there,” Norman (pictured) told The Australian newspaper in late May. Singh acknowledged in a magazine interview in January that he had used deer antler spray, which contains a muscle-building hormone banned by the PGA Tour. It can be detected only by blood tests. “How deep it is [the problem], I have no idea because we only do urine analysis instead of blood testing,” Norman said. “If you really want to be serious about it and find about what’s really going on, we need to do blood testing. I think it’s disgraceful, to tell you the truth. The golf associations have to get together and step it up. “It’s a pinprick for a player and you find out what’s going on. If you’re the head of golf or any sport, if you’re the commissioner for a sport, it’s your responsibility to make sure your sport is clean ... that should be your number one priority. “Any sportsman or sportswoman who uses an outside agency to improve their skills is cheating,” Norman said. “It sickens me. They’re putting a black eye on their sport. If a sport gets itself clean, the corporate dollars will always be there because people will know it’s a sport they can trust. The rest will take care of itself.” 18
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
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Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME
Perfectly Formed ROBERT REID reports on the ongoing success of JS Watch co. Reykjavik, one of the most unique watchmakers in the world
The Islandus from JS Watch co. HKGOLFER.COM
HK GolferăƒťMAY 2013
A Clockwise from top: The Frisland GOD, made from volcanic ash ; the Sif North Atlantic Rescue Timer; Master Watchmaker Gilbert Gudjonnsson and the rest of the JS Watch co. team; the Sif, a classically styled pilots watch, is a treasured possession of Iceland’s coast guard 22
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
fter years of imagining their dream appealed to this new influx of visitors. The brand watch, friends Sigurdur Gilbertsson, was quickly back on its feet and working furiously Julius Heidarsson and Grimkell to keep up with the renewed demand. JS Watch has gone on to create five highly Sigurthorsson decided to make the timepiece a reality. In 2005, sought after limited edition collections. Having survived the financial w i t h G i l b e r t s o n’s failure, it seems only fitting father, Gilbert Gudjonsson, a master Arguably JS Watch that the company has watchmaker of 40 years onboard, co’s most popular created a new timepiece the team launched it first line and that embraces Iceland’s JS Watch co. Reykjavik was born. collection is the volcanic vicissitude. The collection was an immediate Islandus. While T h e Fr islan d G O Ð success and sold out within six the special edition, is a tribute watch that months. Iceland’s economy, however, pays homage to the turned out to be built on an unstable of which only 10 power of base and the Icelandic Krona – were made, has sold destructive the country’s volcanoes. the currency of this island nation – out, buyers have Based on the brand’s collapsed. The wealthy domestic popular Frisland market on which the firm relied, instinctively gone this edition has vanished. for the more widely collection, the name GOÐ etched In the wake of the financial available model. onto the dial in a vivid collapse, however, millions of tourists flocked to Iceland, desperate to take And for good reason: red hue. The polished dial is actually a advantage of the prices offered this watch is a classic. black carefully applied layer of by the country’s weak economy. JS Watch co’s precision craftsmanship, attention volcanic ash taken from the cloud that grounded to detail and sheer excellence in watch making European air traffic for weeks in late 2010. HKGOLFER.COM
Beneath the brimstone, the timepiece is anything but ordinary. Assembled by hand, the case is made from 316L surgical steel and water resistant up to 50 meters. It protects an automatic ETA movement, customised to JS Watch’s specifications. The finished product has a power reserve of up to 38 hours and is visible through a sapphire caseback. The simple, bold aesthetic continues with oversized white roman numerals at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions. Plain white indices complete the hour markings and a red sweeping hand compliments the finish. At 44mm the Frisland GOÐ is a real statement and a piece of geological authority. Fiercely proud of Iceland’s nautical prowess, JS Watch co. has also produced a hardy timekeeper in conjunction with the country’s national coast guard – the Sif North Atlantic Rescue Timer. A classically styled pilot’s watch, the Sif is generously proportioned at 40mm. The remarkably clean dial design and robust construction has made it a treasured possession of the fearless men and woman of the coastguard. White luminous numerals provide visibility in poor conditions and the water resistance extends to a depth of 1,000 metres. Only 941 of these watches have been produced and the case back is specifically numbered. Available in stainless steel or with a contemporary PVD black coating the finished timepiece is as a comfortable in the office as it is in rough seas. HKGOLFER.COM
Arguably JS Watch co’s most popular collection is the Islandus. While the special edition, of which only 10 were made, has sold out, buyers have instinctively gone for the more widely available model. And for good reason: this watch is a classic. Generously proportioned at 44mm this timepiece features a manually wound movement and roman numerals on the face; the number 12 stands out in a bright red colour. With a sterling silver dial guilloched by hand and an ostrich skin strap it represents one very special timepiece indeed. Reflecting the determination of the Icelandic people and the country’s dramatic nature, the GOÐ, Sif and Islandus timepieces exemplify JS Watch patriotism. These timepieces, which are available in Hong Kong through Times International Creation, are rare examples of traditional craftsmanship working in harmony with contemporary passion. Their mark may not yet match that of a volcano, but they’re a powerful – if exclusive – force in the world of horology and a brand the people of Iceland should be proud of. JS Watch co. Reykjavik is represented in Hong Kong by Times International Creation. For more information, contact email@example.com; (852) 3590 4153.
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE
The 2014 Range Rover Sport is the fastest Land Rover ever made, but that’s only one of the reasons why Ben Oliver will be getting his order in promptly.
But will the car live up to the hype? The omens ny concerns we might have had about Jaguar and Land Rover being bought by India’s Tata conglomerate have surely now been are good. The Sport, as the name suggests, is answered by the hail of well-received and even world-beating new lower, more agile and more road-oriented than the more stately, upright Range Rover relaunched products that have come from the two brands since. Almost all the other famous car marques live in the shelter last year, although it retains the impressive offof the big carmaking groups. Volkswagen owns Bentley and road ability a Land Rover must always display. Lamborghini and Porsche. BMW owns Mini and Rolls-Royce. They benefit from Like the bigger car, the new Sport is made of shared technologies and economies of scale that we worried would be denied to aluminium, cutting an incredible 400 kilograms from its mass, to the great benefit of performance, JLR under Tata’s ownership. But any worry was misplaced. The new Evoque, Range Rover and Jaguar handling and emissions. This new car is more obviously spor ting in look s, with F-Type, all previously reviewed within these pages, have been The Sport more fluid styling than the old, slightly launched on Tata’s watch to huge critical acclaim and there retains the militaristic model. has been a raft of minor model additions and upgrades too. Not that buyers were in any way The latest all-new model is this Range Rover Sport, which impressive deterred: prior to the arrival of the more was introduced at the New York auto show in April with a old-road ability affordable, higher-volume Evoque, the level of drama that probably left the American carmakers a Land Rover feeling rather upstaged on their home turf. Whole sections of Range Rover Sport was Land Rover’s must always Manhattan were closed to traffic to shoot a short action film of biggest selling model, outselling even James Bond actor Daniel Craig ‘delivering’ the new car to the the entry-level Freelander in 2012, even display. star-studded launch party the night before the show opened; as it neared the end of its life. Much of culminating, of course, in Craig driving the new model off the screens and into the that success was due to its huge and growing venue. It was a bold, confident statement from a company whose product and popularity in China, but the new model seeks to financials both look right. extend its popularity everywhere with a power24
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Range Rover Sport Supercharged
US $79,995 (Hong Kong pricing TBA)
5.0-litre V8, 510hp
Eight-speed ZF automatic
Performance: 0-100kph in 5secs Four Wheel Drive How heavy?
operated third row of seats for growing families, and the option later of a downsized, 2.0-litre fourcylinder engine and, in some markets, a dieselelectric hybrid, both made possible by the new model’s much reduced weight. Me? I’d still stick with the range-topping 510PS supercharged V8 petrol that will offer ballistic performance in the lighter car: its 100kph time of just five seconds makes it the fastest Land Rover ever made. And I’d be getting my order in just as quickly, to avoid the queues. HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
CLUBHOUSE | LIQUID ASSETS
New World Supremacy
Richard Sutton, managing director for Armit Wines Hong Kong, recounts the story – and overwhelming success – of Seña, arguably Chile's most famous and sought after wine.
n 1995, the legendary New World wine pioneer Robert Mondavi teamed up with Eduardo Chadwick, owner of Chile’s venerable Viña Errázuriz, to create Chile's first international joint wine venture, a bold and forward-thinking move in those times. They set a very challenging goal: to reach the full potential of Chile's wine country and to create a truly world-class wine. These two distinguished and traditional wine families shared a passion for excellence and innovation. Chadwick searched for four long years alongside Mondavi before finding the ideal Chilean terroir that spoke to his instincts. Here, they acquired 350 hectares of virgin hillside. The beautiful Seña hillside property is located on the western side of the Aconcagua Valley, 41kilometres from the Pacific Ocean and 100 km north of Santiago, the country's capital and main international gateway. Seña’s location is a little cooler than the traditional red wine regions, but still warm enough for the grapes to reach an excellent level of ripening. The harvest takes place two weeks later than in the interior of the valley. Seña´s vineyard comprises 42 hectares and its design enhances the conservation and protection of the native ecosystems, in accordance with the certified biodynamic principles under which it is farmed. In 1997, they released the first vintage of Seña (1995), Chile's first iconic wine, which marked a milestone for making ultra premium wines in the country. Seña, a unique blend, is vinified under the supervision of Francisco Baettig, formerly winemaker at Le Bon Pasteur, one of the renowned Michel Rolland’s Pomerol wineries. Seňa is blended from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Cabernet Sauvignon provides the structure while the Carmenère provides the Chilean terroir identity. In 2004, Chadwick arranged a blind comparative tasting in Berlin, in the company of top critic Steven Spurrier, who had organised the historic Judgment of Paris in 1976, where two former winemakers of the Robert Mondavi winery in Napa won first prize, putting the New World firmly on the premium global wine map. The Berlin Tasting of 2004 saw it all come true again – Viňa Seňa 2001 came in second place (to another Chadwick wine), beating all the revered Bordeaux First Growths, including Lafite 2000, Margaux 2000 and 2001, and Latour 2000! Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, which had already rated the Seňa 2004 94 points and the 2006 95 points, recognised the quality of the Viňa Seňa 2007 with the highest score ever awarded by the publication to any Chilean Bordeaux blend – 96 points. In a milestone moment for Seña, as well as for other
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iconic Chilean wine producers, a blind tasting at The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong in 2011 placed Seña at the top of most people’s favourite wines. Forty local wine professionals, including first Asian Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee, were taken aback when different vintages of Seña scooped all top five spots, ahead of Lafite 2007, Mouton 1995 and Margaux 2001. By tasting many different vintages of Seña including its very first vintage, 1995, side by side with their Bordeaux counterparts, these tasting results added a new dimension to the success of Chilean wines. This tasting revealed not only the quality level of Seña but also its ageing ability and its evolution over time. Back then, Chadwick commented: “The blind tasting is an act of faith, much like elaborating a great wine, because you have to trust that the intrinsic quality of the wines will reveal themselves alone, and I am delighted that the Asian key opinion formers through our tour have consistently recognized the world-class quality of our Seña wines." The Wine Advocate’s Neal Martin, in December 2012, proclaimed Seňa as "perhaps Chile’s most famous producer and iconic wine" and described the newly released 2010 vintage as "Outstanding. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins. This is silky smooth in the mouth, harmonious, and the oak is deftly interwoven into the structure. This is a sophisticated Seňa. Drink 20142022. 94 points." Viňa Seňa 2010 is available in Hong Kong for HK$4,200 per case of six bottles from: Armit Wines (Hong Kong) Ltd Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 3796 7191 HKGOLFER.COM
Scott, along with caddie Steve Williams, celebrate the moment it all finally went right in a major; with his new, and most favourite, piece of clothing (opposite) 28
HK GolferăƒťMAY 2013
Australia Day Adam Scott's victory on the second play-off hole against Angel Cabrera at last month's Masters Tournament was a monumental achievement in this proud sporting country's history, writes Paul Prendergast.
he Holy Grail of Australian golf has at last been conquered, with not one, but three of our Antipodean mates taking it to the best in the world at Augusta. In the end, it was 32-year old Adam Scott who was left standing the tallest of all – winning his first major and becoming the first from his homeland to win the coveted Green Jacket. Oh, how Greg Norman celebrated. With the weight of a nation on his shoulders (and with the rest of us on the edge of our seats), Scott sank a 12-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole of a sublimeplay-off to fend off Argentina’s Angel Cabrera to claim the 77th Masters . Cabrera was a Colossus in defeat. The release of tension and sheer jubilation was obvious in the normally mild-mannered Scott, who had earlier screamed "C’mon Aussie", when his birdie putt on the final green appeared to seal victory. “I don’t know how that happened,” Scott said in the Butler Cabin moments later. “It seems a long way away from a couple of years ago here and even last July (at the Open Championship) when I was trying to win another major. It fell my way today. It was incredible. It’s incredible to be in this position.” “Everything fell my way in the end, I guess. You just never know. I just kept plugging away. I didn’t know if it was going to happen through nine. A good back nine here solves a lot. I’m so proud of myself and everyone who has helped me.” And in the understatement of the year, “I’m a proud Australian and I hope this sits really well back at home" Did it ever? Australia did stand proud but in truth, most of the nation could barely sit still as they watched nervously from afar. When the winning putt fell, the country roared from lounge rooms, golf clubs and moving cars. This was – well and truly – a victory heard across the land. HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Australia did stand proud but in truth, most of the nation could barely sit still as they watched nervously from afar. When the winning putt fell, the country roared from lounge rooms, golf clubs and moving cars. This was – well and truly – a victory heard across the land.
Standing with arms outstretched in triumph, shaking with emotion after his embrace with caddie Steve Williams, Scott mirrored exactly what success-starved fans back home were feeling at that very same moment. Fellow Queenslander Ian Baker-Finch, in commentary for host broadcaster CBS was almost too choked to say anything when it was thrown to him for comment: a mixture of pride, ecstasy and relief that fate had at last dealt Scott and Australia a kind hand at Augusta. With Scott, Jason Day and Marc Leishman all in the top five at the beginning of Sunday’s final round, anticipation of a victory was high, but Australians have been down this path too many times to have anything more than conservative optimism. Like Scott and the other Aussies in the field, the nation grew up on a diet of early morning vigils supporting
Greg Norman’s unfulfilled quest for a Green Jacket year after year – and they know better than to get ahead of themselves. Scott and Day, with Geoff Ogilvy, had been down this path themselves only two years ago and been cruelly pipped at the post by Charl Schwartzel. Norman had burst on the scene with a tie for 4th in his first Masters in 1981, too long ago for Scott, Day et al to remember, but they were certainly around when Norman endured the ignominy of squandering a six-stroke lead to Nick Faldo in 1996, his third runner-up finish at Augusta following tragic near-misses in 1986 and 1987. “Greg Norman inspired a nation of golfers,” said Scott, “He was an icon in Australia, everything about the way he handled himself. He’s devoted so much time to myself and other young Australian golfers who came after him. “Most of us would feel that he could have slipped a Green Jacket on for sure.” Fate was certainly on Scott’s side when his second shot at the par-5 13th hit short of the green and rolled back before clinging precariously on the bank of Rae’s Creek. He got up-and-down for the birdie that sparked his push for victory over the final six holes. “I had no momentum on the day at that
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point,” Scott said. “That was a great break. Even going down the 15th, I thought it was far away still. At 18, for a split second, let myself think I could have won. Then Angel hit an incredible shot.” Scott and Cabrera finished at nine-under-par 279, with Scott holing from 18 feet on the 72nd hole to take the lead and, seemingly, the win he had been craving his whole life. Cabrera had watched all of this unfold from the middle of the home hole fairway and responded with the mark of a champion, hitting a nerveless 8-iron approach to within three feet and holing the putt to force extra time. This was the first time either had birdied the last hole of regulation hole in their Masters’ careers and with that, the Sunday spectacle at Augusta was truly alive after drizzling rain had put a bit of a dampener on proceedings in the early part of the day. Both players then parred the first play-off hole, the 18th, after hitting their approaches short of the green and chipping to close range. Cabrera nearly ended it when his chippitch for birdie breathed over the right edge of the hole. “My heart was about to stop, thinking 'is this it?”' Scott said. Fortunately for him, he was able to compose himself to chip close enough and hole out to move on to the 10th, where Bubba Watson had won so memorably a year earlier. Both players continued to play brilliantly, lacing tee shots down the fairway and hitting bold HKGOLFER.COM
approaches at the flag under stifling pressure. Cabrera’s putt from inside 20 feet again looked to be going in but clung to the back edge of the hole, leaving Scott the stage to himself to create history. Scott then seized the moment, relying heavily on a read from caddie Steve Williams, and poured his 12 footer down the slope into the cup to ignite the celebrations. Cabrera, the 2009 winner, was magnanimous in defeat and heaped praised on his former teammate and partner of past Presidents Cup teams. “Adam is a great person, a great player,” said Cabrera. “In a play-off, one-on-one, there’s got to be only one winner. And it was him ... It was just a matter of time.” At his home in Florida, Norman had been pacing the room and even hitting the gym as play unfolded during the final round, so tense was he as the three Australians tried to do what he could not despite his best endeavours. "I can only imagine how everyone else felt when I was playing," Norman quipped. Norman admitted that Scott’s victory had brought a tear to his eye, knowing full well what Scott has endured along the way to this moment. “He probably had more pressure on him today than any other player on the planet because he was playing for not only for himself but the millions of people in Australia,” Norman said. "I was a very proud stepfather in a way.” Scott acknowledged the helping hand that Norman has played throughout his career but
Angel Cabrera, otherwise known as “El Pato” (The Duck) with his son and caddie, Angel Cabrera, Jr (opposite). The twotime major champion might only be 43 but had he defeated Scott he would have become the first grandfather to win a major in the modern era; he only has one PGA Tour win to his credit but Jason Day is quickly becoming something of a Masters expert, with his second topthree result in three years HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Fate was certainly on Scott’s side when his second shot at the par-5 13th hit short of the green and rolled back before clinging precariously on the bank of Rae’s Creek. He got up-and-down for the birdie that sparked his push for victory over the final six holes.
Marc Leishman, Scott’s playing partner and fellow Aussie , couldn’t have been happier after his compatriot holed that fantastic 25-footer on the final hole of regulation play; the moment it all turned sour for Tiger Woods (opposite) as he takes an incorrect drop on the 15th hole during the second round 32
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especially after selecting him as a captain’s pick for the 2009 Presidents Cup matches, when his form was at his lowest ebb. That show of faith reignited Scott’s career and instilled a confidence that his game was up to world class again In his typically Australian way, Scott said that he hoped to sit down for a beer with the Shark soon to share this crowning achievement with him. A phone call would not be enough, Scott said – part of this is for him. Back home on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Scott’s childhood mates got a head start on the celebrations with a few drinks after the Masters was won at around 10am Monday morning on the Australian East Coast. Still shaking their heads in disbelief, the group reminisced about their time growing up with Scott and of the putting contests they all played for hours , where the next putt ‘was to win the Masters’. One of those mates, Dylan Campbell, remembers that it was always about the Masters
with Adam.”It was never any other tournament," he said. "That’s the one he had always played golf for, to line up that putt to win it and the Masters was always the one he wanted to win.” Ironically, Campbell and friends opted not to watch the telecast closely despite the chance for history. They had learned their lesson from last year, as Scott has, after getting together for a big party to watch what was supposed to be a memorable march to victory in the Open Championship at Lytham. This year, they all went their separate ways to work and only kept loose tabs on the score – until the result was in. “It’s a much different emotion sitting here today, that’s for sure,” another mate, Adam King said with a beer in hand. With Scott’s father Phil at Augusta sharing the moment with his son, mother Pam and sister Casie also had to endure the tension from an early hour on the Gold Coast and later, shared celebrations with friends and members at Scott’s home club at Sanctuary Cove. When the final putt dropped, their leap for joy was perhaps just that little bit higher than the rest of their countrymen. "We were sitting on the bed all morning from four o'clock and couldn't contain ourselves. It was just such a relief." she said. The headline of local newspaper, the Gold HKGOLFER.COM
Coast Bulletin, screamed ‘That’s our Boy’ in giant spreads replicated in every major publication across the country. Mayor Tom Tate immediately announced that the Coast will welcome home their Masters champion with the ‘Keys to the City’, in a ceremony that is likely to attract tens of thousands to the city streets. The headline of local newspaper, the Gold Coast Bulletin, screamed ‘That’s our Boy’ in giant spreads replicated in every major publication across the country. Mayor Tom Tate immediately announced that the Gold Coast will welcome home their Masters champion with the keys to the city’, in a ceremony that is likely to attract tens of thousands to the streets. It is a fitting reward for perseverance and the dignity in which Scott dealt with the loss to Ernie Els in last year’s Open Championship. And there can be no doubting that just as others reached out to him in support last year, one of Scott’s first actions will be to call both Day and Leishman with some kinds words and to offer his commiserations, particularly for Day who has now had two Green Jackets slip from his grasp in the past three years. In winning his first major, the circumstances for Scott were not unlike those for Phil Mickelson who had knocked on the door for an eternity before breaking through for his first major in equally exciting fashion HKGOLFER.COM
Tiger had his own issues at Augusta – one felt that if he had gone on to win that there would be many more majors to come; but even Woods – the width of a flag stick notwithstanding – can't beat an entire nation. at the Masters in 2004. Both he and Scott had made the identical number of Masters’ appearances before winning their first green jackets and with a significant monkey off his back, there is no denying Scott has the game to win multiple majors. Norman, for one, thinks he now has all the tools at his disposal to go on to become Australia’s most successful player in history. Tiger Woods’ tilt at Jack Nicklaus’s major haul of 18 might have just gotten a little harder too, with a player like Scott now having the ‘belief’ card firmly in his back pocket. Tiger had his own issues at Augusta – one felt that if he had gone on to win that there were many more majors to come; but even Woods – the width of a flag stick notwithstanding – can't beat an entire nation. It was , of course, inevitable that an Australian would win the Masters one day but who it might have been and when it might happen was the greatest mystery. Adam Scott – and a fabulous support cast that included the highly underrated John Senden – provided Australians golf fans with perhaps their best Monday of all time when they were bemoaning the lack of numbers in the field before the tournament. For the first time, Australians and this tournament will not be referred to only in terms of Greek tragedies; they now have a chapter written showcasing a tale of supreme triumph. There is always a first time for everything and Adam Scott - Masters Champion - will, now and forever, be regarded as the ultimate. HK Golfer・MAY 2013
THE MASTERS | THE AMATEUR
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One of a Kind
The play of Guan Tian-lang, the Chinese 14-year-old amateur, at The Masters was truly sensational, but here's hoping he follows the advice of his mentors and focuses on his long term goals, writes Alex Jenkins.
his was one instance that I was delighted to be wrong.
Three weeks before The Masters got underway, I interviewed Guan Tian-lang at Mission Hills, across the border in Shenzhen, where he received a special achievement award from Sir Nick Faldo. Guan had, the previous year, claimed low Chinese honours at the Englishman's highly rated Faldo Series Asia Grand Final and, alongside six-time major champion, was happy to be interviewed by an ensemble of local press. While there was no doubting Guan's amateur credentials – he had won the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship to earn her berth at Augusta – there was a strong feeling that his place among the world's elite was little more than ceremonial – and thus inconsequential. Most, myself included, figured this 14-year-old would fail to get anywhere near the cut-line; if he could somehow break 80 over the two rounds that would represent something of an achievement. This wasn't necessarily journalists being mean spirited. History – and the stats –were truly weighted against him. Just by turning up he was going to be the youngest player ever to tee it up at Augusta – beating Matteo Manassero's record by nearly two years – but, more importantly, he averaged a mere 250 yards off the tee. While that may be long enough to handle the courses that are set up for amateur events, there's no way in hell a kid can take that lack of firepower and expect to fare HKGOLFER.COM
Was this the most unexpected performance in Masters history? Some queried his appearance in the elite field but the Guangzhou-based Guan impressed everyone bar the timekeepers at Augusta well over the historic Alistair McKenzie course that hosts the first major of the year. No way. It simply doesn't happen. Ha! What everyone – again, myself included – didn't acknowledge were the twin facets that propelled Guan into the global golfing limelight: his gritty determination and his awe-inspiringly stupendous short game. Guangzhou-born Guan, as we all know now, became a star with a performance that still to this day beggars belief. He proved everyone – apart from himself – wrong. He finished the week without a double bogey, and never had a three-putt. With a 75 on Sunday, he finished the tournament at 12-over 300 – maybe not a threat to the leaders, but a score that earned him the lowest scoring amateur prize, HK Golfer・MAY 2013
He finished the week without a double bogey, and never had a three-putt. With a 75 on Sunday, he finished the tournament at 12over 300 – maybe not a threat to the leaders, but a score that earned him the lowest scoring amateur prize, and more importantly, the respect of millions of golf fans across the world.
Because of his relative lack of distance off the tee, Guan used his driver more than anyone else in the field, here at the 18th; Guan was the only amateur to make the cut, an achievement that earned him the Silver Cup 36
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and more importantly, the respect of millions of golf fans across the world. His peers that week – major champions and seasoned veterans alike – are still shaking their heads at his performance in the face of adversity. Guan, hyperbole in check, is truly one of a kind. Even the much discussed slow-penalty that nearly cost him the chance to play on the weekend couldn't spoil his fun. "The whole week is great for me," Guan said. "I really enjoy it. I'm having fun, and hopefully I play some good golf." Every day brought a new adventure for this Chinese wunderkind, and Sunday was no different. After making birdies on 13 and 16 — he missed another on 15 when his 3-foot putt skirted the low side of the hole — his tee shot on 17 landed in a spectator's bag of souvenirs. "I heard the sound of the ball hitting plastic and looked down," said spectator Tom Lowndes, who was crossing the adjacent 15th fairway. "The ball was sitting right there on top of this hat." Guan could only laugh when he saw his
ball, smiling broadly as he reached into the bag to grab it. He consulted with a rules official – he's practically on a first-name basis with the whole crew after his slow play problems – and eventually took a drop a few yards back and out of the walkway. He went up and over the trees in front of him and landed in the fairway, but his third shot left him 20-plus feet short of the pin. He got within two feet, and tapped in for a bogey. "It's all right," he said. "A bogey (there) is not bad." He two-putted from 40 feet to close out his first Masters with a par. Fans around the green gave him a standing ovation, and Guan waved his baseball cap in acknowledgment. "I'm so happy, I'm so proud of him," said Guan's father, Han Wen, a doctor. "In front of so many patrons, at such a great tournament, he played his game and stayed calm. I believe he will come here many times." That's possible. It isn't hard to see the polite teen as golf's next global icon. Fans were captivated by his precocious talent and calm maturity, and his baby face and sweetness – his mum packed his lunch all week – only added to his appeal. In what was sure to delight Masters officials – and everyone who watched – there were more shouts of "Jia You!" (Mandarin for "Let's go!") than "Get in the hole!" Several pockets of Chinese fans trailed Guan, almost all carrying bags stuffed with Masters merchandise. Golf's popularity, of course, is still in its infancy in China. The tours, sponsors and television are all eager to tap into that massive market, and HKGOLFER.COM
having a home-grown star like Guan would only help. Already, Guan's followers on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, is already close to 50,000. Guan still goes to regular public school, with English, math and history his favorite subjects. (Asked what classes he took, Guan said, "China, you don't take classes, they give you classes.") He lugged six of his textbooks along with him to Augusta and, after letting his studies slide the last few days, he planned to hit the books Sunday night. He and his parents initially planned to directly return to China, but that all changed after he accepted an invitation to tee it up in New Orleans for another PGA Tour event. He's received several invitations to play in other events, and he and his parents are trying to decide which ones to accept. He'd also like to try to qualify for the US Open. One thing Guan won't be doing any time soon is turning professional. His father has said hat he wants Guan to stay an amateur because "amateurs have fun. Enjoy it." And Guan said he still has a lot to learn. Though he's got a short game any pro would envy, he knows he has to work on his distance. That's sure to change as he gets older and stronger. "There's still a lot of things to learn to improve," Guan said. "So nothing to rush." Well, maybe just one thing. Asked when he thought he might like to win the Masters, he said: "As soon as possible." There is a worry, of course, that Guan gets thrown in amongst the pros on an all too frequent basis. He has, on the strength of his Masters debut, become a star – and tournament promoters the world over will be desperate to get him to play in their events for a while to come. This Masters honeymoon will last a while. Although Guan and his guardians are quick to reassure everyone that he has no intention of becoming the golfing equivalent of a circus act, one hopes that he himself has seen what happens to young talent when its thrust upon too high a stage too early. One only has to look at Michelle Wie and Ty Tyron to see how easily it is for prodigies to become unstuck. Guan is an intelligent young man – "I don't have many problems when it comes to school work," he told me – so let's hope he takes the advice of Faldo, one of several mentors he gained over the course of his Augusta experience. “Sure, he can play tour events,” Faldo said. “But he needs to keep winning [as an amateur], to get bored winning because he’s just won everything in the amateur game. Then move over [to the pro game]. “He has growing to do – physically, mentally, all those things. Golf is a sport that we can view as a 20-year window competing at the highest level. Do you get started at 14 to go to 34? Or get started at 20 to go to 40? I think that’s the smartest thing.” HKGOLFER.COM
The Masters – By the Book At this year’s Masters tournament, there were two Rules incidents that attracted much public interest. Partly because of incomplete information supplied by the press, they seem to have generated much misunderstanding among the golfing public. First, the Tiger Woods incident. On the second day, after his pitch to the 15th green hit the flagstick and rebounded into the water hazard in front of the green, Woods elected to proceed under Rule 26-1a, which meant playing again from where his previous shot was played. This Rule requires the ball to be dropped as near as possible to where the previous stroke was played from, but Woods chose to drop the ball about a yard farther back; this meant he had dropped the ball in the wrong place, for which the penalty is two strokes. When he signed his scorecard, he did not include this penalty. Normally the penalty for signing for a score better than one’s actual score is disqualification (Rule 6-6d). The reason he was not disqualified had nothing to do with any “new rule”. It was because the Committee had reviewed the videotape, (incorrectly) thought that there was no problem and did not interview him. His signing for a wrong score was therefore deemed to be the result of a Committee error. Under such circumstances, the disqualification penalty is, of course, waived (Dec. 343/1 illustrates this principle). It has nothing to do with the new Decision 33-7/4.5, which the authorities brought in to cover only such situations where a fact unknown to the player causes him not to include a penalty, such as his ball moving an infinitesimal amount that can only be picked up by a powerful zoom lens. This new Decision does not exempt a player from penalties incurred through breaching a Rule for any other reason, whether inadvertent or not. Second, the Guan slow-play incident. It has to be understood that a group is timed (“put on the clock” ) only if it has exceeded its prescribed time for the number of holes played and it is out of position in relation to the group in front. Guan’s group was out of position from the 10th hole. He got his first “bad time” on the 13th, for which there is no penalty, and his second “bad time” on the 17th, for which the penalty is one stroke. In eight holes, despite warnings, the group had failed to catch up, this despite the fact that Guan was playing with two fast players in Crenshaw and Manassero, so it is clear that he was guilty of slow play over a period of over two hours and had not made an adequate effort to speed up. It is virtually unknown in professional golf for a group to be out of position for that length of time. I am sure we are all proud of Guan’s performance and are delighted he made the cut, but there is no doubt that he deserved the penalty and, hopefully, will in future learn to play at a more acceptable pace. – Dr Brian Choa, Chairman, Rules and Decisions, Hong Kong Golf Association .
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THE MASTERS | NUMBERS GAME
Masters in Review
The number of majors Tiger Woods has won when trailing going into the final round. Woods, who has been stuck on 14 major titles since his triumph at the 2008 US Open, entered the final day at Augusta three shots behind the leaders, Angel Cabrera and Brandt Snedeker, and carded a 70 to earn a share of fourth.
T he number of major championships won by players using anchored putters, which are due to be outlawed in 2016. Scott’s win completes the set after Keegan Bradley (2011 US PGA), Webb Simpson (2012 US Open) and Ernie Els (2012 Open Championship).
10 14 16
T he number of shots Kevin Na and Bubba Watson took on the famous 12th hole, a par-3, on the
I t has been this many years since a European player won the Masters. José María Olazábal was the last to taste success in 1999. T he number of eagles made at the risk-reward 15th. This reachable par-5 played to an average of 4.63, ranking it the easiest hole on the course. But it still caused problems for many, including, most notably, Tiger
T he number of shots needed by Jamie Donaldson at the par-3 sixth on Thursday. The Welshman’s ace, which came on his Masters debut, was the only hole-in-one of the week.
T he stroke average of Augusta National’s par3 four th hole during the tournament, making it the hardest hole of the week. The fourth gave up only 10 birdies in four days, while the field also recorded 10 double bogeys and two dreaded “others” at the 240-yarder.
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Woods, who made a triple bogey on Friday after he incurred a controversial two-shot penalty for taking an incorrect drop.
Ted Potter, Jr’s winning score at the Masters Par 3 Contest. Eleven players have managed to win the Par 3 and the Masters itself, although not a single one of them has won both events in the same year.
T he age of Bernhard Langer, who had dreams of becoming golf’s oldest major champion after starting the final round with three straight birdies to get within sight of the lead. Sadly for the German, a two-time Masters champion, he couldn’t sustain it and he wound up at two-over.
T he number of players who ma d e th e hal f- w ay cut . Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and last year’s runner-up, Louis Oosthuizen,
were among the notable names to miss out on the weekend action.
Was the highest score of the tournament – Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita’s second round of 13-over included a quadruple bogey on the par-5 13th and three other double bogeys. G u a n T i a n - l a n g ’s average driving distance, which was the shortest of the players that made the cut. Robert Garrigus, with 304.4 yards, was the longest driver in the field.
Adam Scott’s winning share, in US dollars, of the tournament’s US$8 million prize purse. Inaugural Masters Tournament winner Horton Smith received US$1,000 for his win in 1934.
Clockwise from top: Guan Tian-lang, unsurprisingly, was the shortest driver on the weekend; Adam Scott had one of the longest putters; Tiger Woods and his caddie had plenty to talk about; Bernhard Langer got off to a brilliant start on Sunday; Bubba Watson needed 10 shots to finish the par-3 12th; while Hiroyuki Fujita carded 85 in the second round; José Maria Olazábal (1999) is still the last European player to win The Masters; the par-5 15th averaged as the easiest hole during the week
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From the President My 12-month tenure as president of the Hong Kong Golf Association will end at the beginning of June and I would like to take this opportunity to discuss a productive and successful past year. The development of junior golf in Hong Kong has long been a key issue for the HKGA and the continuing success of our young players is testament to that. Many of them have, on the back of their local and international tournament results, earned golf scholarships to a number of highly regarded universities, particularly in the United States, which is further proof that the effort both staff and players have put into this development is reaping rewards. Brad Schadewitz, the national coach, is excited by the number of talented young players coming through the system, which bodes extremely well for the future. Much of this ongoing success is down to the generosity of our supporters, especially EFG Bank, the lead sponsor of the development programme. Their support has enabled us to provide more training and tournament participation opportunities for the territory’s junior golfers. This has been extremely important and is greatly appreciated by all of us who have seen Hong Kong players blossom on the international stage. Just one example of this is Tiffany Chan, a product of the junior development programme, who last month finished in the top 10 of the individual standings of the Queen Sirikit Cup, the Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship. The quality of golf on display was exceptional, so my congratulations to her for her fine play. Tiffany’s performance came just a few weeks after Michelle Cheung became the first golfer in Hong
Kong history to make the cut at a Ladies European Tour event when she achieved the feat at the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Hainan. Michelle, who had qualified for the tournament after winning the Hong Kong Ladies Close Amateur, held her nerve wonderfully to finish the professional tournament in a share of 37th spot, which is a brilliant result for one so young. My thanks must also go to the golf clubs of Hong Kong for their cooperation with the HKGA. Whether it’s the use of the clubs’ practice facilities or being able to secure tee times for national team training, their help and understanding has proved invaluable, as has the support of all the volunteers and staff at the HKGA. Last November witnessed another thrilling edition of the Hong Kong Open. Sponsored for the final time by UBS, the championship’s reputation for excitement was bolstered by the superb performance of Miguel Angel Jiménez, who claimed the title at Fanling for a third time. Credit must go to UBS, who have been a fabulous supporter over the past eight years, and also to the government’s Mega Events Fund, whose financial contribution enabled the tournament to secure some of golf’s most famous names. This year’s Hong Kong Open will take place in December. Finally, I would like to extend my best wishes to William Chung as the incoming president. I wish him every success in presiding over the HKGA in what promises to be another exciting year ahead. To all HKGA subscribers: I wish you the rub of the green. Peter Aherne President , HKGA
Chan Spearheads Solid Hong Kong Challenge
Hong Kong, represented by Tiffany Chan, Kitty Tam and Michelle Cheung, earned a share of eighth place at last month’s Queen Sirikit Cup – otherwise known as the Asia-Pacific Ladies Invitational Golf Team Championship – at Sunrise Golf & Country Club in Taiwan. Chan, who is now studying in the US, flew back to take part in an in-form Hong Kong team and performed admirably – her three-round total of 226 (10-over-par) earning her 10th spot in the individual tournament. Tam (238) and Cheung (244) didn’t have things go all their way over the demanding Sunrise layout, but the team’s final score of 462 meant they finished ahead of the likes of India, New Zealand and Singapore in this historic and prestigious event. Australia (437) ended years of Korean dominance with a one40
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stroke win over Japan in second place. Thailand (439) placed third, a further stroke adrift. Thailand’s Supamas Sangchen (214) was the top individual player at this, the 35th playing of the regional tournament, following rounds of 75, 70 and 69, the last of which was one of only two sub-70 scores posted all week. HKGOLFER.COM
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The Hong Kong Golf Club Doug Williams claimed victory at the Monthly Medal, which was played over the Eden Course on 13 April, with a two-over 72. Alexander Jewkes and William Barrington finished two shots back on 74. Barrington claimed the nett division thanks to his total of 65. Ivan Lee won the Macwhinnie Cup Qualifying Round played over the Old Course on 13-14 April with -1. William Doo, Jr was the runner-up with -4. Doug Williams continued his fine run of form with victory at the Deep Water Bay Championship, played on 14 April. Williams carded a two-round total of 120, which was good enough for a three-stroke victory over Roderick Staunton and Anthony Taylor. Tim Linton won the nett division with a score of 115. Lawrence Ma and Victor Ma finished a stroke back on 116. To round off a brilliant month, Doug Williams bagged his third win in just two weeks after victory in the Duffers Plate, which was played over the Old and New courses on 21 April with 66 points. Tim Orgill, the reigning club champion, was the runner-up with 61 points, with Alexander Jewkes a further four points back in third. In the Chinese Cup, a nett competition
which was played over the same courses on the same day, David Lei emerged victorious with a haul of 74 points. Kenneth Kwok placed second on 72 points.
Discovery Bay Golf Club HY Paik won the Monthly Medal, which was played on 31 March over the Ruby/Diamond layout with a nett score of 72. BW Park shot the best gross score of 78. One week earlier, on 24 March, Daniel Leung claimed the Men’s C Division with a 40-point haul. The winner of the Ladies’ Division A was Haeng Sim Cha, who carded a nett score of 74. Best gross honours went to Helen Cheung with 82. Candy Lai won the Ladies’ Division C with 41 points.
Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club Tony Melloy won the Captain’s Cup, played on 14 April, after edging out Stuart Gethin on count back after the pair tied following matching rounds of 75. Robert Bourque, with a 68, was the winner of the nett competition. In the Chairman’s Cup, played the same day, Warren Lee prevailed with 38 points, which was two more than runner-up Ryan Li. Pia Fung was the gross winner of the April Medal, played on 17 April, with a round of 78. Diana Fung, with 70, claimed the nett division. Liz Amez Droz was the division two winner after her 69.
HKPGA Order of Merit Wong Woon-man claimed leg one of the HKPGA Order of Merit with a fine performance over the North Course at the Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau in late March. Wong carded a first-round five-under 67 over the Gary Player-designed layout, which proved good enough for a two-shot win over Timothy Tang in second place after the final round was cancelled due to heavy rain. Andrew Good placed third following a 71.
Doug Williams, a former Hong Kong Amateur Close champion, won three events within the space of two weeks at The Hong Kong Golf Club during April. 42
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1 Wong Woon-man 2 Timothy Tang 3 Andrew Good 4 Ray Fung 5= Wong Ching-kwan Chau Pui James Stewart Cheng Ka-yiu Chris Tang
67 69 71 72 73 73 73 73 73 HKGOLFER.COM
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HKGA | TOURNAMENTS
Down to the Wire This year's edition of the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship, sponsored for the first time by le coq sportif, was one of the most closely fought in history.
Clockwise from top: Justin Lok celebrates holing the winning putt in his play-off victory over Michael Regan Wong; Michelle Cheung finished second in the girlsâ€™ division; Isabella Leung poses with her silverware; threading the eye of the needle; Michael Regan Wong in trouble during sudden death; Mimi Ho on her way to third place; Justin Lok congratulated by Brad Schadewitz, the national coach 44
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ust in Lok a nd Isabel la Leung were the big winners at the rain-affected le coq sportif Hong Kong Junior Close Championship, which took place at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club early last month. Lok, 14, defeated Michael Regan Wong on the first hole of a play-off after the pair tied at 152 (12-overpar) to win the boys' division. Playing the tough par-5 18th in sudden death, Lok's regulation par was good enough to claim victory in a closely fought event that saw five other players finish within two shots of the winning total. In the girls' category, University of Hawaii-bound Isabella Leung overcame the in-form Michelle Cheung, who made the cut at the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills in May, to claim her maiden Junior Close title by two shots. Mimi Ho, a former winner of this event, placed third, a further two strokes adrift.
Boys' Division 1
2 Michael Regan Wong
3= Ambrose Tam
5= Max Ting
8= Leonard Ho
Girls' Division 1
2 Michelle Cheung
3 Mimi Ho
4 Michelle Lee
Emily Vickie Leung
7= Gabrielle Desombre
Estee Vivian Leung
10 Queenie Lai
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
interview | women’s golf
Lewine Mair talks to two-time Women's British Open champion Jiyai Shin about the different approaches players from Asia and their counterparts in Europe and the US take to the game.
etiquette towards sponsors and, as for the LPGA version, that was all to do with understanding the media and the importance of fulfilling media commitments.” When Shin first arrived on American shores for the start of the 2008 season she was, for want of a better word, “gobsmacked” at what she was seeing. Her father kept telling her to practise but, for the first fortnight at least, she had her eye on a whole lot more than merely the golf ball. “I couldn’t begin to focus,” she laughs. The first thing to capture her attention was the way in which Westerners mostly came to the tour on their own, with parents looking in a regular basis but not being omnipresent. In contrast, she said, Koreans tend to appear with parents and siblings in tow – and that is how it stays. “You join the tour and your home life comes with you,” continues Shin. “Members of your family will be at your side and you, the player, are thinking that you have to play well because of the sacrifices they are
esterners are at once envious and uneasy at the extent to which the Korean women work at their golf. Koreans, in turn, do not appear to have too many hard and fast views on their Western counterparts, though Jiyai Shin, who turned 25 last month, has made a few telling observations. Besides having played competitively all over the world, this particular Korean is in the unique position of having attended three ‘rookie orientation’ courses – on the Korean, the Japanese and the LPGA Tours. Some six or seven years on and this twotime Ricoh Women’s British Open champion is still baffled at the extent to which each of those courses differed from the others. “The KLPGA,” she begins, “stressed the importance of the Rules of Golf and of making friendships with senior players and not doing anything to upset them. “The JLPGA course was mostly about
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Shin on the success of Korean golfers: “We’re well built and small and we have good physical control”
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Shin, who says she gets asked all the time about Korean dominance, has another theory she likes to proffer in this respect. She believes that Koreans have far more competitive play under their belts by the time they turn professional.
Shin, seen here during last year’s Women’s British Open which she won, believes that no Korean golfer is going to be able to enjoy the longevity of Laura Davies (opposite). “They’re going to burn out too fast,” she says 48
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
making. In many cases, it motivates us. It also goes a long way towards explaining why Koreans tend to do well.” Shin, who says she gets asked all the time about Korean dominance, has another theory she likes to proffer in this respect. She believes that Koreans have far more competitive play under their belts by the time they turn professional. “Plenty of golfers in other countries start young but, in Korea, we can be playing tournaments on a regular basis from as early as seven,” she says. Shin smiles when she starts talking about the practicing habits of her compatriots as against those of her Western sisters. She begins by making mention of “the golf daddies”, as she and her sister Koreans refer to those Korean fathers who watch their daughters’ every shot. It is, she agrees, an approach which is at the opposite end of the spectrum to, say, that of Laura Davies, the out-and-out star of British golf for over two decades.
Shin has talked before of how things would have been very different for Davies had she been born into a Korean family. And of Koreans being stunned by the sight of the Englishwoman hitting just a handful of practice shots before going on her way to the first tee. “When I first saw her,” recalls Shin, “I said to myself, ‘She must be very confident that she doesn’t feel she has to practice’. Then, after a bit, I start thinking to myself that she must actually be very smart. “No Korean is going to be enjoying playing for as long as Laura. [Davies is in her 50th year and taking aim at a 13th successive Solheim Cup]. They’re all going to burn out too fast.” Shin digresses and recalls the 2009 US Women's Open when she and Davies played together over the first two days. “We came to this par-4 where I hit a drive and a 3-wood and was still 20 yards short of the green. Laura, meanwhile, hit a drive and a four-iron and had a 12-footer for a birdie. "As we walked off the green, Laura was shaking her head sadly and saying, ‘I can’t believe I needed a four-iron to reach the green.’ When I told her that I had needed all three of a drive, a three-wood and a wedge she looked a bit taken aback.” Shin points to how the unofficial timetable on an LPGA practice ground tells its own story. HKGOLFER.COM
“When I arrive at about six-thirty or seven o’clock, there will be a handful of players already there, all of them Korean. Americans arrive from eight o’clock onwards and the other nationalities follow on from there." She says that while many people assume that Japanese golfers are the same as Koreans in a practicing context, in fact, the two have relatively little in common. At her first Japanese tournament, Shin picked up a bucket of 40 balls and devoted the first 30 to her chipping when her caddie intervened. “Aren’t you going to practice your long game?” he queried. “What do you mean,” Shin returned. “Well,” he explained, “you only have 10 balls left and it’s against the rules to hit more than 40.” The above, hazards the player, accounts for why the Japanese spend a higher percentage of their time in the gym. On a rather different topic, Shin does not harbour any resentment towards Caroline Bivens, the former CEO of the LPGA who demanded that Koreans should learn English if they wanted to stay on the tour. Though there were Westerners who were concerned that their CEO would make so HKGOLFER.COM
discriminatory a remark, they did not disagree with the message. In particular, they concurred with Bivens’ comments about the Koreans not always pulling their weight in terms of giving pro-am partners a good day: they were using the occasions more as practice rounds for themselves. “English is good for us,” maintains Shin. “When you can speak it, you can make more jokes with pro-am partners and have more fun. Se Ri Pak helped us with this, telling us everything she learned in her early years on tour.” Shin also helped herself by spending a winter in Australia polishing her chips and her English chat at the same time. It was the mother of Korean-born, New Zealand amateur sensation Lydia Ko who, during the course of last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, advanced the idea that Koreans were particularly well-built for golf. She said as much during the storms which assailed the players in a week in which her daughter won the Silver Medal and Shin captured the championship itself. Shin was not about to disagree: “We are wellbuilt and small and we have good physical control,” she nodded. HK Golfer・MAY 2013
“When I arrive at about six-thirty or seven o’clock, there will be a handful of players already there, all of them Korean. Americans arrive from eight o’clock onwards and the other nationalities follow on from there."
Like most Koreans, Shin was inspired by the achievements of Se Ri Pak, who took the LPGA by storm in the early 2000s. “She helped us by telling everything she learned about in her early years,” explained Shin 50
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But this pluckiest of competitors does not regard the observation as wholly flattering. Indeed, she wryly admits to envying those of her American and European colleagues who were tall, thin, “and great golfers as well.” She makes cheerful reference to a formal function the previous evening for which she had excitedly donned the latest in high-heeled boots. All went well until she bumped into the Michelle Wies and Paula Creamers of this world who, with their five or six inch heels, were still towering over her. Shin says she has felt no remnants of the resentment which was visited on those of her Korean predecessors who commandeered what the Americans saw as too large a chunk of their loot. Instead, she is only conscious of the extent to which all nationalities are coming together as they share the same goals and, inevitably, the same concerns. In the case of the former, Shin says that she, personally, has borrowed from the Westerners
and Japanese alike. She practices less and she spends more of her time on physical conditioning with a view to staying on the upper echelons of the game’s leaderboards for longer. Moving on to the concerns, she says that one mutual problem is what happens to a professional golfer when her playing days are done. Last year, when she had a hand injury and was out of the game for much of the season, Shin never stopped worrying about what she might do instead. “I was tired of golf – physically and mentally tired,” she says. “I talked a lot about retirement but then I saw this Japanese psychologist who made me see sense. She said I should play golf while I was lucky enough to be playing well – and put any thoughts of what to do in the future on hold." Today, Shin is enjoying the LPGA Tour as much as she ever did whilst simultaneously completing the degree course she started in 2008. She took a two-year break in 2010 but will be graduating next summer. “I realise now,” she says, “that I have this very special life in golf. Another five years or so will bring me up to 20 years of playing – amateur and professionally – on a more-or-less everyday basis and that’s when I will start thinking of the future. All I can say for now is that I am hoping to have an equally special life after golf.” HKGOLFER.COM
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| looking back
Old Golf Images
Willie Park, Sr, pictured here at Prestwick in 1960 after becoming the very first Open champion. Park recorded a two-round total of 174 to beat Tom Morris by two strokes; a group of early professionals (opposite) with Park sitting on the far left
HK GolferăƒťMAY 2013
Roger McStravick profiles Willie Park, Sr – winner of the very first Open Championship, but a player who never enjoyed the adulation that his rivals – men like “Old” Tom Morris and Allan Robertson – received.
orn in Inveresk, near Musselburgh in Scotland on the 30th June 1833, Willie Park, Sr has gone down in history as a controversial figure who threw down challenges to the greatest players of his day and often beat them, with huge bets being waged on him winning. This controversy was fuelled, we are led to believe, through aggressive self-promotion. Although match play was the standard form of the game in the mid 1800s, one that drew small, respectful crowds, it was said that Park’s persona could transform these gatherings into excited throngs of thousands bustling to see him play - running after his ball to see where it lay. But what is the story behind the myth?
with a battered old 2-iron, legend tells us that Willie played with an old shinty stick, with which he often beat the club’s best golfers. He had a natural born skill.
Golf As a Way of Life Park saw a new horizon for himself, outside of the backbreaking farm work. His passion was golf and he knew he could make a good living from it. He had a superb touch on the greens but it was with his driver that he gained most respect. He was a very, very long hitter of the ball. As the legendary Allan Robertson said, “He frichtens us a’ wi’ his lang driving.” According to reports from that time, Park sometimes played matches using only one hand and standing on one leg. He lost only once. In another he played all his tee shots off the face of a watch. The watch face was scratch free at the end of play. He was a true showman and knew how to draw in large crowds, who were excited by his style, flair and deft skill on the course.
Working the Land During his early years, Willie had a tough life. He was one in a family of ten, with five brothers and four sisters. His father James was an agricultural labourer. By 1851, the Park family had moved to Linkfield Rd opposite Musselburgh Links golf course near Edinburgh, sometimes referred to as the cradle of golf. It was this move that really opened up Willie to the game. After a day’s work in the fields, following in his father’s footsteps, Willie would spend his late summer evenings on the Musselburgh links learning the game. Just like Seve Ballesteros who started his golf HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Park had a superb touch on the greens but it was with his driver that he gained most respect. He was a very, very long hitter of the ball. In a bleak Victorian world of black and grey, Park was a refreshing dash of colour.
The Grand Matches
Old Golf Images
An oil painting of Park, which dates from the 1870s; one of the grand matches that took place between Park and Tom Morris (opposite). This one shows Park (on the far left) and Morris (putting) at an event held at Leith Links in Edinburgh 54
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Willie Park Snr, like all the best artisan golfers of his era, worked as a caddie for the gentlemen golfers. Although he later set up his own ball and club making business, he made his best money from challenge matches. Having beat everyone locally including the great Willie Dunn, Park sent countless challenges to Allan Robertson in St Andrews in the 1850s. Robertson was the perceived “Champion of Golfing” in Scotland (and thereby the world), but Robertson was not interested in playing him. He had all to lose and nothing to gain. Willie’s skills were not ignored though.
The wealthy men of Edinburgh and Musselburgh realised that they had a thoroughbred in their midst – a player that could, once and for all, challenge the dominancy of the St Andrews golfers. We are told that Park, tired of having his challenged rejected, brazenly turned up at the autumn meeting of 1854 in St Andrews and challenged face to face the greatest golfers of the day, Robertson and “Old” Tom Morris. In all likelihood, it would have been his financial backers pushing him to do this. As much as Park wanted to beat Robertson and gain the Champion Golfer moniker, he could not realistically have done so on a scale that would be recognised publically, had he not have had wealthy gamblers behind him. The timing of Park’s arrival and confrontational challenge in St Andrews at the R&A’s autumn meeting, when Morris and Robertson’s backers were also in town, was no mere coincidence. Nevertheless, his arrival was a surprise. Neither Morris nor Robertson were minded to play against the upstart. However as a token gesture, a match was set up with George Morris, Tom’s elder brother. It was not comfortable viewing for the Morris clan. After losing the first eight holes in a row, George Morris is said to have cried, “For the love o’ Gode gi’e me a hauf!’. Tom had to step in to save the family honour. On the 19th October 1854, Willie and Tom squared up against each other for £50 a side over two rounds. Although the morning round was halved, Willie won the second round convincingly, by five holes with four to play. If Park thought that beating Tom Morris would mean that the press would herald him as the new heir to Robertson’s throne, he was sadly mistaken. The papers and the public were very comfortable with their St Andrews heroes and were not quick to warm to anyone upsetting the applecart. Park and his backers however knew where the good money matches were. Partnering gentlemen, Park played against Morris several times in doubles. He also played with him as a partner but legend is that they never won a match as a pairing. They also played together just for the fun of it with no money exchanging hands, with each sharing victories.
A Grand Match The building up of the rivalry and the dramatic way in which challenges were brazenly thrown down, would have been the work of the manipulative HKGOLFER.COM
backers, who would have been looking to hype up the game, improve the stakes and ultimately make more money from their “horse”. Nevertheless, Robertson and Morris’ backers ignored public challenges for a “Grand Match” time and time again. So Park’s gentlemen duly upped the stakes. On the 11th October 1855, in the week before the St Andrews autumn meeting, they placed a new advert in Bell’s Life. In this, Park offered to play anyone in a match over the links of St Andrews, Musselburgh and North Berwick for £200. This was serious money. The huge sums whetted the appetites of the heavy gambling St Andrews elite. Suddenly they had lots to gain, which was worth far more than an artisan like Robertson’s pride. Morris and Robertson were duly lined up against Park and Willie Dunn. This was to be the greatest of the greatest playing each other. There was incessant chatter in the press before the match and the crowds flocked to see the battle of the St Andrews “Invincibles” versus the Musselburgh contenders. In the end, the St Andrews team won by two holes but the backers from each corner knew that this was a winning formula. Park’s backers demanded once again for a proper HKGOLFER.COM
Grand Match. In 1855, Tom Morris’ backers finally acquiesced. Morris and Park agreed to play for £100. The date was set for April 1856. There would be three rounds of golf on each of the Musselburgh, North Berwick and St Andrews courses, finishing at St Andrews on the 10th May. Park won by 6 holes. The Earl of Wemyss, one of Morris’ backers and a prominent member of the R&A, immediately instructed Morris to issue an immediate challenge for another match. This started in St Andrews on the 26th October 1856. Park won again. Dunn’s backers pushed him forward for the challenge too but he lost easily to Park.
Unsung Hero With all the wins, Park would have rightly expected some adulation, some recognition that it was he who was now the best. It did not come. News of his victories was never deemed as newsworthy as a Morris or Robertson win. If the match, which was being covered daily in The Scotsman or Fifeshire Journal seemed to be going Park’s way, the final rounds were not covered in the press. Park must have been frustrated at the consistent naming of Morris as the champion and he, forever the Musselburgh contender. Sadly, Park never got a chance to play Robertson. News came in September 1859 that Robertson, at the age of just 43, had died of jaundice. HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Eight turned up and quickly manage to offend club members and their wives with their ragged clothes and poor manners. One spent the night in the drunk tank. The tournament was to be played over three rounds of the 12-hole Prestwick links course. There was no prize money. The winner by fewest strokes for this was a stroke play championship, would earn the beautiful Challenge Belt, which was made of rich red Moroccan leather and ornate silver plates decorated with golf scenes and the Prestwick coat of arms. It cost £25 and was paid for by members of Prestwick. It was described as “the finest thing ever played for.” Tom Morris, as designer of the course and Keeper of the Green at Prestwick was the betting favourite but Willie had other ideas. In windy conditions on Wednesday, 17th October 1860, Park became the first Open champion with a score of 174, two shots better than Morris. This was the same year that Abraham Lincoln ran for president. Park won the Open title again in 1863, 1866 and 1875 and was runner up to Morris four times.
The Twilight Years
In windy conditions on Wednesday, 17th October 1860, Park became the first Open champion with a score of 174, two shots better than Morris. The Birth of the Open Championship
Old Golf Images
The great triumvirate of their day: Willie Park, Sr, “Old” Tom Morris and Allan Robertson seen here in 1855, five years prior to the first Open Championship 56
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This left a gaping hole at the very top of golf. Who was going to be the new official champion golfer? Major James Ogilvy Fairlie decided to create an Open challenge in 1860 after the autumn meeting at Prestwick to settle the matter. The Prestwick club duly sent a letter from Fairlie to St Andrews, Musselburgh, Perth, Aberdeen and six other Scottish towns plus Blackheath in England.
Park’s final Open win also came at Prestwick. In the first seven years of championship he had won or finished second on six occasions. He won countless matches and made a decent living from it too. He opened a golf shop in North Berwick in 1870 before moving the shop back to his hometown Musselburgh in 1875. Willie played his final Open in 1883 at Musselburgh, the year before his son Willie Park, Jr won his first Open. His health started to suffer after he turned 50. In his final years Willie became the elder statesman in the Musselburgh club, working in his shop, making clubs and selling golf balls. Whilst Old Tom in his later life played with nobility and Prime Ministers in St Andrews, Park played with whomever he could get a game with. Where St Andrews thrived and grew, with acres of land to swell into, Musselburgh’s 9-hole links suffered, with no room for expansion. Park died on the 25th July 1903, aged 70. Park’s funeral was in contrast to the huge crowds of noblemen, gentlemen, press and public that came to Morris’. Instead, it was a small private family affair. At the time of his death Tom Morris was in Edinburgh having his portrait painted for the R&A club. Willie Park, Sr wowed the crowds like no one before him. In his prime, he was like an early-day Greg Norman, albeit with hickories and dressed in tweed. He should never ever be forgotten. HKGOLFER.COM
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Golf Wonderful Indonesia
GOLF ATRAVEL Player’s Guide
A picture-perfect backdrop awaits at Taman Dayu, a Jack Nicklaus design in the country surrounding Surabaya 58
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
The eastern coast of Java, around Surabaya, doesn’t automatically spring to mind quality golf. But as Duncan Forgan reveals, there are two courses, a mere hour’s drive from the centre of the city that certainly reward the intrepid traveller.
ometimes a little bit of obscurity isn’t such a bad thing. Surabaya is a good case in point. This city of over five million souls may be the second largest conurbation in Indonesia, but – in the eyes of foreign holidaymakers at least – it barely registers in comparison to Jakarta and tourist hits such as Bali or Lombok. All this is great news for golf adventurers who prefer their trips to come with some added intrepid frisson. For, while Surabaya has little in the way of traditional tourist draws, it does have a selection of golf courses that rivals any Asian city in terms of scope and quality. While there are plenty of sterling options on the immediate outskirts of town – Ciputra and Bukit Darmo are both fine
tracks – it pays to head for the hills, namely the green foothills of Pasuruan where two of East Java’s finest golf resorts, Taman Dayu and Finna Golf are located. Yet, while they are situated a mere 10-minute journey apart (and an hour or so from Surabaya city itself) the two championship layouts are very different in character. Taman Dayu, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, features plentiful water hazards, expansive bunkering and sharp changes in elevation. Finna, meanwhile, feels a little tighter with less water and small greens guarded by pot bunkers. Vastly different they may be, but taken in combination the pair offer a golfing experience as lofty as the nearby peaks of Mount Welirang and Mount Penanggungan. HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Golf Wonderful Indonesiaonderful Indonesia
Clockwise from top: a view of the second and third holes at Taman Dayu; the par-3 fifth at Finna Golf, a true Indonesian gem; while Finna is not a new course, conditioning has proven exemplary over the years 60
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It can be easy to let your mind wander from the task in hand at Taman Dayu. The holes on this Nicklaus gem, which opened for play in 1997, wind their way up and down the foothills of Mount Welirang and the often-vertiginous nature of the layout reveals some genuinely stirring vistas. The wide fairways and generously proportioned greens mean that visual distraction should not result in an all-out apocalypse of the scorecard. Nevertheless, even the sharpest of shooters will appreciate the challenge presented here. Fortunately, the holes that offer the best outlooks are ones that also constitute decent birdie chances. The second stretches to just about 550 yards from the blue tees but its sharp downhill gradient means that it plays a lot shorter. The same can be said of the 15th, although that holeâ€™s additional length and slight dogleg makes it a slightly tougher proposition. Another visual epic, the long 17th is also a good scoring opportunity but those attempting to make the green in two should be wary of the creek, which snakes through wilderness just ahead of the green. There are plenty of other stunners on the course. The signature short third is played over a ravine, while the treacherous closing hole features an approach played over water and a pest of a bunker to a shallow green. Other course highlights include the fifth, a demanding uphill par-4 with a long carry over natural rice paddies for the approach; the sixth,
where a stand of large trees must be driven over for optimum positioning; and the 12th, a testing par-3 where hitting the giant undulating green is far less of a problem than three-putting on it. Facilities at the resort are excellent with a high standard of accommodation available alongside trimmings such as a large outdoor swimming pool and massage services. Taman Dayu Golf Club & Resort Par: 72, Yardage: 7,123 Designed by Jack Nicklaus (1997) Contact: tamandayu.com; +62 343 633 411
Every golf course designer craves a prime chunk of real estate on which to build a masterpiece. Having said that, it is not always easy to integrate man-made ingenuity with natural beauty. It is to the credit of former Open champion Peter Thomson and his design cohorts Michael Wolveridge and Ross Perret that they have done such a stand-up job with the land at Finna Golf. Located just a short hop from Taman Dayu, Finna shares a similar gilded location in the cool foothills of the nearby mountains. However, the holes here tend to run across the terrain rather than up and down it, which makes for a different challenge entirely. Another refreshing novelty is the complete absence of man-made water hazards â€“ the river that winds its way in front of the green at the HKGOLFER.COM
lovely par-5 10th is the only place (apart from rice paddies) where your ball could meet a watery fate. Other highlights are myriad. On the opening nine holes, standouts include the fifth, an eye-catching par-3 played over rice paddies to an elevated green, and the sixth, a testing par-4 which plays uphill through a funnel of trees to a hidden green. If anything the second nine is even more picturesque than the first. The aforementioned 10th is a visual highlight as well as a golfing one, while the short 12th plays back down a gentle hill to a small green cut into a narrow valley of land between rainforest and rice paddies. The closing stretch is played over a more open stretch of land, while the tight dogleg 18th puts you back on the straight and narrow after a period of leniency. The facilities at Finna are a fitting adjunct to the golfing experience. Villas are spacious and luxurious – some have their own pools – while the helpful staff are happy to arrange tours of the surrounding area and to Mount Bromo, an active volcano that is one of the most visited attractions in Java. Finna Golf & Country Club Resort Par: 72, Yardage: 6,938 Designed by Peter Thomson, Michael Wolveridge and Ross Perret (1994) Contact: finnagolf.com; +62 343 634888
TRIP PLANNER Like any major port – and Surabaya is one of the biggest in Indonesia – the cit y is not shor t of attractions when it comes to nightlife, although only those determined enough will stray from the bars of the plethora of five-star hotels. The best of these is arguably the Shangri-La (shangrila.com), which sticks to its usual routine and provides comfy accommodations, a decent choice of restaurants and a wide range of leisure facilities. Another good choice is the hospitable JW Marriott (marriott.com), a high-rise affair that offers rooms overlooking the city, a decent spa and all the convenience one expects from an international hotel brand. Transportation to and from the golf courses (as well as Juanda International Airport) is best arranged via your hotel. Surabaya is served daily by Cathay Pacific (cathaypacific.com). Flying time from Hong Kong: 4 hours, 40 minutes.
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
EQUIPMENT | NEW GEAR
Spring Specials From customizable balls to adjustable drivers and funky grips, Charlie Schroeder picks 10 of his favourite new releases. Cobra AMP Cell Golfers who want to add some Rickie Fowler-like swagger to their tee shots should consider Cobra’s AMP Cell driver lineup, including the new limited edition Green version (HK$2,900). The clubs’ lofts can be adjusted to six different settings while the sole’s SmartPad, a stationary bulge shaped to square the face at address, remains fixed regardless of the loft setting. One clubhead for up to six lofts (8.5°/9.5°/9.5° Draw, 10.5°/10.5° Draw, 11.5°) with a Fujikura Fuel graphite shaft. cobragolf.com
Titleist 712U As played by 2013 Masters champ, Adam Scott, the Titleist 712U utility iron (HK$1,825-2,010) is a long-iron alternative for players who crave the forgiveness of a hybrid and the shot control of an iron. Designed with a high CG and MOI and a wider, camber sole design that makes it easy to cut through the turf and play shots with a wide variety of trajectories. Scott plays the 2-iron version, but there are 3- and 4-iron versions too. Comes in steel and graphite shafts. Available for customer order from the 15th of May. titleist.com
TaylorMade Lethal TaylorMade’s five-piece Lethal golf ball (HK$360/dozen) replaces the company’s Penta TP ball and was constructed with an aerodynamic dimple pattern to perform well in the wind. During testing it felt pleasantly soft around the greens while bringing plenty of life to longer shots. Plus its ability to generate greenside backspin will help golfers zero in on the flag from within 100 yards. Look for a STAWhite cast-urethane cover that promotes a tour-desired spin. Customizable with your own preferred number. taylormadegolf.com
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Golf Pride Niion Golf equipment has never been more colourful and Golf Pride’s vibrant new Niion line (HK$62/grip) is no exception. The firm, tacky rubber compound grips come in five vibrant color combinations, including Bright Orange/White, Lime Green/White and Bright Yellow/Blue. And while they may make a bold statement, it’s the technology that really shines. The tri-texture surface pattern delivers superb traction in all weather conditions, including those wet Hong Kong spring and summers. golfpride.com
Srixon Z-Star Srixon has unveiled two new models of their popular Z-Star golf ball, the three-piece Z-Star and four-piece Z-Star XV. They both deliver greater advances in spin control and softness while improving flight trajectory with 344 newly developed aerodynamic dimples. Look for a new Highgrip-Spin-Coating surface developed by Dunlop that produces lots of backspin on short-iron shots. Designed with a core that gets progressively softer as you move to the centre and which helps reduce spin on long shots. Comes in five color combinations including royal green and premium passion orange. srixon-worldwide.com
Fourteen Golf CT-112 Those who appreciate serious craftsmanship and are willing to pay a premium for long drives should consider the new CT-112 driver (HK$6,200) from Fourteen Golf. It features a four-piece composite titanium clubhead and a crown that’s been chemically milled thin, along with a multilayered cupface. The proprietary graphite shaft is a lengthy 47 inches long; however, it’s designed with extra stability to offset the added length. Comes in two lofts (9°, 10.5°), with a CS-001d graphite shaft. fourteengolf.com
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
If you’re looking to channel your inner Bubba Watson then PING’s new G25 driver (HK$3,000) may be your new stick. It not only produces some serious distance, but there’s a lot of forgiveness too – and added adjustability. Its deep and forgiving clubhead can be adjusted to plus or minus one-half degree from the base loft and the ultrathin crown helps distributes weight to the perimeter, which positions the centre of gravity low and deep and increases the MOI for a more forgiving blow. In fact, PING says it’s their most forgiving head design ever. Comes in four base lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10°, 12°) with a PING TFC 189 graphite shaft options. (LH available) ping.com
The Sync Series by STX has been revamped with a more modern design. The SS8 blade (HK$845) weighs a manageable 355 grams and features a black PVD finish, but it’s the technology that can make the difference on the greens. Its top line has been softened for a more visually appealing look and with the centre of gravity positioned at the impact zone golfers can make solid contact. As with all STX putters, different inserts are available for different feels. The SS8 comes with a soft black insert which yields the highest friction. (A medium firmness red insert is available too). Look for a half-offset design that keeps your hands ahead of the ball throughout the stroke. Comes in 34 and 35 inch lengths. stxgolf.com
Nike VR_S Covert
Odyssey Tank Odyssey’s Tank putter (HK$1,550) is an uber-heavy mallet designed to help keep your hands quiet throughout the stroke. With a hefty 400 gram head, heavy shaft and counterbalanced grip (weighing either 30 or 40 grams depending on the model), the Tank is sure to be an acquired taste. It comes in two models: standard (34 and 36 inches) and longer (38 and 40 inches). Its #7 head and improved white hot insert round out this unique offering. Definitely a flatstick to test run before purchasing. odysseygolf.com
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
Nike’s VR_S Covert driver (HK$2,300-3,100) boasts both an adjustable loft and face angle and provides an amazing 15 combinations in just one clubhead. Yup, that’s 15 drivers in one club. But that’s not the only part that makes it unique. It also features a “High Speed Cavity Back” technology that aims to add distance and control. Engineers also designed the clubface with variable thickness so the sweet spot is high in the centre, right where golfers should make contact. Better players should opt for the smaller Tour version. One clubhead, five lofts (8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 11.5°, 12.5°). Comes with a MRC Kuro Kage graphite shaft. nike.com
At the end of a great day... ... a sublime experience
As Jim Murray said in his Whisky Bible, “…A whisky that gives you the will to live !” We chose this as our first release because we had never tasted a distilled spirit at once so old – and so young. Only a taste can tell you how splendid it really is. And when it’s finished (which is very soon, now) there may not be anything like it for a while; it took us many years to find these 1,348 bottles, and it will be a long search for its successor. Meanwhile, we suggest you have a look at our cognac 1950, 478 bottles of which have just been released.
email@example.com; (852) 3590 4153 lastdropdistillers.com
GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS
PGA TOUR ARNOLD PALMER INVITATIONAL Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Florida 21-24 March, US$6.2 million
WOODS REACHES 77
Tiger Woods returned to the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in 29 months with his eighth victory at Bay Hill. Woods, with new girlfriend Lindsey Vonn in attendance, carded a final-round 70 to hold off the challenge of Justin Rose and claim his 77th PGA Tour win. He now sits just five behind Sam Snead's all-time record of 82 victories. 1 Tiger Woods
69 70 66 70
2 Justin Rose
65 70 72 70
3= Mark Wilson
71 68 70 71
74 69 66 71
69 71 68 72
73 67 67 73
7 Thorbjorn Olesen
69 73 66 73
8= William McGirt
74 70 70 68
71 71 69 71
69 66 73 74
Woods recorded his eighth victory at Bay Hill
SHELL HOUSTON OPEN
VALERO TEXAS OPEN
POINTS FINALLY FINDS FORM
LAIRD ENDS AMERICAN SUPREMACY
TPC San Antonio, Texas 4-7 April, US$6.2 million
Redstone GC, Texas 28-31 March, US$6.2 million
DA Points found form out of nowhere to claim victory in Houston by a shot and book his place at The Masters. The American had missed three cuts in a row and seven of the last nine heading into the Texas event, but hit his stride straight away, taking the lead after a firstround 64. A 12ft pressure-packed putt on the 72nd hole held off the resurgent Henrik Stenson.
Martin Laird tied the course record of 63 to hold off the challenge of Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk and earn his first title in two years. The 30-year-old Scot became the first non-American to win on the PGA Tour in 15 events this season. "It doesn't matter if its Rory or Jim, if someone's behind me making birdies like they were, I know I've got to keep making birdies," he said.
1 DA Points
64 71 71 66
1 Martin Laird
70 71 70 63
2= Henrik Stenson
69 70 68 66
2 Rory McIlroy
72 67 71 66
68 72 67 66
3= Billy Horschel
68 68 70 71
4= Dustin Johnson
69 70 70 65
69 70 69 69
69 70 67 68
71 67 70 69
6= Brian Davis
67 70 71 67
6 KJ Choi
72 67 72 68
70 70 67 68
7= Daniel Summerhays USA
69 69 73 69
71 66 68 70
69 72 70 69
9 Jason Kokrak
66 69 71 70
72 69 69 70
10= Brendon de Jonge
71 68 72 66
10= Martin Flores
71 72 70 68
HK GolferăƒťMAY 2013
GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS
Kiradech Aphibarnrat tasted success in Kuala Lumpur
MAYBANK MALAYSIAN OPEN Kuala Lumpur G&CC 21-24 March, US$2.75 million
KIRADECH THE KING IN KL
Neither thunderstorms nor a late charge from Edoardo Molinari could deny Kiradech Aphibarnrat his maiden European Tour title in Kuala Lumpur. For the fourth successive day the tournament, cut down to 54 holes on Saturday, was troubled by bad weather, a stoppage of two hours coming just when the leading group had reached the 16th. Not that it worried the Thai – he played the remaining three holes in level par for a well earned first victory. 1 K Aphibarnrat
65 68 70
2 Edoardo Molinari
66 71 67
3 Anders Hansen
66 73 66
4= Victor Dubuisson FRA
67 69 70
67 68 71
6= Mark Foster
69 69 69
69 68 70
69 68 70
69 70 68
69 68 70
TROPHEE HASSAN II
Golf du Palais Royal, Morocco 28-31 March, €1.5 million
MASTERS AGONY FOR MARCEL
Marcel Siem completed a wire-to-wire victory in Morocco, winning by three shots, but it wasn't quite enough to secure the German his first Masters appearance. Siem finished with a 17-under-par total and – momentarily at least – rose to 49th in the world. But strong finishes across the Atlantic by Henrik Stenson and Russell Henley pushed Siem back outside the top 50 – and gone was his chance of teeing it up at Augusta. 1 Marcel Siem
64 68 69 70
2= David Horsey
68 67 70 69
Mikko Ilonen FIN
69 66 70 69
4 Pablo Larrazabal
72 64 69 71
5= Matthew Baldwin
72 70 68 69
67 74 69 69
72 66 69 72
8 David Howell
71 70 72 68
9= Craig Lee
69 69 70 74
Julien Quesne FRA
71 72 71 68
OPEN DE ESPANA
Parador de El Saler, Spain 18-21 April, €1.5 million
JACQUELIN ENDS MARATHON PLAY-OFF
Raphael Jacquelin won a record-tying play-off at the Open de Espana, edging Germany's Maximilian Kieffer on their ninth try at the 18th hole. The Frenchman made a five-foot birdie putt to end the back-and-forth battle with Kieffer in what had started as a threeway play-off including Chile's Felipe Aguilar. It was Jacquelin's fourth European Tour victory and his first in more than two years. 1 Raphael Jacquelin* FRA
73 66 73 71
2= Felipe Aguilar CHL
68 71 74 70
75 68 69 71
4= Magnus Carlsson
70 75 68 71
71 74 66 73
71 71 69 73
70 70 68 76
8= Matteo Delpodio
73 69 73 70
Espen Kof stad
71 72 70 72
70 70 73 72
Marcel Siem was unstoppable in Morocco
HK Golfer・MAY 2013
GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS
Wade Ormsby earned his maiden win at Delhi Golf Club
CHIANGMAI GOLF CLASSIC Alpine Golf Resort, Chiangmai 28-31 March, US$750,000
HEND EARNS THIRD TITLE
Scott Hend dug deep and launched a spectacular comeback by overcoming a six-shot deficit on the final day to win the Chiangmai Classic. The big-hitting Australian earned US$135,000 for the victory and propelled him to third place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. "The win is fantastic," said the 39-year-old Hend. "To shoot 20-under sort of helps you believe in yourself that you still got the game and can hole the putts." 1 Scott Hend
68 69 67 64
2 Bryce Easton
68 67 72 64
3 Prayad Marksaeng
65 67 66 74
4 Hu Mu CHN
66 69 70 68
5= Jbe Kruger
71 69 70 64
69 69 68 68
69 67 69 69
71 67 66 70
68 67 68 71
10= Mo Joong-kyung
70 67 71 67
PANASONIC OPEN INDIA
Wack Wack G&CC, Manila 11-14 April, US$300,000
LIN RECAPTURES THE MAGIC
Former Hong Kong Open champion Lin Wen-tang produced a heroic performance to win his long-awaited sixth Asian Tour title at the Solaire Open in Manila. The Taiwanese ace hit two remarkable shots on 17 and 18 from the woods for a one-over-par 73 to defeat Asian Tour rookie Richard T Lee of Canada and Thammanoon Sriroj of Thailand by one stroke at venerable Wack Wack Golf and Country Club in the heart of the city. 1 Lin Wen-tang
69 73 70 73
2= Richard T Lee CAN
72 71 74 69
73 69 71 73
Thammanoon Sriroj THA
Delhi GC, Delhi 4-7 April, US$300,000
4 Wang Jeung-hun
72 76 70 69
MAIDEN VICTORY FOR WADE
5 Elmer Salvador
69 76 73 71
6= Mars Pucay
69 76 73 71
73 72 72 72
73 71 72 73
73 71 72 73
10= Hsu Mong-nan
74 72 71 73
Australian Wade Ormsby claimed a nerve-jangling maiden Asian Tour title at the Panasonic Open to deny Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit a historic victory at Delhi Golf Club. Ormsby overcame a disastrous triple bogey on the third hole to shoot a final round 71 to win the US$300,000 tournament by one shot from the 56-year-old Boonchu, who was bidding to become the oldest winner on tour. "I've played tournaments worldwide but to finally get a win in Asia is fantastic," said Ormsby. 1 Wade Ormsby
67 67 74 71
2 Boonchu Ruangkit
70 68 73 69
3 Lam Chih Bing
67 69 73 72
4 Shiv Kapur
71 68 72 71
5 SSP Chowrasia
69 69 77 68
71 72 71 69
71 71 71 70
8= Richard T Lee CAN
72 68 77 67
73 75 67 69
10= Rahil Gangjee
73 73 71 68
Lin Wen-tang was victorious in Manila
HK GolferăƒťMAY 2013
GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS
LPGA TOUR KRAFT NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP Rancho Mirage, California 4-7 April, US$2 million
EIGHT IN A ROW FOR ASIA
Inbee Park, the 2008 US Open winner, added another major to her collection with a dominant performance at the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage. Park closed with a 69 to finish at 15-under, four strokes ahead of fellow South Korean player So Yeon Ryu. "It had been a while since I won a major. It feels very special," said Park, the third straight South Korean major winner and the eighth in a row from Asia. 1 Inbee Park
70 67 67 69
2 So Yeon Ryu
73 71 68 65
3= Caroline Hedwall
71 68 72 68
68 75 67 69
5= Haeji Kang
72 69 73 68
72 71 67 72
7= Catriona Matthew
72 73 70 68
70 69 76 68
Jodi E Shadoff
68 72 74 69
69 72 72 70
Inbee Park earned major success at the Kraft Nabisco
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firstname.lastname@example.org or call
HK GolferăƒťMAY 2013
GOLF & Investing | 5 MINUTES WITH ...
James Stewart For golfers and investors out there, you might find golf and investing share a lot of similar attributes. In this, the first of a new series of interviews presented by Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd., James Stewart, the locally-based pro and entrepreneur – owner of J Stewart Golf, suppliers of bespoke golf products – tells us about his standout performances, his admiration for Tom Watson and his investment philosophy. What connections do you see between golf and investing? The obvious connection would be the need to control your emotions. You can’t let a negative situation on the course get the better of you – and the same applies when it comes to investing. Likewise, getting too excited – getting too ahead of yourself – can be disadvantageous in both disciplines. Staying in the present and maintaining your goals is key. When did you start playing? When I was seven. My stepfather was a member of the Hong Kong Golf Club – he joined in the 1960s – and I played most of my golf in those early years at Deep Water Bay, until I became good enough to play on the courses at Fanling. How often do you play? I average twice a week – once on the weekend and I try to get out for a midweek round, too. It all depends how busy I am. One of the advantages of being my own “boss” is that I can decide my own schedule. The disadvantage, however, is that I’m constantly working out of usual office hours, particularly late at night when I start receiving emails from my clients in the US and Europe. What’s been your best ever round? I’ve had a 61 on each of the three courses at Fanling (pictured). Those rounds were all during practice, although there may have been some money on the line [laughs]. My best tournament score was the 64 I shot over the New Course at Fanling in the second round of this year’s HKPGA Championship. Do you have a favourite course? The best course I think I’ve played is the National Golf Club of Canada, near Toronto. But my favourite course might be Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. I’ve enjoyed a few good money games out there! Alex Jenkins
Who would be in your dream fourball?
Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods. I’ve always liked Watson. I think it’s amazing what he’s achieved, and he’s still playing great even though he’s in his 60s. I think everyone would have loved to have seen him win HK Golfer・MAY 2013
The Open and make history in 2009 when he came so close at Turnberry. How do you maintain focus during a round? It’s a cliché but I try and take each shot as it comes. It’s easy to become distracted with what you’ve done previously in your round but each hole presents a new challenge, a new opportunity. That’s what you have to focus on. How has golf helped in growing your business? When I stopped playing full time to start my company I was helped by the fact that I had met so many people from different walks of life through playing the game. Golf is a great way to network – more so than any other sport. I think spending four and a half hours on a course with someone gives you a good idea if you want to do business with them. How would you describe your overall investment philosophy? Fa irly conser vat ive. I made some poor investments during the Global Financial Crisis and I’m hesitant to invest in things I don’t know much about. Unless I’m familiar with how a company operates or have a good knowledge of its products then I’ll generally stay away. What key lessons have you learned through your personal investing experiences? It’s easy to be tempted by rumours of a particular stock – this led to some poorly judged investments in the past – so now I’ll only listen to professional advisors who I’ve built up trust with. HKGOLFER.COM
GREAT GOLF STARTS WITH GREAT ADVICE
Hank Haney PGA Teaching Pro
When it comes to golf and investing, everyone can use a little help from the pros.
For more on the connection between golf and Investing, visit www.schwab.com.hk/golf
Schwab Investors Centre: Suites 1607-1611, ICBC Tower, No.3 Garden Road, Hong Kong | +852-2101-0511
EXPERT IN U.S. INVESTING This material is issued by Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd. and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong. Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd. is registered with the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") to carry out the regulated activities in dealing in securities, advising on securities and advising on futures contracts under registration CE number ADV256. ÂŠ2012 Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd. All rights reserved. (0312-1952/CSHK - 1171)
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Published on May 1, 2013