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Travel: The Hidden Gems of Scottish Golf

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

ISSUE 78

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| CONTENTS

HK Golfer Issue 78

July 2013

60 On the Cover:

Justin Rose ended England’s 17-year wait for a major title with a hard-fought victory at the US Open last month. Photo by AFP

Features

Plus…

28 | Not One For Wilting

17 | Tee Time

38 | Vintage Dom

20 | Driving Range

Justin Rose etched his name alongside the greats with his two-stroke triumph at last month’s US Open in Philadelphia. By Paul Prendergast Dominique Boulet may not have achieved his goal of winning on the Asian Tour but the Fanling member is certainly making a name for himself as a TV pundit, so much so that he is now being called “The Voice of Asian Golf.” By The Editors

50 | Classic Challenge

The men-only policy at Muirfield is undoubtedly a tad quaint in this day and age but, whatever anyone might say to the contrary, this year’s Open venue has plenty of features which no-one would want to change, starting with the course. By Lewine Mair

56 | The Greatest

As The Open returns to Muirfield, we take a look at the life and times of Harry Vardon who won the first of his six championships at the East Lothian layout. By Roger McStravick

AFP (Woods); Daniel Wong (Tutt)

60 | Major Moments

Our equipment editor picks his favourite shots from Open Championship history and names the manufacturers who benefitted as a result of them. By Charlie Schroeder

64 | Beyond the Claret Jug

26

Scotland is home to some wonderful championship venues, but even greater riches lie beyond in the form of the country’s collection of hidden gems. By Mark Alexander

A look at the state of the watch industry following the SIHH and Baselworld exhibitions. By Evan Rast A comprehensive look at Bentley’s latest incarnation of the Flying Spur. By Ben Oliver

22 | Liquid Assets

Hungarian wine has never tasted better: a sampling of Holdvölgy, a truly world-class winery in the northeast of the country. By Richard Sutton

24 | Single Malts

Our whisky editor raises his glass to a selection of malts sourced from the cradle of the game, St Andrews By John Bruce

26 | Tales from the Box

Our newest contributor takes a break from his commentating duties to question why he has never had a hole-in-one after watching Andrew Dodt record two in a single round. By Julian Tutt

70 | Golf & Investing / 5 Minutes With ...

Pony Leung, the locally-based pro and wine aficionado, talks about her golfing upbringing, her love of links golf and the investing lessons she’s learned over time. By Alex Jenkins


Our Master Watchmaker never loses his concentration With his legendary concentration and 45 years of experience our Master Watchmaker ensures that we take our waterproofing rather seriously. Gilbert O. Gudjonsson, our Master Watchmaker and renowned craftsman, inspects every single timepiece before it leaves our workshop. As a privately owned and operated company, we have the opportunity and duty to give all our timepieces the personal attention they deserve.

www.jswatch.com

Official HK Agent: Times International Creation ltd. Contact: jswatch@timesic.com Tel: +852-3590-4153


HK Golfer

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION JULY 2013 • Issue 78

Editor: Alex Jenkins email: alex.jenkins@hkgolfer.com Editorial Assistant: Cindy Kwok Playing Editor: Jean Van de Velde Senior Editor: Roy Kinnear Photo Editor: Daniel Wong Contributing Editors: Lewine Mair, Robert Lynam, Evan Rast, Ben Oliver, Julian Tutt Published by:

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

64 D E PA R T M E N T S 08

HK Golfer Mailbag

14 Divots

Mark Alexander

17 Clubhouse 36

Numbers Game

44

Around the HKGA

46

Midsummer Classic in Review

48

HKGA News

72

Global Tournament News

HK GOLFER is published by Times International Creation, 10A Lockhart Centre, 301-307 Lockhart Road, Hong Kong. HK GOLFER is published monthly © 2012 by Times International Creation. Published in Hong Kong. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. PRINTED IN HONG KONG. 6

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HK Golfer Mailbag

Phones and golf – a bad combination?

Pace of Play – Unfair Comparisons Slow play is hardly a new thing, but since Guan Tianlang’s penalty at Augusta, as well as the USGA’s new “While We’re Young” initiative, the subject is garnering a lot of attention of late. Hong Kong and southern China, like everywhere, is not immune to slow play, but I do get a bit fed up when I hear people talking about it like it’s solely a problem in our region. While it may be quite possible for a fourball to get round a traditional Scottish links course in less than three and a half hours on a nice spring day, that clearly isn’t going to be the case when tackling, for example, the North Course at Kau Sai Chau in the height of summer. The weather conditions and the terrain of the course simply rule this out for all but the most serious of athletes. That being said, there is absolutely no excuse at all for wasting time on the course because of non-golfing activities. A lot of my friends will disagree, but I hate to see the use of mobile phones when playing. If you can’t be out of contact for four and a half, or even five hours then you shouldn’t really be playing golf. Geoffrey Law Pok Fu Lam

Pace of Play – It’s in the Timing I find it amusing that the USGA introduced its new pace-of-play campaign during the week of the US Open at Merion Golf Club. I have played this fine old course on numerous occasions and couldn’t believe how difficult the USGA had prepared it for the championship, with extreme rough and a definite narrowing of numerous fairways. OK, this is the US Open – it should never be easy. But as we saw from the scoring, “little” Merion, measuring less than 7,000 yards, created absolute havoc for the majority of the field. The result? Five and half hour rounds. Rather ironic timing, don’t you think?

Kia Ora. I very much enjoyed the travel story on Cape Kidnappers, that wonderful cliff-top course in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, that appeared in the June issue [Southern Stunner, page 74]. It really is a memorable place. However, New Zealand as a whole – and not just the ultra upscale resorts such as Cape Kidnappers and its sister property, Kauri Cliffs – offers any number of truly brilliant golfing experiences. I have been travelling there for nearly 15 years because of the sheer quality and number of courses (the country has the highest number of courses per capita in the world), the friendliness of the people, the value for money it provides and, of course, the continuing excellence of its wine and angling, both of which make for pleasurable post-round activities. KC Chan Via email Editor’s reply: Thank you KC. You are, of course, absolutely right: there’s a great deal more to New Zealand golf than Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs. Our August issue will feature a travel report of Queenstown in New Zealand’s South Island, which is home to some fantastic courses, too. I hope you enjoy this month’s story on some of Scotland’s less famous – but no less enjoyable – layouts.

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 letters@hkgolfer.com. Please also include your address, contact number, email and HKGA #. The winner of the best letter will receive a bottle of Champagne Louis Roederer courtesy of Links Concept.

AFP

George Roberts Via email 8

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Asia Focus King at the Queens Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng finally tamed the Santiburi Country Club course – otherwise known as the “Beast of Samui” – when he edged out compatriot Arnond Vongvanij to win the Queen’s Cup in mid-June. Having come close with three top-three finishes since the event made its debut on the Asian Tour in 2009, Prayad was seeking his first victory on the Thai island and he showed his resolve by closing with an eagle to win with a final-round 67. “I couldn’t finish the job previously, so this win really means a lot to me,” said the 47 year-old veteran. The tournament is held in honour of Her Majesty, Queen Sirikit. Photo by Asian Tour


Global Focus Coming Up Roses Justin Rose, with one hand on the US Open trophy and the other on one of Merion Golf Club’s famed whicker baskets, celebrates after claiming his maiden major title near Philadelphia last month. The 32 year-old Englishman’s victory consigned third round leader Phil Mickelson to his sixth – and arguably most heartbreaking – runner-up finish at the championship. Rose, who memorably defeated Mickelson on the final day of last year’s Ryder Cup, said: He’s such a great guy to play golf with and to have for the tour. He plays fearless golf. He keeps everybody guessing, he’s entertaining and I feel fortunate to have been able to beat a world-class player that he is.” Photo by Getty Images / AFP


| DIVOTS

Zhang: China Needs More Public Courses

Chinese golf's elder statesman, Zhang Lian-wei, says his playing days on the Asian Tour are becoming far and few between as he pursues his next challenge – to persuade government officials to build more public courses. While the competitive juices are still flowing, the 48-year-old Zhang (pictured) acknowledged it was becoming increasingly difficult to compete against the game's young guns and he has switched his focus to a variety of projects.

The one closest to his heart is his drive to push the government to build more public courses, which he believes is one of the keys to getting more young players to take up the game. "When I started, there were only a handful of us playing competitive golf and then Liang Wen-chong and Wu Ashun came through over the last 10 years or so. We've now go Hu Mu and Ye Jianfeng coming through, but there are not enough young players who are out here competing. China needs to be like Thailand, India or Korea who have a lot of top players on the Asian Tour," said Zhang prior to last month's Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters in Malaysia. "I've been talking to the government about building public golf courses and there are three potential sites. I am keen to push this through as this is the only way to get more young golfers to pick up and learn the game," the five-time Asian Tour champion said. Zhang believes there are about 700 courses spread across the mainland but he laments that only a handful are public facilities. "It's very expensive to play golf at members' clubs," he said. "That is why my aim is to see more public golf courses in China," he said. Zhang is keen to give back to the game through his own foundation. He said that through donations and sponsorship, he had raised funds to provide an indoor golf simulator at his former high school in Shenzhen. "I hope to fund junior gold, coaches and players through my foundation. We have recently provided a simulator to my previous school which I hope will encourage the kids to play the game," he said

HK Golfer Wins Golf Magazine of the Year It was wit h some del ight that HK Golfer collected the inaug ura l prize for Hong Kong's best golf publication at Marketing Magazine's annual Magazine of the Year awards ceremony on 14 June. The event, which was held at The Mira Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, is considered the most prestigious in regional publishing and saw this title claim top honours in what proved to be an especially competitive category.


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.

lastdrop@hkgolfer.com; (852) 3590 4153 lastdropdistillers.com


CLUB

Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph HKGOLFER.COM

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR THE GIANTS OF THE SWISS WATCHMAKING INDUSTRY, WRITES EVAN RAST CONTINUED OVERLEAF HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

17


share grows every year. In fact, growth in 2012 was due solely to mechanical watches, which posted an increase of 15.9 per cent in value Y-O-Y, and a 12 per cent increase by volume. Electronic timepieces registered a decline of -5.8 percent, while their value remained stable. The big watch companies – Richemont, Swatch Group, Rolex and LVMH – take up a lion’s share of the world’s watch sales, at almost half, and continue to gain strong profits. While the market has become more stable after the mad rush to cater to China in 2010, most still expect growth in 2013-2014. And with growth comes considerable investments. As the industry moves towards the ETA-free era, we see Richemont leading the pack with plans to invest more than CHF260 million in new production facilities and expansions for Cartier, Panerai, Vacheron Constantin and Piaget. It also plans to turn its integrated manufacture ValFleurier into its centre of movement production. Meanwhile, LVMH is shelling out up to CHF100 million for a new TAG Heuer factory, a Geneva facility for Louis Vuitton, a 100 per cent expansion for Hublot and a reorganisation for Zenith. Rolex inaugurated its new flagship in Bienne last year, and has invested 100 million for movement production. It’s a similar story for independents Audemars Piguet and Chopard, the former putting down 25 million to build a Geneva factory, and the latter increasing production of its own movements. As for materials, gold still reigns supreme, accounting for more than 94 per cent of total watch exports by value, an increase of 11.4 percent Y-O-Y. n 2012, Swiss watchmakers celebrated a Hong Kong is still the top market, recording milestone, with export figures for watches growth of 6.8 per cent in value, and accounting for topping the CHF20 billion mark. 20.4 per cent of all Swiss With a value of CHF21.4 billion, the exports. The United industry grew by 10.9 per cent yearStates comes second at While the watch on-year and 32.5 per cent over 2010, market has become 10.2 per cent, and China according to the Federation of the is third at 7.7 per cent. more stable after Swiss Watch Industry (FHS). This is an Some EU markets have amazing figure too when you consider improved, like Germany, the mad rush that it accounts for roughly 60 per w hich re co rd e d a to cater to China cent of the value of all of the watches growth of 33.1 per cent in 2010, growth produced in the world, and only three in value. per cent of the quantity. So what do all these is expected Of the 36 million watches produced numbers mean when to continue in Switzerland, about seven million it comes to watches? are mechanical watches, accounting We’re going to continue for 75 per cent of total export value. This means to see a lot of gold cases, in-house movements, mechanical watches represent a major chunk in especially from independents, and a focus on the value of the world’s watch industry, and its functionality, to make up for higher price points.

I Clockwise from top: the Altiplano Date from Piaget; the latest edition of the Bulgari’s Roma; Chopard’s L.U.C. Engine One H

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GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

MC, built on the base movement of the Calibre The past year was clearly buoyed by gold de Cartier Chronograph (1904-CH MC), but timepieces, with steel models “progressing at features a new module on the side of the dial a below-average rate,” according for the perpetual calendar to FHS. Bi-metallic watches, a function. A retrograde combination of steel and gold, also hand, mounted on the Hong Kong produced a below-par result, with dial at 6 o’clock, indicates is still the growth at 5.3 per cent. the days of the week . This year, Piaget released the Quick-correction pushers top market, Altiplano Date, a new complication on the case reset the accounting for for the series, combined with the calendar displays easily. 20.4 per cent world’s thinnest movement and The watch offers a 48-hour case. The model is equipped with power reserve, and the of all luxury the automatic calibre 1205P (only sapphire crystal caseback Swiss exports 3mm thick) while the 40mm white offers a generous view of or gold case measures only 6.36mm. the movement and the Aside from the date display, the dial skeletonised rotors. of the Altiplano also features an off-centred small Bulgari’s latest edition of its iconic Roma, seconds indication. A sapphire crystal caseback first created in 1975, is a limited and numbered reveals the 221-part movement. series in pink gold. The watch features a round, With a 42mm rose or white gold case, the elegantly curved bezel bearing the words Bulgari Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar and Roma embossed, inspired by Roman coins Chronograph is the first model in the series to that symbolised authority and strength of combine the two complications. The watch is character. A pure black lacquered dial creates a fitted with the automatic in-house calibre 9423

CONTINUED ON PAGE 76

HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE

GLOBAL APPEAL

CHINA MIGHT BE THE BIGGEST MARKET FOR BENTLEY’S FLYING SPUR, BUT THE LATEST INCARNATION OF THIS FAMOUS MARQUE APPEARS DESTINED TO ATTRACT WELL-HEELED BUYERS WORLDWIDE, WRITES BEN OLIVER.

I

n 2009 China overtook the United States to become the world’s largest door saloon introduced in 2005. Of course it is car market. This year, sales are expected to top an astonishing 18 million. titanically fast, its 6.0-litre W12 motor surging Management consultants McKinsey & Co recently estimated that by 2020 forward with the irresistibility that ought to China will become the world’s largest market for luxury cars too, buying more characterise a Bentley. But around town its twin than the US, or all of Western Europe put together. The demand from Chinese turbochargers barely wake, and the drivetrain is customers that is revolutionizing the world of the luxury so refined in noise and vibration car is an almost exclusively urban phenomenon, and Beijing that more than once I tried to start Bentley is a little is China’s biggest single market. So where better to have my it was already running. ahead of the game in it when first experience of the new Bentley Flying Spur than here? The steering is deft, precise and China. The marque light in low-speed traffic. On the Bentley, and the Flying Spur, are a little ahead of the game here. The marque established its first dealerships in China move, the acoustic glazing and established its first over a decade ago and China is already Flying Spur’s biggest the redesigned exhaust system dealerships here market, with more than half of sales of the outgoing model make for a noticeably quieter car, over a decade ago happening here. China ranks just behind the United States particularly in the rear, and the for sales across the whole Bentley range and the Beijing and China is already softer suspension settings give the dealership is the brand’s biggest, delivering more than a car a Flying Spur real glide when you the Flying Spur’s day to China’s new elite. meet a Beijing pothole. The new biggest market. They want a car that rides well, is quiet and refined inside, TSR touch-screen remote control and that caters to those who prefer to be driven, around 90 for the audio and air conditioning is per cent of Bentley’s Chinese customers retaining a driver. And that’s exactly what perfect for back-seat drivers. And of course, it has I’d noticed in this new Flying Spur, which replaces the first generation of this four- the extraordinary levels of hand-craftsmanship

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HKGOLFER.COM


SCORECARD How much?

Price on application

Engine:

6.0-litre W12 engine twin turbochargers

625PS power

Transmission:

Eight-speed automatic, 4WD

Performance:

0-100kph in 4.6secs, 320kph

How heavy? 2,475kg

and material quality that you expect from an elite British car of this price. But although this new model seems to have been designed just for China’s increasingly important buyers, it hasn’t; this remains a car of global appeal, intended as much for buyers in Birmingham, Bahrain and the Bay Area as Beijing. That softer ride reflects the Flying Spur’s move out of the more sporting Continental family to become a model in its own right, in turn reflected in the striking new front end with its full-width lower air intake and bigger outboard headlamps to distinguish it from the two-door Bentley. And the hushed cabin ambience will be appreciated by the occupants of front and back rows alike. There will be 38 Bentley dealerships in Greater China by the time you read this, yet there are still 111 tier two and three cities without a single premium car dealership. The scope for further growth is mindboggling. And with a car like this to offer, Bentley is well-placed to take advantage of it. HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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CLUBHOUSE | LIQUID ASSETS

TOKAJI MAD-NESS RICHARD SUTTON, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ARMIT WINES HONG KONG, WRITES ABOUT THE UNIQUENESS OF HOLDVÖLGY, A TRULY WORLD-CLASS WINERY IN NORTHEASTERN HUNGARY.

H

oldvölgy, Hungarian for Valley of the Moon, has been an absolutely thrilling discover y for me. The likes of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Barolo might be the most popular areas of our portfolio but every now and again something unique and individual comes along that is just too good to miss out on. T he Tok aji wine re gion of northeastern Hungary is famed for its sweet dessert wines. The wine culture there is steeped in history – lauded by such luminaries as The picturesque Holdvölgy winery; a bottle of Culture Russian Emperor Peter the Great, and (left), a two-time winner of Hungarian Wine of the Year composers Brahms and Schubert. Holdvölgy winery (pronounced ’Hold-vudge’) started off as a heart-felt gesture, the presence of their wines in the Hong Kong and a birthday gift of vineyards from owner Pascal Demko's mother to her husband, Asian markets. Pascal even discovered the pairing that has now ballooned into the most exciting wine project in Hungary. Pascal of his wines with some of our local Cantonese was entrusted by his mother to find vines for his father in Tokaji, where he had long dishes to great satisfaction. Prices range from HK$209 per bottle for the dry worked, and during the course of his search became enthralled by the quality and Furmint ‘Meditation’, to HK$749 per half bottle for potential of the region. He ended up with 25 hectares of vines on volcanic soil in the wonderfully-named the exquisite top-of-the-range Aszu 2007 ‘Culture’. commune of Mad, wherein lie all of the originally classified Crus of the region. Pascal The latter is a deep bright gold colour, a totally and his team, including French winemaker Stéphanie Berecz, who received her earlier beguiling plethora of flavours, incredibly intense training at Château Dubourdieu in Bordeaux, are making some of the most precise and rich yet so precise. Deep vivid characteristics of dried peach, crystallised citrus, orange blossom and quality-driven wines in the country today. The keys to quality here are an acute understanding of the varying terroirs in the honey, apricot and Seville orange. It contains 174g/ famous Mad basin; hand-tending and harvesting the vines and a careful parcel by l of residual sugar but with more than enough parcel selection. They use small steel tanks to accommodate the separate vinification depth and freshness to carry it off. Plaudits from the wine professionals are of 19 different parcels across seven separate vineyard Crus. Only wild yeasts are used, the dry wines are fermented and aged mainly in steel with some used oak, while following thick and fast. The South China Morning the sweet wines are aged in a mix of French and Hungarian oak in their vast two- Post's wine critic Sarah Wong described the Holdvolgy range as "precise" and "elegant". The kilometre network of centuries-old cellars split over three levels. As the Hunagarian grape varieties such as Furmint and Harslevlu are not well- Culture 2007 was voted Hungarian Wine of the known worldwide, and moreover are difficult to pronounce, Demko has chosen to Year for the second year running in 2013 (Culture brand the wines under names which are more expressive of the style of each wine: 2006 also won in 2012) at the recent prestigious Mediation, Expression, Intuition, Eloquence, Signature and Culture. The labelling, Pannon Wine Challenge, where the judges designed in Paris and London, is modern and classy – a reflection of the luxury brand included Stephen Tanzer, Tim Atkin MW and Isa Bal MS, Sommelier at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. that Demko is building. Production levels are tiny, and the wines are exclusively available from just two For an opportunity to discover these extraordinary agents worldwide: Justerini and Brooks in London and Armit Wines in Hong Kong. wines for yourself while stocks last, contact Armit Wines Pascal and his sister Natália, who heads up their marketing, are very excited about Hong Kong on 3796 7191 or wine@armitwines.hk

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CLUBHOUSE | SINGLE MALTS

FROM THE HOME OF GOLF WHISKY EDITOR JOHN BRUCE RAISES HIS GLASS TO A SELECTION OF MALTS SOURCED FROM THE CRADLE OF THE GAME, ST ANDREWS

I

Courtesy of the R&A

sometimes think that this modern world with its instant communication and gratification is not really suited to the fine, slow pleasure that happens when sampling a great malt and then I remember that the obsession with single malts is a relatively new phenomenon. In my father’s day there would be much comparison of blended whiskies, lamentations about the long ‘export only’ exile of Red Label and discussions about the rise and fall of the market dominating whiskies, accompanied by much sage head shaking as to why the daft English preferred a Teacher’s to a Bell’s. Indeed, perhaps a single malt may not St Andrews: Great golf, great whisky be as vital to some as their instruments of instantaneous inanity but they are both examples of things that this branded world has persuaded us that we cannot do without. This month, we have been provided with two blended whiskies as well as a single malt to sample and the former reminded me of the fact that as a younger man I could rarely afford a single malt over a good blend. Jim Mailer, a fine golfer and a generous Scot, provided HK Golfer with three bottles from his own collection. They comprised a single malt, bottled in 2010 for the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship and two blended whiskies – the imaginatively named Blend No 1 and Blend No 2. Each of these bottles were whiskies that had been sourced by the Home of Golf – St Andrews – and the two blends are on sale in the bar in the R&A clubhouse. The single malt, due to that fine Scottish predilection for wee squabbles is no longer available as the distiller and the golf club fell out. As such it is a true rarity and we were very grateful to Jim for its provision, particularly appropriate as it is to sample whisky from the birthplace of the game with another Open Championship looming on Scottish soil. The two blends are particularly interesting in that they are geographically identified in that there is an Islay blend and a Speyside blend. Both go well with just a small amount of water, perhaps more the Islay than the Speyside which is just fine on its own. This Speyside blend could readily be compared with the better known brands and was, to my palate, very similar to a Famous Grouse. My preference, however, was for the Islay blend which was a real pleasure with a good peaty middle to the flavour and a nice lingering hint of smoky salt in the finish. Both of these were a fine reminder that blended whiskies are much more than the poor cousins of the single malts that we usually sample for this publication. Unfortunately my lack of golfing prowess is such that I am unlikely to ever sample them in their St Andrews home, which is all the more reason to be grateful to young Mr Mailer.

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The single malt was bottled at 12 years and careful examination of the label revealed that it was distributed by the Edrington Group which is responsible for many fine single malts. However, there was no clue as to its distillery of origin although it was definitely a Speyside malt. I sampled this in company with the publisher himself and also senior editor Roy Kinnear, and whilst we all agreed that it was a very pleasant example of a Speyside malt, we could not agree on the provenance. To my palate it was more akin to some of the eastern highland malts than to the classic Speysides with a hint of the saltiness that per vades a Glenmorangie. With a little water it was a fine example of a malt for sipping slowly whilst perhaps reading Lewis Grassic Gibbon and appreciating our escape from a dreary past. Of course, the future is such that I still believe that “digital” better applies to the two fingers that I raise when ordering drinks for a friend and myself than to any need to be constantly connected.

A WEE BONUS The three reviewed bottles are in that Wan Chai institution, the Canny Man, and any reader can try them, while stocks last, free of charge. It would, of course, only be polite to buy something at the same time. I’d recommend the macaroni cheese, a true classic.

HKGOLFER.COM


| TALES FROM THE BOX

A Pair of

Aces

Julian Tutt takes a break from his European Tour commentating duties to question why he has never had a hole-in-one after watching Andrew Dodt record two in a single round. Dear Great Provider, can I have a hole-inone for my birthday please? I have been playing this frustrating game on and off for 50 years and have never had one. Tiger has had 18 or so. Mind you he is The Best. South African James Kingston has had nine and, amazingly, four albatrosses, one famously coming at Fanling. Even Dominique Boulet has had five. OK, so he has his name on his bag, but my mother-in-law, a 22 handicapper, has two, and now Andrew Dodt has nine, after starting the second round of the recent Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm with seven; the Aussie, staggeringly, had two in the space of 15 holes which, according to the statisticians, is a 67 million-to-one chance. Apparently I have better odds of having quintuplets, which is something that slightly concerns me. Detailed research by my heavily computerised colleague Warren Humphreys

revealed that this has happened twice previously on the PGA Tour, and once in the UK, in 1971, the year before the European Tour was formed. English pro John Hudson, playing in the Martini International at Royal Norwich, holed in one at a par three, and then did it with a driver at the very next hole, a short par four. Imagine! In my naivety/ignorance I thought this must be an exceedingly rare occurrence. However, having scoured the internet, (so much easier than going to the British Library) I discovered that this happened three times last month alone – all by amateurs. Sixty-five year-old Jan Walker did it on Australia’s Gold Coast, using the same 5-wood and the same ball, a pre-owned Wilson: how nonchalant. According to one website, 45 per cent of holesin-one in America are achieved using a Titleist ball. I always use a new Titleist Pro V1x. What

Daniel Wong (Tutt); AFP (Dodt and Els)

Andrew Dodt (right) beat odds of 67 million-to-one when he made two holesin-one during the second round of the Scandinavian Masters in Stockholm last month; Ernie Els (opposite) played this beautiful bunker shot at the 13th hole on his way to winning the 2002 Open Championship at Muirfield 26

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more do I have to do? Hit the ball in the general direction of the hole, I hear you say. Fair point. But Kingston’s only ace that resulted in a prize – a handsome Audi TT – ricocheted off trees well to the left of the green at Houghton in Johannesburg. I also remember Vijay Singh, playing in the US PGA Championship at Valhalla, hitting rocks 20 yards left of the target before shooting across the green and in. Whilst chewing the fat with Paul Casey one evening in Stockholm, I discovered one or two little pro secrets that might be worth trying. You will know that the way a ball spins off the face of a club is crucial and that the pros are always tweaking the loft and lie and shaft and ball to get the right combination. Paul for instance cannot use the modern system of “twist and click” with his driver because the club looks shut to him. He has to shave the tip of the shaft and use glue in the old fashioned way, with the club fitter holding the head at exactly the right angle for 10 minutes until the glue dries. He carries two almost identical drivers, the difference being that in wet weather he uses one with a face that he has very lightly “roughed up” with wire wool, being careful to make sure the club remains legal. This allows the face to grip the ball better, giving an important extra two hundred rpm. A lack of such attention to detail may be why your ball goes sideways in the wet: I can think of no other reason. I have been broadcasting for 30 years, but I was reminded of a basic lesson the following week at the Lyoness Open outside Vienna. Every day we do a brief lunchtime round-up for the internet and tournament TV. This day it had taken me three attempts to get it right. Imagine my horror when Sky Sports commentator Richard Boxall burst into the press centre saying that he’d just walked through the tented village listening to me saying on the big screen there, “Oh no, I’ve got that the wrong way round, sorry guys, very dopey, we’ll have to do it again. I need a cold shower to wake up, etc.” A young and inexperienced assistant producer had rushed and not checked she had the right version. Egg over Tutt’s face, but thankfully I had neither abused Austria or its inhabitants, nor resorted to the vernacular at my lunacy. The rule is NEVER, ever, swear into a microphone. You just never know. I was suffering with a sore back in Vienna, so decided to enlist the help of a reflexologist. She did help, and persuaded me that what I really needed was her “extremely good value leech treatment.” I still bear the scars from 10 hours HKGOLFER.COM

On Sunday, Ernie played one of the greatest bunker shots you could hope to see from underneath the steep face of a greenside bunker at the 13th, and went on to beat Thomas Levet in the only suddendeath play-off in the championship’s history. of bleeding, but I can say they are the only beneficial blood-suckers I have come across. My colleague Paul “Slippery” Eales (I have no idea why he is called that) thought I was mad. I was too, once I discovered how much the treatment cost. It will be good to be back at Muirfield this month for the first time since 2002, when I was walking the fairways for BBC TV. For two days Tiger played as he had in winning the 2000 Open at St Andrews: irons off tees, keeping out of the treacherous bunkers and often having long irons into greens when many others had wedges. He was unlucky to be caught in the worst of Saturday’s brutal storm, when on one hole the aptly named Duffy Waldorf hit it into a bush 70 yards in front of the tee. Such was the gruesomeness of the conditions that Tiger barely managed 200 yards with his driver. Ernie Els was luckier, as the wind abated while he still had enough holes to repair the damage somewhat. Such are the vicissitudes of links and Open Championship golf. Tiger shot 81, Ernie 72, and Colin Montgomerie 84, after he’d moved into contention with a second round 64. On a lovely final day, a typically resolute Tiger bounced back with a 65 to finish tied 28th, while Monty shot 75 to finish 82nd. Tiger has won 14 majors and counting, Monty has won, err, none. But maybe that’s just a coincidence … On Sunday, Ernie played one of the greatest bunker shots you could hope to see from underneath the steep face of a greenside bunker at the 13th, and went on to beat Thomas Levet in the only sudden-death play-off in the championship’s history. (The pair had earlier seen off Steve Elkington and Stuart Appleby in The Open’s now-standard four-hole play-off). In 1992, Ernie was a fresh-faced youth just making his mark, finishing an excellent tied fifth. Working then for BBC Radio I was behind the 18th on Sunday when Nick Faldo hit a peerless 3-iron that never left the flag, and then proceeded to thank the press from “the heart of his bottom” in his victory speech. It is just possible that Sir Nick, who has confirmed his entry into the field for his first competitive outing since the 2010 Open, might be reminded of this when he tees it up this time around. HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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AFP

US OPEN | REVIEW

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A superb iron game and a steely demenour earned Rose, a 32 yearold Englishman, his maiden major championship at a brutal yet brilliant Merion Golf Club

Not One

for

Wilting

Justin Rose etched his name alongside the greats with his two-stroke triumph at last month’s US Open at storied Merion Golf Club in Philadelphia. This, writes Paul Prendergast, is a victory that has been building for years on the foundation of a steely, inner resolve forged by the trials and tribulations that life in the spotlight can serve up. HKGOLFER.COM

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I

AFP

Phil Mickelson (top), who now has six runner-up finishes at the US Open, wasn’t at his best during the final round, save for an amazing eagle holeout at the par-four 10th, which he celebrated with his caddie, “Bones”, in the traditional style; Jason Day (opposite) is also making a name for himself on the biggest stage, the Australian, who ended the event tied with Mickelson, has racked up four top-three finishes at majors 30

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t’s seems like an eternity ago that the South African-born Englishman became a household name with a pitchin birdie at Royal Birkdale’s difficult 18th hole to record an unlikely fourthplace finish at the 1998 Open Championship behind Mark O’Meara. Rose was then a 17-year old amateur and set out with stars in his eyes on what was touted as a ‘sure thing’ professional career, only to face the despair and embarrassment of missing his first 21 cuts as a professional. He could have put the cue in the rack right there but showed his resilience and determination to soldier on, returning to the European Tour via the qualifying school. The ensuing years are well documented; progressing to the PGA Tour in 2006 before stumbling and rising again to establish what is now acknowledged as a wonderfully successful and accomplished career, with a glittering array of individual and Ryder Cup moments on the highlight reel. All that was missing from the world number five’s resume heading into the US Open was a major. Enter Merion and a USGA setup that captivated Rose during his preparations the week before the championship. “What I first loved about Merion is how one of the local caddies described it, the first six holes are drama, the

second six holes are comedy, and the last six holes are tragedy. Like a good play, like a good theatrical play. “And that in a sense has been the way I framed up the golf course in my mind. Trying to get off to a solid start, trying to gain a little bit of ground in the middle and then hang on.” Of significance in his mental preparation was a refusal to accept that Merion would be the pushover predicted by many, even after the heavens opened earlier in the week to soften the defences of one of the shortest courses in Open history. “I certainly didn't buy into the 62s and 14under, but I figured that maybe four, five, sixunder par would be the winning total.” he said of the pre-tournament predictions. After rounds of 71, 69 and 71, Rose started the final round at one-over, two shots behind sentimental favourite Phil Mickelson, in search of a first national championship at his 23rd attempt. With the final round also a celebration of his 43rd birthday and on Father’s Day Sunday, the opportunity at hand and the theatre of the moment was palpable as an adoring gallery greeted Mickelson with rapturous applause on the first tee. With 1981 champion David Graham, the last man to win at Merion, watching on from the adjacent terrace – he hit all 18 greens and all but HKGOLFER.COM


one fairway during that final round 32 years ago, a certain reminder of how best to approach this most magnificent of championship tracks – Mickelson promptly emulated Graham’s start by missing the first fairway. Unlike Graham however, Mickelson continued to miss them and combined with a cold putter and the difficult setup, brought the field back into play very early in the round. However, two double bogeys either side of a birdie in the opening five holes actually did little to harm his chances as the rest of the contenders were also struggling. Steve Stricker, with his own aspirations of a first major and becoming the oldest Open champion at the age of 46, uncharacteristically drove out of bounds on the second hole then inexplicably followed that by shanking an iron out of bounds on his way to a triple bogey. Likewise, former world number one Luke Donald, playing with Rose, was clearly rattled after striking a young female volunteer with a wayward tee shot on the third. Although she was not seriously injured, the normally unflappable Englishman’s game quickly unravelled with a string of poor holes. Charl Schwartzel started the round a stroke behind Mickelson and opened with a birdie to tie the lead. The moment and Merion got to the polished South African thereafter, posting an eight-over stretch in eight holes on his way to a final round 78. It soon became clear through the middle of the round that the likely winner would come from Mickelson, Rose, Hunter Mahan and 25year old Australian Jason Day, himself a runnerup in 2011 to Rory McIlroy and a near winner of this year’s Masters. Day started the round three strokes behind Mickelson but caught him with a one-under front nine and a birdie at the short par-four 10th to gain a share of the lead. Rose also played the front nine in one-under but had the wind taken from his sails after three-putting the 11th after a bold approach had covered the flag. A hole behind, Mickelson had made the turn in three-over and his prospects were not improved after laying up in the rough at the 10th. What followed however was vintage Phil, holing his wedge from 76 yards, electrifying Merion and the championship in the process. Mickelson’s leap in the air after the ball disappeared was reminiscent of his reaction to holing his final putt at the 2004 Masters for his first Green Jacket. On the 11th green, Rose heard the roars and immediately knew what had transpired. “I knew it had to be an eagle because nobody (spectators) can get very close to the green on 10. A birdie there ... would be polite applause. So I knew to have that kind of reaction it wasn't a birdie, it was an eagle.” HKGOLFER.COM

Of significance in Rose’s mental preparation was a refusal to accept that Merion would be the pushover predicted by many, even after the heavens opened earlier in the week to soften the defences of one of the shortest courses in Open history. With the threat from Mickelson reinvigorated, Rose responded with some telling blows himself. “I immediately answered with birdie, birdie of my own on 12 and 13. And I think that that point was huge because it just gave me that little bit of leeway playing the last five holes.” He added: “I kind of knew that no one was going to play the last five perfectly, so if you were coming into the last five holes two or three-over par already, you were going to have a hard time closing out the tournament. You kind of needed that little bit of a cushion. And that's what the birdies on 12 and 13 gave me.” Rose entered the final five holes (Part III – ‘The Tragedy’) having played them in six-over par for the first three rounds. It was during this stretch that Graham had separated himself from the field in ’81 by playing them in two-under. Adding to the difficulty of this stretch this time around was the rain and wind that hit as the players approached the last segment of the course. Rose bogeyed the long 14th from the greenside bunker to drop back to even par and HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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two exceptional scrambling pars from Mahan and Mickelson on the same hole reduced Rose’s lead to just one. However, both would fall back on the 15th after poor approach shots, most alarmingly from Mickelson who had only a gap wedge to the green. This came after he airmailed the tiny par-three 13th to also drop a shot. For one of the best wedge players in the history of the game, these were almost unimaginable errors. “13 and 15 were the two bad shots of the day that I'll look back on where I let it go,” Mickelson lamented after the round. “At 13, I hit a pitching wedge and when I was drawing that shot I had too much club. I needed a gap wedge and it would have been a better fit. “Then I did hit the gap wedge on 15, I quit on Justin Rose (left) looks to the it, and missed it short left. If I had hit that one heavens after sinking what aggressively and flown it past the hole, I think it proved to be the winning would have given me a birdie chance. So those putt at Merion; Rose’s father and one-time coach died 11 two wedge shots were the two costly shots, I felt.” Rose three-putted the 16th from 35 feet above years ago of leukemia; Luke the hole to drop back to one-over but his Donald (top), who held the lead for much of rounds two following three swings would ultimately win and three, faded on Sunday him the championship. At the 229-yard 17th, HKGOLFER.COM

Rose’s 5 iron was striped at the hole and came to rest just off the fringe some 12 feet from the cup for a simple up and down – if there is such a thing at this stage of the championship. At the brutal 18th, Day’s dogged bid for the title ended when a four-footer lipped out for a closing bogey and a three-over total just as Rose strode to the tee with his destiny in his own hands. Facing the most important drive of his life, he found the centre of the fairway in “Hoganesque” fashion, leaving him almost the exact same yardage to the flag as the previous hole. The poignancy of the moment and the historical similarities with Ben Hogan’s famous one-iron approach to the final green in 1950 were not lost on Rose. “When I walked over the hill and saw my drive sitting perfectly in the middle of the fairway, with the sun coming out, it was kind of almost fitting. And I just felt like at that point it was a good iron shot on to the green, two putts, like Hogan did, and possibly win this championship,” he said. Rose’s approach was perfectly struck and never left the flag, releasing just over the green into a good lie. “I felt like I did myself justice and probably put enough of a good swing where Ben Hogan might have thought it was a decent shot too.” Rose said of his four-iron approach. Using a 3-wood to putt the ball through the fringe, Rose left himself with the least stressful shot of his final round – a tap-in, followed by a tearful salute to the heavens in memory of his late father Ken, who passed away 11 years ago. “I've holed a putt to win a major championship HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

AFP

Facing the most important drive of his life, he found the centre of the fairway in “Hoganesque” fashion. The poignancy of the moment and the historical similarities with Ben Hogan’s famous one-iron approach to the final green in 1950 were not lost on Rose.

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hundreds of thousands of times on the putting green at home. Pretty happy it was a twoincher on the last!” he quipped. Fittingly, the championship’s final act would come down to Mickelson. After not being able to convert an extremely difficult putt down and across the ridge for birdie on the 17th, Mickelson came to the final hole needing to do what the entire field had failed to do on the weekend – birdie the 18th – to force a play-off. After finding the rough with his tee shot and forcing an iron out and around a tree to the apron fronting the green, Mickelson’s pitch for birdie slid past the hole to confirm a first major for Rose, the first for an Englishman since Nick Faldo at the 1996 Masters and the first English US Open champion since Tony Jacklin in 1970. An emotional Rose celebrated the moment in the clubhouse with wife Kate and caddie Mark Fulcher and reflected on his father’s contribution to finally realising his dream of a major championship.

US Open Final Standings 1

Justin Rose

ENG

71 69 71 70

281 US$1,440,000

2=

Jason Day

AUS

70 74 68 71

283

US$696,104

Phil Mickelson

USA

67 72 70 74

283

US$696,104

4=

Jason Dufner

USA

74 71 73 67

285

US$291,406

Ernie Els

RSA

71 72 73 69

285

US$291,406

Billy Horschel

USA

72 67 72 74

285

US$291,406

Hunter Mahan

USA

72 69 69 75

285

US$291,406

8=

Luke Donald

ENG

68 72 71 75

286

US$210,006

Steve Stricker

USA

71 69 70 76

286

US$210,006

10= Hideki Matsuyama

JPN

71 75 74 67

287

US$168,530

Nicolas Colsaerts

BEL

69 72 74 72

287

US$168,530

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano

ESP

71 72 72 72

287

US$168,530

Rickie Fowler

USA

70 76 67 74

287

US$168,530

14

Charl Schwartzel

RSA

70 71 69 78

288

US$144,444

15= Lee Westwood

ENG

70 77 69 73

289

US$132,453

AUS

70 71 74 74

289

US$132,453

17= John Huh

USA

71 73 75 71

290

US$115,591

Brandt Snedeker

USA

74 74 70 72

290

US$115,591

David Lingmerth

SWE

74 71 71 74

290

US$115,591

Michael Kim*

USA

73 70 71 76

290

21= Martin Laird

SCO

74 73 76 68

291

US$86,579

David Hearn

CAN

78 69 73 71

291

US$86,579

Padraig Harrington

IRL

73 71 75 72

291

US$86,579

Matthew Goggin

AUS

68 74 76 73

291

US$86,579

Bo Van Pelt

USA

73 71 72 75

291

US$86,579

Ian Poulter

ENG

71 71 73 76

291

US$86,579

Henrik Stenson

SWE

74 68 73 76

291

US$86,579

John Senden

* Denotes amateur

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“I texted my mum late last night and I said, ‘Let's do it for dad’ tomorrow. And she just simply texted me back, ‘That would be fantastic’. And I did get hold of her after my round and we both were in floods of tears speaking to each other. She misses him immensely, I miss him immensely. And I thought today was just a fitting time in which I could honour him by looking up.” For the runners-up Day and Mickelson, their reactions were indicative of the different points in time in their careers. Both were disappointed but for Day in particular, there was cause for optimism after two close shaves at the majors in 2013. “I've been close so many times now in majors, especially at a young age, which is nice,” said Day. “And you've got to understand that ‘Scotty’ [Adam Scott] is in his young 30s and same with ‘Rosie’, I guess. I'm still 25, I turn 26 at the end of the year. I've got plenty of majors to play in and hopefully I can keep doing the same as I'm doing and hopefully win one soon.” For Mickelson however, the reality of a sixth US Open runner-up finish hit home immediately. “For me, it's very heart breaking. Playing very well here and really loving the golf course, this week was my best opportunity, I felt, heading in, certainly the final round, the way I was playing and the position I was in. “But this one's probably the toughest for me, because at 43 and coming so close five times, it would have changed way I look at this tournament altogether and the way I would have looked at my record. Except, I just keep feeling heartbreak.” From the USGA’s perspective in every aspect other than financial [it is thought that hosting the tournament at Merion earned the Association US$10 million less than at other venues], this ‘boutique’ U.S. Open was an overwhelmingly and satisfying success, justification for the decision to bring the championship back after more than three decades. The one-over par winning score matched the score from 2012 at Olympic and another worthy champion was identified in Rose. The field averaged over 74.5 strokes for the championship against a par of 70, which certainly validated the comment made by Jack Nicklaus – “Merion has some holes you can abuse but there are holes that will abuse you” – from earlier in the year. The top two players in the world – Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy – enjoyed their share of ‘abuse’ playing together for three rounds and finishing at 13- and 14-over respectively. The final word on Merion deservedly goes to Rose, who has advanced to third in the world rankings: “I don't think anybody expected this golf course to hold up the way it did. But it surprised everybody. And I'm just glad I was kind of the last man standing.” HKGOLFER.COM


AMATEUR KIM GETS A TASTE OF THE BIG TIME Low amateur Michael Kim impressed many with his outstanding play during the week at Merion, contending deep into Saturday before a late stumble over the difficult closing holes. The 19 year-old’s final-round 76 included double bogeys on the 11th and 18th but his 10-over-par 290 finish saw the University of CaliforniaBerkeley junior earn a highly creditable 17th-place finish. “That feels awesome,” said Kim, a Korean-born American. “I had a difficult ending, but overall the week [was] just an unbelievable experience.” The opportunity to mix and play with the world’s best players over four days of a major was another priceless experience. “I think I gained a lot of confidence from that. I met a tonne of great players out here and just looking forward to what my future holds,” he said. Kim got to play practice and competition rounds with players like Rickie Fowler, Bo Van Pelt and KJ Choi, which he described as “awesome”, and a good yardstick for where his game needs to progress. Former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy told him during their third round together that the rough at Merion was about as bad as he had seen it at an Open, which makes Kim’s performance even more meritorious. However, the most enduring memory for Kim is seeing his name on the leaderboard on Saturday, after he’d fired four birdies on the opening six holes on the back nine to threaten the lead.

“I could have stared at that leaderboard for hours on end and wouldn't have stopped,” he said. “It was pretty cool.”

MATSUYAMA EARNS HIS STRIPES AT MERION Young Japanese tyro Hideki Matsuyama continued his meteoric rise in the world of golf with a remarkable top-10 finish in his first US Open outing. Adding the icing to the cake, Matsuyama’s final round 67 matched the low round of the tournament and tied the low round of the day with Jason Dufner. “It was great to play here. It was a great experience for me to be able to play a course that was so difficult ... and the setting was very difficult too,” Matsuyama said after the round. “To play well the final day has given me a lot of confidence and I'm looking forward to more experiences like this.” Matsuyama earned his first US Open start after earning medallist honours at the championship qualifier in Japan and headed to Merion after a fantastic four-tournament stretch on the Japan Golf Tour; starting with victory in the Tsuruya Open in April, the 21-year-old recorded runner-up finishes at The Crowns and PGA Championship Nissin Cupnoodles Cup before his second win of the year arrived at the Diamond Cup Golf tournament in late May. Matsuyama has also qualified for his first Open Championship start at Muirfield after getting through the International Qualifier in Bangkok back in March.

We’re sure to be seeing a lot more of the young Japanese star in the upcoming months. His outstanding US Open performance has catapulted him into the top-50 in the Official World Golf Rankings and he has boosted his chances of making Nick Price’s International Team for October’s Presidents Cup. He currently lies in seventh spot in the qualifying standings with the top 10 players automatically earning their berths at Muirfield Village. AFP

Readers may remember Matsuyama qualifying for his first Masters Tournament in 2010 as an 18-year old on the back of winning the 2010 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, the same path to Augusta followed by 14 year-old Guan Tianlang this year. Matsuyama made the cut and earned low amateur honours that time, returning again in 2011 (after winning his second successive Asia-Pacific Amateur title) to finish in a tie for 54th.

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| NUMBERS GAME

US Open in Review

1

The number of holes-in-one made at this year’s tournament. Shawn Stefani aced the 213-yard 17th during the final round with a 4-iron after his shot bounced out of the rough and rolled some 50 feet toward the pin before falling into the cup. Stefani also became the first player to make a hole-in-one at any US Open at Merion.

4

21

T he number of consecutive US Opens Ernie Els, a two-time champion, has appeared in. He is closely followed by Phil Mickelson (20), Stewart Cink (18), and Jim Furyk (18). The

big South African carded a final round of one-under 69 to finish in a share of fourth place. The all-time record for US Open appearances is held by Jack Nicklaus. “The Golden Bear”, who won the event on four occasions, teed it up 44 years in a row.

24.7

T he percentage of players who hit the 18th green in regulation during the tournament. The brutally difficult 521yard par-four played as the hardest on the course (the stroke average was 4.7) and yielded precisely zero birdies over the weekend, which is almost unheard of in professional golf.

AFP

T he driveable par-four 10th hole, which measured just 303 yards, yielded this many eagles over the course of the week. In fact, only the 13th, a tiny par-3 measuring only 100 or so yards, ranked easier.

10

T h e am o unt , in milli o ns of US dollars, that the USGA is reported to have lost as a result of hosting the championship at Merion. The cozy confines of the course meant tickets were limited to 25,000 per day; past championships have seen 45,000 spectators pass through the gates on a daily basis.

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54

B oth Phil Mickelson and Paul Casey hit this many greens (out of 72), the highest number of the field. Mickelson wound up two shots behind Justin Rose for his sixth runner-up finish at the US Open. Casey, in contrast, could do no better than a tie for 45th, illustrating the Englishman’s poor performance on the Merion greens.

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W as the lowest round of the week . Five players carded a t h r e e - u n d e r- p a r e f f o r t : Mickelson, Luke Donald, Hideki Matsuyama, Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler. The worst round at Merion was put together by Sweden’s Robert Karlsson who crumbled to an 86 on the third day.

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Justin Rose’s winning total – which equated to one-overpar – was the highest at a US Open held at Merion since Ben Hogan’s

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play-off win over Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio in 1950. The three had been tied at 287 through 72 holes.

316.1

Was Bubba Watson’s average driving distance, in yards, during the tournament. The mega-hitting American underscored his status as one of the longest players in professional golf by outdriving second-ranked Jason Day by over four yards. Watson, the 2012 Masters champ, finished in tie for 32nd.

5,000

T he selling price, in US dollars, of a Merion wicker basket that went on auction earlier this year. Considered the Holy Grail of golf flags, this particular wicker basket was thought to have been in use in the early 1970s. Presumably Lee Westwood, who

struck wicker en route to a double bogey in the first round, will not be in the market for one. — Compiled by Jamie Jenkins

Clockwise from opposite: Justin Rose, the champion; the long-hitting Bubba Watson; Ernie Els has now played 21 consecutive US Opens; one of Merion’s famous wicker baskets; the gruesomely difficult parfour 18th; the accurate Paul Casey; Phil Mickelson, who shared low round honours; aces high for Shawn Stefani

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INTERVIEW | DOMINIQUE BOULET

Vintage Dom

Photo credit: Asian Tour (portrait); Daniel Wong (HKPGA)

Dominique Boulet may not have achieved his goal of winning on the Asian Tour but the Fanling member is certainly now making a name for himself as a TV pundit, so much so that he is now being called “The Voice of Asian Golf.” Here, Dom talks about his playing days, how he got into broadcasting and why he thinks the Asian Tour will continue to grow.

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How did this TV commentating job come about for you? I basically gave up playing in 2002 and founded my own company Impact Golf [with current Hong Kong Golf Club champion Tim Orgill] later that year. I had a young family and I wasn’t

playing so well. However, I never thought about going into broadcasting as firstly, there weren’t too many live events. How it came about was when Derek Fung [a fellow Hong Kong pro] was doing a few events and one day at the BMW Asian Open in 2005, he called me and said he was busy and couldn’t do it. He asked if HKGOLFER.COM


I could fill in for him and I said yes and it kind of started from there. Back then, there were like half a dozen live events and later in September, they asked me to do the Singapore Open and it kind of snowballed from there. It’s a bit of a switch from swinging clubs to talking about the game. Did it come naturally? I never really prepared for it. I just sat there. Alan Wilkins [fellow commentator] made my life very easy initially, he’s easy to work with and I just looked at the screen and talked about what came into my head. It’s what I do till this day. Thinking back about it, I’ve been commentating my whole life. We commented to ourselves when we watch sports on TV like “why did he do that” etc. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I’m sure everyone who watches sport do the same thing. How would you describe yourself as a golf commentator? A lot of it depends on who you work with. Who you work with brings out different personality traits. When I worked with Alan, it was kind of loose and we fooled around and joked around a little bit. He brought out that side of me. I don’t think I can label myself in one way. I know the players. Although I didn’t play the game at the highest level, I understand the game, understand the thought process; I have empathy for the players and I’m not afraid to criticise in a nice way.

HKGOLFER.COM

I understand how hard the game is and how hard it is to play for a living. But at the same time, I understand there are ways to make it easier. I’m not afraid to say it’s a bad shot when it really is a bad shot. Sometimes, we praise the players too much and I’m guilty of it too. I try to keep it balanced, they’re not too brilliant and they’re not too bad. You’ve got to be honest about it. Have you rubbed any player the wrong way with something you said on air? No one has come up to say I was wrong. Last year in India, watching Lam Chih Bing play, I said he didn’t look comfortable standing over his putts. Honestly, I don’t think he does. If you ask him, I think he’ll feel the same way. It was a morning record and it was aired in the afternoon and he heard the comment. He was missing putts all day. Someone came up later and told me Lam was a little upset with what I said. I later saw him at the practice green and I said “Hey man, I am sorry if I had upset you but I’m just saying what I see. I see that you don’t look that comfortable.” I think he agreed with me and I apologised. I’m doing my job and he’s doing his job. We have no problems. That’s the beauty of it. None of the guys here have big egos and I’m lucky I can say things and if they are upset, they can come up to me and say I’m wrong. But I still don’t feel like I’m bursting any egos as the guys out here are great. The guys from my generation know that I’m pretty much a straight forward guy.

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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people like you, the more they take the mickey. If my friends are saying nice things about me, I know I’m on the right path. The Asian Tour is celebrating its 10th season this year. How much have you seen the game grow on the Asian Tour from the time you played up till now? Sometimes it hits me how big a difference the game has become over here. If you look at the scale of the tournaments now, it’s so much different. When I was playing, we probably had two live TV events. Now we have like 15 or 16 live events a year. The scale of the events, the marquees, the hospitality, the prize money, it’s all grown. We never had a marquees those days. The prize money for most events have escalated to US$750,000, US$1 million or US$2 million for our full field events, which is great. Has anything changed with the players? The professionalism of the players is very different. We were kind of old school then, never went to the gym and didn’t work out. Now you see everyone going to the gym which is reflective on all the tours. We used to hang out at the bars to chit chat. It was different. The good thing about the Asian Tour is that it’s still got the friendly camaraderie even though it’s become more professional. These guys are making more money and the level of professionalism has risen compared to 15 or 18 years ago.

“I don’t feel like I’m bursting any egos as the players out here on the Asian Tour are great. People from my generation know that I’m pretty much a straight forward guy.” Do you need to hold back on what you can say on air? Is it difficult to do?

Photo credit: Daniel Wong (action); Asian Tour (commentary)

Sometimes you have to temper what you say. Mike Crowe [Asian Tour Media Executive Producer] and I have a laugh. We have ‘talk back’ to each other. We have what we call the alternative commentary which is what we like to say but sometimes we can’t say it on air because of political correctness and stuff like that. We have a laugh. I’m sure every commentator would like to say how he feels but we’d be out of a job by the end of the broadcast if that happened! What’s been some of the nicest things you’ve been complimented for your TV work? I was told a while ago that no matter how good a job you do, you’re not going to please everybody. There are brilliant commentators out there that I don’t like ... I don’t like the way they deliver their lines or I don’t like their voice. I don’t mind criticism as it’s human nature. I have gotten a lot of compliments and my biggest critics are my friends from back home who never ever say anything nice about me unless they genuinely had meant it. The culture I grew up in was that the more

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Who amongst the new generation of Asian Tour players do you think will become better than the likes of Thongchai Jaidee and Thaworn Wiratchant? I think Kiradech Aphibarnrat is unbelievable. I think he really is natural. I think he can go really far in his career. He can be top-20 in the world, top-10 in fact. He’s got a massive talent. I think he can go all the way. Korea’s Noh Seung-yul, our 2010 Order of Merit champion, is also another guy who can become a world’s top-10 player. He can go all the way. Speaking of Kiradech, he is a big boy. Have you talked about it on air? I was actually going to bring it up [during the Maybank Malaysian Open which Kiradech won]. For the longevity of his career, I think it would be beneficial. But I also get the impression that if he lost a big amount of weight, he might lose his game too. We’ve seen that in the past with the big players. It’s a dangerous one. It’s not ideal to carry the extra weight that he’s carrying. Golf HKGOLFER.COM


“I’m a mental midget ... I once finished with six clubs in my bag. I just threw them all into the lake. At the time, I couldn’t control it. I felt bad for my playing partners. This game drives people to do silly things.” is mentally more tiring but it’s also physically draining when you’re playing a tough season; you’ve got the pro-am, practice rounds, week in week out. But he’s a point now that he’s got the luxury to plan a better schedule. How about yourself ... what held you back from winning on the old Asian circuit during your playing career? I was a mental midget! I was terrible. I watch how the top players behave now and how I behaved, it was terrible. They are patient. I was very competitive. There is no way these guys are less competitive than I was but how they manage their emotions on the course where I absolutely had no control. It was pathetic. What have been some of your worse moments? A hundred of things! Throwing clubs ... I once finished with six clubs in my bag. I just threw them all into the lake. At the time, I couldn’t control it. I felt bad for my playing partners. HKGOLFER.COM

I must have been a distraction to them. You still see a few guys out here but they’ve been held back. It takes a huge amount of discipline. I’m a social golfer now but I still can’t control myself and I still throw clubs. It’s pathetic. I’m 47 years old! This game drives people to do silly things. Off the golf course, my personality is totally different. It’s bizarre. Has extended TV coverage helped players to behave better? You never saw the players through an extended period of time as telecasts those days were confined to the last six to seven holes. Even the Masters covered only the back nine until quite recently. So you never really saw how the players behaved throughout their rounds. Now, you don’t miss a Tiger Woods shot, you get to see Rory McIlroy throughout his round. And you get to see their reaction after a bad shot, they just put their club back into the bag and continue walking. Because of the exposure, the guys learn a lot quicker. The young guys now

Boulet, pictured with Asian Tour co-commentator Richard Kaufman (above) was as competitive as they come during his playing days but says was let down by not being able to control his emotions; the long-time Hong Kong Golf Club member believes the players on the Asian Tour have become much more professional - "We never went to the gym and used to hang out at the bars," he says HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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have far more knowledge, swing, mental training, lifestyle, coaches, fitness. We learned the game after turning pro. We learned how to play after we turned pro. Now, these kids are ready after they turn pro because they have all these support. It’s a different game, a different era. I’m not necessarily saying it’s better. What are your thoughts about the pace of play these days? The pace of the game is a worry. Golf shouldn’t take four and a half hours. It should take no more than four and a quarter but of course if the course is tough and the greens are tricky, it’ll take a little longer. It’s a hard watch when you see the guys take a minute or a minute and a half to hit a shot. When you watch the top players, they are reacting. They react to what they see. It’s an instinctive game, it’s a feel game. Of course you have the mechanics of the game to think about but it’s what you see and how you react to it. Many are now labeling you "The Voice of Asian Golf". Is it complimentary? It’s a flattering term but basically, I’m the only guy right now. Hopefully when we develop and have 30 to 35 tournaments in a few years’ time, we’ll add more to the team. I can’t do it all. I’m looking forward to the day when we have a bigger team in our commentary. You’ve worked with many top golf commentators now. How much have you enjoyed working with different commentators?

Asian Tour

Pictured alongside friend and Asian Tour Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han during the pair's playing days "There's some sense that there is some unfinished business, that I should be better than what I am but it's getting less and less" 42

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Everyone I’ve worked with has been fantastic. I’ve worked with Renton Laidlaw, Warren Humphreys, Julian Tutt, Richard Kaufman, Alan Wilkins, Dougie Donnelly and Peter Donegan, I’ve been very lucky. These are the guys I’ve looked up to. For me, I was star struck when I started working with them as I had watched them when I was playing and growing up. To actually work alongside them, it’s a big deal for me. But now, they’ve become friends. Everybody brings out a different side of me. They’ve all been easy to work with. There’s not been a guy that I’ve sat next to where he’s made me feel uncomfortable like he’s the man or he’s

the star of the broadcast. They’ve all treated me like a complete equal although at the beginning, I was a novice. I still feel I’m a rookie although I’ve done it for eight years now. Any good advice from them? They give me little tips. The one thing is be yourself, they’ve all said it in their own way. Say what comes to your mind and be yourself. Don’t be someone different as the audience will figure that out. You get to watch and talk about all these great golfers on the Asian Tour and from around the world. Do you get the itch to try to get back out there to play competitively? It’s never gone. I still love the game. Deep down, it’s still my passion. There’s some sense that there is some unfinished business, that I should be better than what I am but it’s getting less and less. You never know. I still play the occasional local stuff to keep the juices flowing. I think it’s important that I still play the game, understand the technology. It’s good to play with better players to see what the difference is. HKGOLFER.COM


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From the President As the newly elected President of t he Hon g Kon g G ol f Association I would like to take this opportunity to thank my predecessor, Peter Aherne, the Executive Committee and all the staff at the HKGA for their efforts during the past 12 months. It is my belief that golf in Hong Kong has never been stronger and I look forward to another successful year of helping to grow the game in our city. During my first term as President, during the 2009/2010 season, the HKGA worked hard in developing the game at a junior level. This theme has continued in the intervening years – with fantastic results. Young golfers from Hong Kong have enjoyed significant success on both the regional and global stage, with many earning coveted golf scholarships at universities and colleges in the United States and elsewhere. This speaks volumes for the effort that the Association, and in particular National Coach Brad Schadewitz, has put in during this time and we are excited for the future. My thanks must also go to EFG Bank, sponsors of the junior

development programme, which have been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. This summer will see change at the HKGA with Iain Valentine retiring from his position as Chief Executive after 11 years in the position. Iain, who will be standing down at the end of this month, has been a fantastic figurehead for the Association and has overseen a number of important initiatives during his tenure, including the expansion of HKGA handicapping, and has played a vital role in the establishment and implementation of the aforementioned junior development programme. His reputation in the golfing world has also enabled the HKGA to maintain its relationships with government, golfing bodies and international associations at the highest level. Iain will be missed and on behalf of everyone at the HKGA I wish him the very best in the future. Iain’s replacement will be Tom Phillips, who joins us from his position as CEO of the Faldo Series, Sir Nick Faldo’s industryleading golf development programme. Tom’s credentials are second to none and I am very much looking forward to working with him as the HKGA enters this new and promising chapter. Best wishes to you all for a successful summer on the course. William Chung President

Tiffany Impresses at Pro Event

Patrick Leung (Chung); Daniel Wong (Chan)

Hong Kong amateur international Tiffany Chan (pictured) continues to show why she is so highly rated among her peers after an accomplished performance against a professional field at the CLPGA Beijing Challenge in late May. Nineteen-year-old Chan, who is currently studying in the United States, opened with a sparkling 69 over the Orient Pearl Country Club course on the outskirts of the Chinese capital before slipping back over the closing two rounds to finish in a share of 34th. The tournament was won by Wichanee Meechai of Thailand who stole the show with a blistering 63 in the final round. Chan, the reigning China Amateur champion, has a history of excelling against more experienced opposition. In 2012, the former Diocesan Girls’ School student outplayed a string of China LPGA Tour pros to capture the Yinli HKPGA Classic, another professional event, in Dongguan. Last December, Chan became the first female golfer from Hong Kong to win the China Amateur Open after holding off the challenge of Chinese international player Yin Yuan Ru at Peach Garden Golf Club near Guangzhou. 44

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HKGA | EVENTS

Marvellous Murray Scoops Midsummer Title Stuart Murray rolled back the years to claim victory at the Bushnell Midsummer Classic at Fanling on the 19th June. South Africa-born Murray, a former captain of the Hong Kong international amateur team, fired a solid 71 over the New Course in sweltering conditions to take the title by a shot from Jeffrey Wang, who finished runner-up for the second consecutive year. Lucas Lam finished in solo third, a further three shots back. “It’s unexpected, as I haven’t played in these events for ages,” said Hong Kong Golf Club member Murray, who mixed two birdies with three bogeys. “But I’m extremely happy. In these kinds of conditions I could shoot even [par] or 90, so I looked at it as a personal challenge. It’s nice to be competitive again.” In the Ladies’ division, 15-year-old Emily Vickie Leung edged out her younger sister Estee Vivian (13) on count back to take the title after the pair tied on 30 gross stableford points. Jasmine Chee placed third, a further two points adrift. The long-running tournament is arguably the most popular event on the HKGA calendar, with over 300 players taking part. For a full list of results visit hkga.com

Ladies' winner Emily Vickie Leung

Stuart Murray (third from left) among other prize winners after claiming his first HKGA title in three years

MEN’S GROSS STROKE PLAY RESULTS

46

LADIES’ GROSS STABLEFORD RESULTS 1= Emily Vickie Leung

30

Estee Vivian Leung

30

3

Jasmine Chee

28

4

Charoltte Ng

23

5

Emma Pike

22

76

6

Katy Liu

21

76

7=

Andrea Au

20

Tammy Chan

20

Gillian Lai

20

1

Stuart Murray

71

2

Jeffrey Wang

72

3

Lucas Lam

75

4= Tomoki Chimura

76

Lam Hon Ng

Sherman Leung

7=

Michael Regan Wong

77

Ryan Clendenny

77

Charlton Leung

Ivan Leung

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

10= Chloe Cheuk Yee Chan

19

77

Yim Mei Wah

19

77

Lee So Young

19 HKGOLFER.COM


HKGA Chief Executive Iain Valentine oversees the correct course of action

Oliver Roberts

Michael Regan Wong Lucas Lam

Bibendum Leung

Emma Pike HKGOLFER.COM

Jackie Chan

Jasmine Chee HK GOLFERăƒťJUL 2013

47


HKGA | NEWS

Jackie Stars in Thai Victory

Jackie Chan was Hong Kong’s star performer at last month’s Mercedes-Benz Junior Golf Championships Asian Masters Final after claiming the Boys’ 23 and under title in fine fashion. Chan fired a three-round total of 226 (10-over-par) over the 7,006-yard course at Burapha Golf & Resort near Pattaya to win the division by a convincing five shots.

Other noteworthy performances included Michelle Lee whose final-round 73 which helped her finish in third place in the Girls’ 14 and under category; Jasmine Chee who grabbed a top-10 place in the Girls’ 17 and under division; Taiga Iwasa’s 230 total earned him a very credible tiedsixth finish in the Boys’ 14 and under field; while Nathan Han carded three solid rounds to end the Boys’ 12 and under tournament in a share of 15th. Thailand’s Nititorn Thippong showed why he is one of the most highly rated juniors in southeast Asia with the lowest score of the event. Playing in the Boys’ 17 and under division, Nititorn recorded an eight-under 208, which included a first-round 66, to clinch victory.

Vivian Snatches Second at Nicklaus Event

Brad Schadewitz

Jackie Chan (above left) tees off on his way to capturing the Boys’ under 23 title at the Mercedes-Benz Junior Golf Championship Asian Masters Final at Burapha Golf & Resort near Pattaya; Michelle Lee and national coach Brad Schadewitz (above right) celebrate after the former finished third in the Girls’ 14 and under division 48

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

Vivian Li flew the flag for Hong Kong at the Mission Hills Jack Nicklaus Championship held in late May with an excellent final-day performance to clinch second place in the Girls’ 15 and under category. Li followed up an opening 77 with a brilliant 68 over the Nicklausdesigned World Cup course in Shenzhen to finish four shots behind the division winner, China’s Sui Xiang, on a total of 145. Michelle Lee also secured a top-10 finish, her 151 total earning her a share of seventh. In the Boys’ 18 and under division, Bibendum Leung, who has been appearing on leaderboards

with some consistency of late, carded a tworound total of 149 (seven-over-par) to finish in fifth place, with Humphrey Wong (151) a further two shots back in a tie for seventh. The tournament, which had been reduced to 36 holes because of inclement weather, also featured Ye Wo Cheng, the 13-year-old Chinese prodigy who became the youngest player in history to play in a European Tour event when he participated in May’s Volvo China Open. Although he missed the cut up in Tianjin, Ye walked away with the top prize in the Boys’ 15 and under division thanks to his two-under total of 142.

2013 HKGA Interclub League Standings

Played

Holes Won

Holes Lost

Net

Hong Kong GC

4

140

92

48

Discovery Bay GC

5

146

130

16

Clearwater Bay G&CC

2

42

70

-28

Shek O CC

5

126

162

-36

HKGOLFER.COM


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| OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

Classic

Challenge

Mark Alexander

The men-only policy at Muirfield is undoubtedly a tad quaint in this day and age but, whatever anyone might say to the contrary, this year’s Open venue has plenty of features which no-one would want to change, starting with the course, writes Lewine Mair.

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The stout par-four 18th at Muirfield provides a fitting finale for arguably the fairest test in Open Championship golf HKGOLFER.COM

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Muirfield, it has to be said, has stood the test of time as well as any course on the Open rota. At its present length of 7,192 yards, it is only 667 yards longer than it was in its original guise.

T

Mark Alexander

The par-five fifth (top) affords sea views and offers a relatively straightforward birdie opportunity – if the winds allow; the green at the par-four 12th (opposite) is particularly well guarded 52

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

hough there are plenty of famous links featuring nine holes into the distance and nine home, Muirfield could not be further removed from the straight out, straight back scenario. Instead, it has two loops of nine – one clockwise and the other anticlockwise – and a host of different winds to exercise golfing minds. Such a lay-out further ensures that no-one is ever too far from base. This, of course, was eminently reassuring for spectators on that Saturday in 2002 when Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie, to name but two, coincided with some of the worst conditions in Open championship history. Both men plummeted down the leaderboard, with Woods returning the 81 which allowed him to say of Monty’s 84, “At least I kicked your butt!” Muirfield, it has to be said, has stood the test of time as well as any course on the Open rota. At its present length of 7,192 yards, it is only 667

yards longer than it was in its original guise while, rather more pertinently, the difference between 2002 and 2013 is no more than 158 yards. As a result, there are none of those endless treks from greens to tees which can ruin a man’s rhythm. Of the six new tees that have been installed, the one at the ninth will be the hardest posting for the players – and not just because it brings the hole up to what can be an endless 554 yards into the wind. With a strategically-placed new fairway bunker down the right, the players cannot but feel more uncomfortably aware of the out-ofbounds wall on the left than has been the case at previous Muirfield Opens. Yet that hole apart, Ernie Els and those chasing the title he won 11 years ago will probably be talking more about the tougher questions being asked of their short games. Bunkers have moved and are sitting more snuggly – and smugly – around the greens, the idea being that they will make a better fist of swallowing up those ‘iffy’ shots which were always going to need an element of luck to stick fast on the putting surface. Though the compact nature of the course contributes to the rapid pace of play the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers so enjoy, their modus operandi is no less telling. Their preferred HKGOLFER.COM


format is – and always has been – foursomes. Peter Dawson, the CEO of the R&A, has often reminded people of how the governing bodies would like a return to the days when a golfer could breakfast at home, play 18 holes and be home in time for lunch. That situation is pretty close to being enacted every weekend at Muirfield where members play foursomes in the morning and foursomes again in the afternoon, with neither round taking much more than two hours and 40 minutes. “It can be even quicker when you have the better players involved,” said Robin Dow, the new captain who took office in the spring. The only departure from Dawson’s vision is that not too many of the members hurry home for lunch. The explanation, here, is that there is nothing to surpass the good old-fashioned fare on offer in the clubhouse. Though most of the Open championship men will be guided by their nutritionists towards the pasta and lettuce in the players’ tented area, it is not too difficult to imagine the Carl Petterssons of the golfing world sneaking into the members’ dining room. There, they can expect an array of starters and soups, handsome joints, Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes, along with a table devoted to puddings of which the centrepiece is often a HKGOLFER.COM

Muirfield members play foursomes in the morning and foursomes again in the afternoon, with neither round taking much more than two hours and 40 minutes. treacle sponge. The secret of the latter’s success is that there is no rationing of the treacle. If you want more, you tip on as much as you please from a handy jug. In truth, it is all so breathtakingly perfect as to set you thinking that if the lady cook were to go on strike because of the clubs’ refusal to have women members, it would be one way of making the men come to heel. Muirfield’s position off the Edinburgh-North Berwick coastal road is up there with the course and its lunches. The views stretch out across the Firth of Forth to the Kingdom of Fife, with sundry islands and oil-tankers in between. As applies at the other Open venues, there is none of your modern fairway housing at Muirfield. The nearest thing to it is a row of charming homes on the drive down to the club and to the left of the first fairway. (In the case of the first fairway editions, the gardens are out of reach of all but the most vicious of opening hooks). The famous Greywalls Hotel is to the right of the clubhouse. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT MUIRFIELD Ancient History Muirfield is the home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Considered the world’s oldest Golf Club they were originally based at Leith Links near Edinburgh. In 1744 the gentlemen drew up the first set of rules to coincide with an open-to-all tournament held over the five-hole course. Not unlike those we play today, the only rule which has historians furrowing their collective brow is the one which states: “Your tee must be upon the ground.”

Muirfield or Marshland? Originally designed by ‘Old’ Tom Morris of St Andrews, Muirfield opened for play on 3 May, 1891. The name derives from “muir or “moor-field” – the Scottish word for an uncultivated scrubland area. Now considered in the world’s top-10 golf courses, Muirfield received some savage reviews including one from top Scottish amateur Freddie Tait who said: “I hate Muirfield like poison!” He was followed by Andrew Kirkaldy who described it as “not fit for golf” and no more than “an old water meadow.”

Amateur Hour Harold Hilton won the first Open played at Muirfield in 1892. One of only three amateurs to have lifted the Claret Jug, along with John Ball Jnr and Bobby Jones, he won by three strokes despite not having a single practice round. The first championship played over 72 holes, the course had barely been opened nine months. The 2013 Open will the 16th time the event has been played here.

AFP (Els and Levet); Old Golf Images

and once owned by the Horlicks family, ‘Greywalls’ is actually a bit of a misnomer, with the stonework more Cotswold gold than grey. From 1959, the year when Gary Player won at Muirfield, every Open winner has stayed in this hostelry, which is hardly the best of news for agent Chubby Chandler who has rented alternative accommodations for players such as Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke. For what it's worth, there are no neighbours from hell beyond the hotel. Instead, there are a couple of fields owned by the R&A rather than Muirfield which are used for tented areas and car-parking during an Open week. For those who wonder what purpose they serve in nonOpen years, the answer, as was discovered on the media day, is that they are occupied by sheep, “R&A branded sheep,” quipped one staff member. Going back to the matter of Muirfield’s allmale membership, officialdom may think that they have knocked the subject on the head for this year but that is almost certainly wishful thinking on their part. The tabloid writers will arrive in force at the start of Open week and, unless there is what they perceive as a bigger scandal, this old chestnut will suffice. By way of an update, there are women in the mix on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Muirfield’s visitors’ days and the days when members tend to stay well clear. What is more, for the last couple of 54

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

Controversial Start Like Royal Lytham the opening hole at Muirfield was originally a 204-yard, parthree played across the front of the clubhouse. The cause of much controversy, the green was situated hard by a knee-high stone boundary wall on land now occupied by the caddie master’s hut. “So many balls have been sent over the wall and so many others have bounced off it and run quite close to the hole,” wrote the editor of American Golfer in 1909. Changed to a long par-four in 1928, it is now considered among the most testing openers on the Open rota.

Change is in the Air In 1923, the Honourable Company secured 50 acres of land to the north of the course. Renowned course designer Harry Colt was consulted and he introduced 14 new holes including two concentric loops of nine, one running clockwise around the outer edge with the back nine running anti-clockwise inside the outward nine. Changes to the signature par-three 13th hole were made by Tom Simpson in 1935. Bringing the course up to date for this year’s Open, relatively small changes were made at 15 holes in 2010 and 2011 following a review by architect Martin Hawtree.

Uncle Sam Slates the Scots Reigning US Open Champion John J McDermott, Jr made the long sea voyage to Scotland to compete in the 1912 Open at Muirfield. Like many of his fellow professionals he was disgusted with the poor accommodation set aside for them in nearby Gullane. He was doubly annoyed when he found out the member lockerrooms remained out-of-bounds to competing professionals but not amateurs. With a revolt threatening to cancel the tournament, matters became so heated that the British PGA called an emergency meeting with the championship

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committee. But the Honourable Company and R&A refused to compromise and the only concession they would offer was an agreement to listen to any “justifiable requirements” prior to the 1913 Open at Royal Liverpool.

Nice one, Cyril The sportsmanship displayed by Brit Cyril Tolley and American Robert Gardner during the final of the 1920 Amateur Championship at Muirfield so impressed USGA President, George Herbert Walker, that he conceived the Walker Cup contest between the top amateurs in America and Great Britain and Ireland. In a quirk of history he might not have been quite so impressed had he known that Tolley (right) had already paid a “win” bonus to his caddie before stepping onto the first tee! (The Englishman won on the 37th hole.)

What's in a Name? Jack Nicklaus (below) began a lifelong love affair with Muirfield after representing the United States against GB & Ireland during the 1959 Walker Cup. Winner of the Open at Muirfield in 1966, he was so impressed with the East Lothian links that he named his own course in Columbus, Ohio, "Muirfield Village" after it opened in 1974. Other courses named in honour of Muirfield include, Muirfield Golf Club in New South Wales, Australia and Muirfield Lakes Golf Club in Alberta, Canada.

Low Profile When it’s not hosting the Open Championship, Muirfield remains among the most private of Scottish golf clubs. Located just outside the village of Gullane, signage to the world famous course was restricted for many years to a small hand-painted wooden board at the top of Duncur Road saying: “HCEG Entrance.” Today, not much has changed at the home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Modern day visitors are now forced to negotiate a retractable metal gate which bars the way to the course. Muirfield also lacks its own professional shop. Instead you are politely directed down the road to the pro shop at nearby Gullane Golf Club which has permission to stock Muirfield logoed items.

Not Quite Men Only Visitor times at Muirfield are restricted to Tuesdays and Thursdays excluding public holidays. Most booking are made over a year ahead with cost ranging from £195 (approximately HK$2,400) for a single round and £250 for two rounds in one day. Contrary to popular belief woman are allowed to play but the Honourable Company continues to prohibit female members from joining its ranks. A source of much discussion especially when the Open returns here every five years or so, its stance contrasts with the United States Golf Association who does not allow clubs with single-sex policies to host the US Open. – Dale Concannon

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years, the women concerned have been allowed to eat the lunch instead of being shunted into a side-room with a plate of sandwiches. The club also has a history, if a scanty one, of having hosted a couple of Curtis Cups, though in the case of the 1958 installment, they stopped short of letting the women use the clubhouse as their base. (On the one day the women were allowed in for tea, the secretary posted a warning in the members’ locker-room and said he hoped that the members would not be too inconvenienced by the invasion.) More recently, the members have played an annual match against a team of women professionals led by Ireland’s Maureen Madill, who often commentates for the BBC during The Open. The above is a fixture which the members will often mention by way of suggesting that they are doing more than enough to balance the ledger. That can be a little irritating; though, in terms of irritation, not too much can have matched how Muirfield, the R&A and the other male-only establishments would have felt when Augusta admitted a couple of women members in time for this year’s Masters. How many of those Muirfield and R&A men, you have to wonder, would have gone up to the green-jacketed ones during that major and complained, “You’ve let the side down …” Yet, by the end of this month’s championship, all the fuss will have given way to reports of how one more golfing great has won at Muirfield. For sure, no other Open venue can boast such a list of champions: Harold Hilton, Harry Vardon, James Braid, Ted Ray, Walter Hagen, Henry Cotton, Alf Perry, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Ernie Els. HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP | LOOKING BACK

The

Greatest

As The Open returns to Muirfield, Roger McStravick takes a look at the life of Harry Vardon who won the first of his six championships at the course.

H

enry William "Harry" Vardon was a man born in simpler times. Old Tom Morris and Willie Park, Sr were in their prime and Ulysses S Grant was one year into an eight year run as the 18th President of the United States. Golf was growing as a popular sport. The gentlemen classes entered via the front door of their clubhouses and the lowly professionals through the back. But the man who would become one of the finest players of all time was not destined to be a golfer. His father had other plans.

Old Golf Images

An illustrated portrait of Vardon c. 1920 (above), around the time he finished second at the US Open at the age of 50; a painting of the "Great Triumvirate" (opposite) from 1913, with Vardon teeing off under the watchful gaze of Taylor and Braid

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Vardon was born on 9 May, 1870 in Grouville, Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, to Philippe and Elizabeth Vardon. They had a tough life, making do with whatever money Philippe could bring home from his work as a gardener. Philippe believed firmly that a man must have his trade. Anything as ridiculous as a golf professional would not be worth even considering. So as a boy, Vardon never really played golf at all. The town built their own course – now the respected Royal Jersey Golf Club – and that meant that money could be earned as a caddie. But he certainly did not entertain thoughts of membership. The game was not for his kind. Vardon had five brothers and two sisters. Together they built their own golf course of sorts in the garden and it was here that Vardon learned how to strike the ball with a graceful upright swing that was never forced. A lesson for us all. At the age of 13, Vardon became an apprentice gardener, which was a trade that suited his peaceful, calm demeanour quite perfectly. This mentality would filter through to the way he approached his sport. “Relaxation, added to a few necessary fundamental principles, is the basis of this great game,” he is on record as saying. It was not until his late teens that he started to play the game properly. This was largely thanks to Vardon getting a job as gardener for Major Spofforth, a keen golfer and Captain of the club. He sometimes would ask young Vardon to accompany him for a round and soon spotted Vardon’s natural talent. As Spofforth would later relate, “I gave him one piece of advice: never give up the sport. It might prove useful in the future.” Nevertheless, Vardon’s graceful game was still a hobby at best. His brother Tom had other ideas, though. Despite the advice of his father, Tom became a professional and, in search of competitive golf, made the crossing to England. His successes in tournaments were inspirational to Vardon. If Tom could do it, so could he. Down one path Vardon saw the poor meagre life of a gardener, which his HKGOLFER.COM


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Shortly after arriving in England, Vardon played in a small tournament and won. He entered another in Scotland, the home of the greatest golfers, and came second. That was enough for him. He knew he could compete with the best.

Old Golf Images

Vardon, already a threetime Open champion, prepares to hit his drive down the first hole at St Andrews in 1900 (above) – note legendary "Old" Tom Morris eyeing his Vardon's form; Vardon, with pipe in mouth (opposite), pictured during the Open Championship less than 18 months before his death in 1937. 58

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father had endured. Down the other, a potentially decent living as a golf professional. He knew he was good, perhaps better than his brother but he needed to test the waters to see how good he really was. Deciding to take the plunge, Harry followed in his brother's footsteps and made his way to England. Shortly after arriving, Vardon played in a small tournament and won. He entered another in Scotland, the home of the greatest golfers, and came second. That was enough for him. He knew he could compete with the best. His brother wrote a letter to say that there was a vacant position at Lord Ripon’s nine-hole golf course. So, at the age of 20 in 1890, against his father’s wishes and angry protestations, Vardon headed to Yorkshire, turned professional and duly became Green Keeper and Professional at Studley Royal

Golf Club in Ripon. Further work followed at Bury and Ganton before Vardon settled at South Herts Golf Club in the south of the country. In 1891, Vardon perfected the overlapping grip that is today used by 70 per cent of golfers. To be fair, it was not Vardon’s own invention – despite it being known as the "Vardon" grip – but one that he picked up from Johnny Laidlay, who used it before Vardon to win the Amateur Championship. It was undoubtedly Vardon though who popularised it. The other thing that set Vardon apart from other players was his practice routine, his thought processes and his focused strategies. This was at a time when taking a practice swing on the tee at St Andrews was deemed inappropriate and there were only three minute gaps between tee times. It certainly paid off. In 1893, he won the Kilmacolm Tournament in Scotland. In 1896, at Ganton, Vardon won his first Open Championship after a play-off with the great JH Taylor at Muirfield. It was the start of what many call the golden era of the triumvirate. Together with Taylor and James Braid, they would dominate the game in a way that was not HKGOLFER.COM


In 1901 Vardon became a founder member of the Professional Golfers Association and in 1903, he duly became its Captain. In the same year, Vardon won The Open again, with his brother Tom finishing in second. After the jubilation, however, came a real blow. Vardon contracted the so-called white plague – tuberculosis – and duly signed himself into the Mundesley Sanatorium in Norfolk to recover.

seen until the great Nicklaus, Palmer and Player battles. Over a period of 20 years between 1894 and 1914, either Taylor, Braid or Vardon won The Open on 16 occasions. In 1897, Vardon won five tournaments. In 1898 and the following year he won the Open Championship again. He was at the very peak of his powers and became the first global golfing celebrity. How far the little boy from Jersey had travelled. To recognise his stature in the game AG Spalding created a new golf ball and called it the Vardon Flyer. Vardon’s cool composure filtered throughout his game. He once said: “To play well you must feel tranquil and at peace. I have never been troubled by nerves in golf because I felt I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Oh, one piece of advice: Never concede the putt that beats you.” Vardon went to the United States to play 80 exhibition matches and won over 70, finishing with a flourish – a triumph at the US Open. Now a household name both in the UK and the US, Vardon would draw in huge crowds to his exhibitions. One seven year-old spectator at a Boston superstore was a certain Francis Ouimet, who would later famously beat Vardon in a playoff for the US Open in 1913. As Ouimet related in the 1963 film documentary at Brookline, “Vardon was a picture player. He played with a beautiful swing, beautifully balanced.” HKGOLFER.COM

Many historians refer to the next seven years as Vardon’s gap years when ill health kept him from his best golf. In truth Vardon checked himself out the sanatorium when strong enough and won tournaments in 1906, 1907, 1908 and 1909. He also designed six new golf courses across England and Wales and wrote a best-selling book, The Complete Golfer. In the following seven years, the book was reprinted 13 times, such was Vardon’s popularity. The illness did take its toll though. He suffered muscle damage to his right hand, which led to poor putting from short range. In 1910, Vardon designed five courses in the one year alone. His game was coming back and his appetite for winning also returned. In 1911, and despite the poor health of previous years, he fought gallantly and won his fifth Open at Royal St Georges. It was a truly Herculean effort. In 1914, Vardon won his sixth and final Open Championship at Prestwick. This feat today lies unbeaten. It was a sad year though as his father Philippe passed away aged 86. One can only wonder how proud he must have been of his son, despite his original misgivings. At the age of 50, Vardon came second in the US Open. He had a four-shot lead with eight to play but the nerve damage in his hand and inclement weather washed away his chances. In 1926 he played his last Open Championship. It was the end of an era. In his lifetime he wrote numerous books, designed or re-modelled 20 courses and popularised the sport on a global scale. In addition to his six Open wins, he also came second four times and won a total of 62 tournaments, including a staggering run of 14 straight victories. How many more majors would he have won if it was not for the First World War, which ruled out play at The Open between 1915 and 1919? How many more could trophies could he have lifted if had it not been for the tuberculosis?

In addition to his six Open wins, he also came second four times and won a total of 62 tournaments, including a staggering run of 14 straight victories. Today, the player with the lowest stroke average on the PGA Tour receives the Vardon Trophy. Prior to the introduction of the European Tour's Race to Dubai, winners of the Order of Merit would receive the Harry Vardon Trophy, although the tour continues to herald Vardon by depicting his silhouette on their logo. When the World Golf Hall of Fame opened its doors in 1974, Vardon was one of the first inductees. In the introduction to his book, The Complete Golfer, Vardon wrote, "I owe so much – everything – to the great game of golf, which I love very dearly, and which I believe is without a superior, for deep human and sporting interest.” Vardon died on 20 March, 1937 in Totteridge, Hertfordshire aged only 67. The loss was felt right across the golfing world. The legendary writer Bernard Darwin said, “I do not think anyone who saw him play in his prime will disagree as to this, that a greater genius is inconceivable.” Vardon was truly a golfing great who came from the lowliest of backgrounds and gave his life to the sport. Even when he was weakened in his later years, he wrote inspirational books and continued to give lessons and encourage a younger generation of players. His record at The Open is truly remarkable and we in golf continue to be in awe of him, just like the young Francis Ouimet, all those years ago. HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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THE OPEN | EQUIPMENT

Major

Moments Equipment editor Charlie Schroeder picks his favourite shots from Open Championship history and names the manufacturers that benefitted as a result of them.

Tom Watson

Golden Ram 7-iron Adams Idea Pro 8-iron 1977 / 2009

Photo credit: Getty Images (Nicklaus and Watson); AFP (Ballesteros)

At the 1977 Open at Turnberry, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson played some of the greatest head-tohead golf the game has ever seen. Known today as the “Duel in the Sun,” the epic battle took place over the final two rounds as both men matched each other shot for shot for nearly 36 holes. Standing in the middle of the 18th fairway on the final day and holding a one-shot lead, Watson selected his Golden Ram 7-iron and struck the ball perfectly. It settled just a couple feet from the cup. To most observers it looked as though Watson was guaranteed victory. But Nicklaus wasn’t out of it yet. He hit his second shot from the right rough to 35 feet and, in keeping with his stellar play, drained the putt to put added pressure on the 27 year-old Kansan. But Watson wasn’t about to miss. He tapped in to win by one shot. Thirty-two years later, a 59 year-old Watson found himself once again in the middle of the 18th fairway. This time, however, he needed only a par to triumph. If he won he’d be the oldest man to ever win a major – by 11 years. The pin was cut in the very same position as it was in 1977. Technological advances meant that Watson 60

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could hit his Adams Idea Pro 8-iron. He struck it beautifully. Too beautifully. It landed in the centre of the green and bounded over the back. It took Watson three shots to get down. He tied for first with Stewart Cink who later beat him in a four-hole play-off. “In retrospect,” Watson said, “I probably would have hit a 9-iron.” If only he had.

Seve Ballesteros

Wilson Staff Tour Blade JR II Sand Wedge 1979

Roberto di Vicenzo helped the 22 year-old Severiano Ballesteros plot his strategy around Royal Lytham & St Annes back in 1979. The Argentinean suggested that the long-hitting Spaniard hit his drives as far as possible and not bother trying to keep the ball in the fairway. After all, he said, the rough close to the green had been mown short. Ballesteros listened. During his final round he managed to find the fairway just once. On the par-four 16th, Ballesteros found himself among some parked cars after another long, if not entirely accurate drive, left him just 100 yards from the green. Taking advantage of a free drop, Ballesteros selected his Wilson Staff Tour Blade JR II sand wedge and knocked the ball 18 feet from the pin. He sank the birdie putt and ended up defeating Ben Crenshaw and Jack Nicklaus by two shots. The so-called “Car Park Champion” became the first winner from continental Europe since Frenchman Arnaud Massy in 1907 and the youngest winner since Willie Auchterlonie in 1893. Later R&A official Colin Maclaine would say that Seve “chose not to use [the course] but preferred his own, which mainly consisted of hay fields, car parks, grandstands and dropping zones.”

Clockwise from top: Ballesteros was dubbed the “Cark Park Champion” after becoming the first player from continental Europe to lift the Claret Jug in 1979; Watson hoists the most prized trophy in golf after defeating Nicklaus in the “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry in 1977; Nicklaus and Watson take time out during that monumental final round HKGOLFER.COM

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Todd Hamilton

Sonartec MD 17° Hybrid 2004

Todd Hamilton’s victory at the 2004 Open changed the way golfers looked at hybrids. With only one PGA Tour victory under his belt, the journeyman pro used his 17-degree Sonartec MD hybrid (bent to 14 degrees) in every way imaginable during his four rounds at Royal Troon. He chose to hit it off the tee instead of his 3-wood (“As a kind of a driving iron,” he’d later say) and around the green where he got up and down an astonishing 13 out of 14 times. At the time of Hamilton’s victory, utility clubs accounted for approximately seven per cent of woods sales. Six months later that figure had risen to over 15. Today it’s more than 30 per cent. Tour players started gravitating to the clubs too. Only 46 players used hybrids at the 2004 Open. Two years later that number reached 105. Hybrids were no longer just for hackers. Today the clubs Hamilton used in his victory are in the basement of his Westlake, Texas home. Perhaps he should bring them out of retirement. He lost his card in 2009 and currently plays on the Web.com Tour. He’s ranked 776 in the world. Clockwise from top: Hamilton, with Els looking on, after the American pipped the South African for the title at Royal Troon in 2004; Harrington is all smiles after hitting a magnificent fairway wood to set up eagle at the penultimate hole of the 2008 championship; Van de Velde moments before wading into the Barry Burn at Carnoustie in 1999; Woods’ long iron play at Royal Liverpool in 2006 was sublime

Tiger Woods

Nike Forged 4-iron 2006

AFP

Typically golf commentators predict winners late on Sunday, after someone has broken away from the field and established an insurmountable lead. But not at the 2006 Open. After Tiger Woods eagled Royal Liverpool’s 14th hole on Friday to go 11-under par, former US Amateur champion Bobby Clampett uttered what everyone else was thinking, “I think the Claret Jug just fell off the table.” After just 32 holes it seemed like nobody would catch Tiger. Indeed they couldn’t. Two days later Woods hoisted the famous trophy for the third time. The eagle, holed from 209 yards and struck with a Nike Forged 4-iron, may have been the shot of the tournament, but what most people remember about that year was an emotional Woods tapping in for par on the 72nd hole and breaking down into his caddie Steve Williams’ arms. Woods’ father, Earl, had died two and a half months earlier. While the photos of an emotional Woods may be etched in our memories, it’s his play from that week that deserves the most ink. En route to victory he hit 86 per cent of the fairways and made 19 birdies and three eagles. The win took place in the middle of one of 62

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Woods’ most dominant stretches. Prior to the 2006 Open, he finished in the top four in five of his last six majors, winning two. After his victory at Liverpool, he’d go on to either win or come in second in seven of his next eight majors.

Padraig Harrington Wilson Staff 5-wood (18°) 2008

“Beware the injured golfer,” numerous commentators like to say. In other words, when a player’s expectations are low, he often plays his best. The saying was never more true than at a blustery Royal Birkdale in 2008. Defending champ Padraig Harrington showed up with a wrist so sore that he nearly withdrew

from the tournament. In fact, on Wednesday he managed to hit just three shots. Still, despite the injury, he soldiered on and, after three rounds, found himself just two shots behind the most unlikely of leaders, 53-year-old Greg Norman. On Sunday, the Shark held a one-shot lead heading into the back nine, but his hopes sank after he bogeyed three of the next four holes. Meanwhile Harrington, who bogeyed holes seven through nine turned it around on the back, birdieing 13 and 15. Playing with confidence and wanting to go even lower, the Irishman stood 272 yards out on the par five 17th hole. He chose his Wilson Staff 18° 5-wood and struck the ball perfectly. It landed about fifty yards short, took an enormous bounce and rolled to within four feet of the cup. His eagle three secured his victory, making him the first European since James Braid in 1906 to win the Open in consecutive years. Harrington captured the US PGA Championship the next month, his third major victory in five starts. Since then the Irishman hasn’t had much luck. With only one victory (the 2010 Iskandar Johor Open) since the 2008 Open, he’s slipped to 73rd in the world.

SNAKE BITE: THE CARNOUSTIE COLLAPSE Sometimes collapses are more memorable than triumphs. Adam Scott’s four bogey finish last year (his perfect swing and Titleist 710 MB irons couldn’t help him find the green), Doug Sanders’ botched 30-incher (pushed badly with a flange putter) at the 1970 Open and, of course, Ian Woosnam’s two-stroke penalty for carrying an extra club (an oversized Mizuno driver that he tossed into the bushes) in 2001. But nothing lingers longer in the memory than HK Golfer’s Playing Editor Jean Van de Velde’s final-hole capitulation in 1999 at Carnoustie. Needing a double bogey to win, Jean used his King Cobra II irons and a Cleveland 588 wedge to rather lose his way on the 18th. After an errant, but safe drive he blasted an iron shot into the grandstands. The ball ricocheted into long rough and from there Jean gouged his next shot into the water. After removing his shoes and wading into the burn where he contemplated a watery escape, he regained his composure, dropped the ball and hit into a greenside bunker. He ended up making a triple bogey (after holing a nerve-wracking seven-footer with his Never Compromise putter) but ended up losing out to Paul Lawrie in a play-off.

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Ross Parker

GOLF ATRAVEL Player’s Guide

The short but splendid Glen Golf Club in North Berwick, one of the most underrated courses in Scotland 64

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Beyond

the

Claret

Jug

Scotland is home to some wonderful championship venues, but as Mark Alexander explains, even greater riches lie beyond.

A

mong its glens and lochs and in between its castles and crofts, Scotland is home to arguably the finest collection of golf courses anywhere in the world. At the last count there were 597 to choose from, each with an enduring story to tell. There are the headline grabbers; the courses you know like the back of your hand after seeing them year after year on television. St Andrews, Turnberry and, this year’s Open

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Championship venue, Muirfield are as familiar to golf fans as their own local clubs. These trophy courses have become engrained into our collective consciousness establishing Scotland as the place where history walks hand in hand with beautiful landscapes and a brisk breeze. But Scotland’s treasures are etched deep into the country’s DNA. Great golf courses are part the landscape and even greater riches can be found beyond the Open Championship rota.

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Cruden Bay Golf Club

Mark Alexander

Clockwise from top: Vast sand hills surround the eighth green at Cruden Bay; The North Berwick Golf Club, one of the most historic courses in the world; a view of the 13th green at the magnificent Royal Dornoch Golf Club 66

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Take Cruden Bay, for instance. Found on the north east tip of Scotland, the remarkable view from this friendly club will stop you in your tracks. If the clubhouse view over pristine duneland stretching as far as the eye can see doesn’t get your golfing juices flowing then nothing will. Thankfully, in this case, beauty isn’t just skin deep. Like the shorter nine-hole St Olaf course, the Championship course was laid out by Old Tom Morris and Archie Simpson and then redesigned by Tom Simpson in 1926. It follows a figure of eight around a magnificent bay which at one end harbours a colourful collection of fishermen’s cottages while at the other golden stretches of sand are home to hundreds of seabirds. High above it all on a northerly headland, is the sinister silhouette of Slains Castle, reportedly the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.   The buzz of playing a links course that weaves its way through towering dunes is a good enough reason to love Cruden Bay, but a run of holes on the back nine add something special to your round. The 14th, for instance, is described in the official course notes as “a great driving hole, with the North Sea on the right as a lateral water hazard … the second shot to the sunken green [is] completely blind.” If you’re playing the course for the first time, the option to hit-and-hope has never been more apt. crudenbaygolfclub.co.uk

The North Berwick Golf Club

If you like your courses quirky, then you might want to also consider the West Links at Nor t h Ber w ick . R at her t ha n b ei n g planned, the course gradually emerged from the East Lothian coastline adapting to the humps and hollows that were already there. The result is an idiosyncratic course with unexpected twists and unconventional holes that are fun and challenging.   F e w p e o p l e f i n i s h t h e i r r o u n d at North Berwick without a smile on their face or their golfing soul suitably topped up to overflowing. The short and teasing closing hole certainly plays a part in this sporting nourishment, but the real work has already been done early on.   By the time you reach the short 13th (known as “Pit”) you’re hooked. In fact, this curious par four, with its sunken green guarded by a wall running the entire width of the approach apart from two small openings, begins a stretch of mesmerizing holes that includes the famous parthree 15th (“Redan”), which is one of the most copied holes in all of golf. northberwickgolfclub.com  

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Royal Dornoch Golf Club

In terms of golfing aristocracy, you couldn’t find a more regal setting than Royal Dornoch. Each hole of this magnificent course embraces that rare combination of a distinctive design and blinding playability ensuring a prominent position among Scotland’s top tracks.   Found on the far easterly coast of Sutherland, Dornoch may be tricky to get to but its impact is immediate. The first two holes serve as a fine introduction, but it’s not until you reach the third and panoramic views over the links that you find out what all the fuss is about. The sheer beauty of the place is breathtaking, and the golf isn’t bad either. The fairway of the par-four 8th (“Dunrobin”), for instance, drops down 50 feet to a lower tier presenting you with a 150-yard approach shot to a tantalising green with the humps and hollows offering up a kaleidoscope of golfing possibilities. The following par-five (“Craigliath”) is a classic links hole with a beach battered by crashing waves running down the left-hand side and raised-beach plateaus to the right. Tackled on a windy day, this is one of the most perilous drives on the course.   One thing that holds true throughout your round at Dornoch is the beguiling nature of the links that for centuries have drawn lovers of golf from far and wide. It may be the greatest course never to have held an Open Championship, but it also one of the best places on earth to simply enjoy a game of golf. royaldornoch.com  

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Askernish Golf Club

Mark Alexander

On South Uist, where 20 miles of brilliantwhite shell beaches run continuously down the west coast of the island, the pure love of golf has inspired a group of enthusiasts to resurrect a lost course. Lying roughly 60 miles west of the Scottish mainland, somewhere towards the outer extremities of the UK, a golf course has been built by hand on a pristine stretch of stunning linksland. Most importantly, it has been built by those who treasure the game and its origins.   Records show that Askernish Golf Club stretches back more than 120 years to the time of the grand master of golf himself: Old Tom Morris, who first conceived the twists and turns of this enigmatic place in 1891. But after years of neglect, this historic plot returned to grazing until a chance discovery by master greenkeeper Gordon Irvine a few years ago. Inspired by the tales of Old Tom, Irvine enlisted the help of some esteemed friends and resurrected the track with spectacular results. The rest, as they say, is history. askernishgolfclub.com  

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Musselburgh Links

If you’re looking for real history, look no further than the ancient, free-draining turf of the Old Course at Musselburgh, which is located just six miles east of Edinburgh. The unassuming nineholer, which is circled by a horse-racing track, was home to some of the greats of the game. Legends like Willie Park Sr and Jr, Mungo Park, David Brown and Bob Ferguson all made a name for themselves here. It is believed the gametransforming Guttie ball was developed in the club-making shops that surrounded the course and, as significantly, six Open Championships were decided at Musselburgh which eventually got its full complement of nine holes in 1870.   During a golden era when the tentative green shoots of the modern game were first emerging, Musselburgh was, without question, at the centre of it all. In fact until recently it was considered to be the oldest course in the world until a little-known revision gave the distinction to St Andrews in 2010. Today, you can play the modest layout without breaking the bank or making a reservation – in a surprising twist, Musselburgh is all but overlooked by visitors to Scotland making it one of the most remarkable oversights in golf. musselburgholdlinks.co.uk

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The Glen Golf Club

But perhaps the most overlooked course, certainly in the vicinity of Muirfield, is the extraordinary cliff-top track at the Glen Golf Club. Recently voted as Scotland’s best value golfing experience, the North Berwick club enjoys extraordinary views across the Firth of Forth ensuring a genuine treat for those adventurous enough to seek out this golfing treasure. Originally laid out over nine holes in 1894, it was consequently extended to 18 in 1906 with James Braid and Ben Sayers providing the design know-how. The result is one of those indisputable pleasures that sneaks up on you, surprising you with its charm and not inconsiderable challenge.   Take the totally blind 13th, for instance which is a devilishly tricky par three that ends up at a sunken green surrounded by rocks, cliffs and a beach. From the tee, it strikes fear into all who play it. At the green, it is one of the finest golf holes anywhere in Scotland, epitomising perfectly the scenic qualities of golf. Best of all, it has retained the rawness that makes it special.   Like Scotland, the Glen offers a magical golf experience for those willing to look beyond the A-listers. Yes, there are the must-play championship courses, but beyond these lie a host of unique and beautiful layouts that are equally as magical and just as rewarding. Scratch beneath the surface and you will find a treasure trove of Scottish gems. glengolfclub.co.uk  

Clockwise from top: Race day at Musselburgh Links, host of six early Open Championships; the scenic 11th hole at the resurrected Askernish Golf Club on South Uist; rolling and rustic, the 15th at Askernish HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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SPONSORED FEATURE | BALLANTINE’S CHAMPIONSHIP

Discover the Legend For this year’s Ballantine’s Championship, Ballantine’s has been running the ‘Discover the Legend’ campaign; providing a variety of unique insights into both the game of golf and those who play it. Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and YE Yang pay tribute to their own legends – the players they believe have most influenced the game. Do you think golf itself is a legend? Dustin Johnson: Golf itself is a legend. It’s a legend that has been played throughout history and it’s such a unique game that you can play with everyone, businessmen or whoever. I can go and play with all my friends and although they play basketball, baseball or football, they all still love playing golf. The game will further evolve and is constantly changing. From when I started playing golf, until now, golf has definitely changed. For example with the drivers; I will always hit with a metal wood but I did have a couple of wooden clubs when I started which was when metal woods were just coming out. The size of the clubs and the balls from when I started to now is amazing; golf has changed completely. Louis Oosthuizen: History is what makes the sport. Everyone will always recognise St Andrews as where golf evolved from and that is a great part of the heritage. Everyone wants to leave their own legacy on the game and become a legend in their own right. As a child growing up, I remember being inspired by watching old videos of Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. Hopefully children today will be inspired by watching my generation of players – it’s an endless cycle that works in keeping the legend of golf alive. When Tiger Woods came along, it was scary what he did to the game and I think everyone’s level just went up big time. He had a stage where whenever he walked on the course he won the tournament and I think everyone got better and better as a result. 70

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

Who do you consider a legend of golf and why? Dustin Johnson: Obviously the success you have on and off the course as well as the way you portray yourself is huge. The legends of our game are Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson but obviously we have legends that are playing the game right now with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. Those guys have done very well both on and off the course; they have done a lot for the game, they are good people and they give back a lot too. When you see what they have done for their communities or what they do for the kids – that also makes them a legend. Just like Ernie Els; he has done great things with his foundation. YE Yang: For me it would have to be Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and most recently Tiger Woods. More and more people have become interested in the game because of these people and they inspire youngsters to start playing with the HKGOLFER.COM


ambition of one day turning pro and becoming a legend themselves. There is no doubt that Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer are living legends because of the titles they have won throughout their careers. What is also so impressive is the work they do away from the course and that is why they are exemplary golfers for me to follow.

Clockwise from top: YE Yang, glass of Ballantine's in hand, says that Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods are his golfing legends; Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Championship winner, says he was inspired by watching videos of Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen; the longhitting Dustin Johnson says Ernie Els deserves legendary status

Louis Oosthuizen: It has to be those who have won and are still winning majors. Lee Westwood has had a brilliant career and I am sure he is just inches away from winning a major which would make him a great legend. I think there are so many good golfers coming through all the time. Rory McIlroy is still very young and he’s already got two majors; you can see him winning loads more. I think as golfers win more and more majors then new legends will be born.

Dustin Johnson: I am so young so I have a lot to do to ever be considered a legend, my contribution back to my local community or the world doing anything I can do to help other people and use the influence that I have to make the world a better place.

What do you need to do to be considered a legend? Louis Oosthuizen: Win a load more majors! The true legend that everyone looks up to is Jack Nicklaus. Eighteen majors is something that is unheard of and that’s why he’s right up there and everyone wants to replicate his achievements. Being South African I think my legend is Bobby Locke because of everything he did for golf in my country. Then of course Ernie but in golf worldwide you are always going to have Nicklaus right up there with the most majors. I would love to try and win more majors and hopefully if I can get the numbers up then I can challenge for the number one spot in the world. I’ve still got a few spots to go and it’s going to be difficult with guys like Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in front of you but I feel it can be done. It’s obviously going HKGOLFER.COM

to take a lot of hard work but it would be a great thing for South African golfer to be able to say that they’ve been number one in the world.

YE Yang: To become a legend in golf you definitely have to win at least a few majors in your career. Most golfing legends today have won majors but they are also great personalities who have earned the respect of others both on and off the course. When did you discover that you wanted to be a professional golfer? Dustin Johnson: I always said that I was going to be a professional golfer when I was a little kid growing up. All through high school I was like “I’m going to play on the PGA tour,” but I probably didn’t really believe it until I was in college; that’s when I really started to believe that I can do this. YE Yang: I began playing a little bit later than the other pros out there and actually started my career as a golf instructor. However, after improving my game over the next few years I then began to build a real determination to succeed as a tour pro. Louis Oosthuizen: It was probably late on in my school years that I decided to give golf a go. I did really well in those two years and ended up turning pro at the end of the second year so it turned out pretty good. For any young South African golfer coming through, Ernie Els has been a great inspiration and what he has done for golf in South Africa has been really big. I think being South African; the legend that you really think of is probably Bobby Locke and then you have Ernie coming through; they are just great guys to look up to. Coming through Ernie Els' foundation inspired me to set up my own foundation and I now share his desire to provide children with the same opportunities in the game that he gave me. It would be great in South African golf to be known as someone who tried to help the game; to get the game out there in the country and get kids playing. HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

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GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS

PGA TOUR

Matt Kuchar

CROWNE PLAZA INVITATIONAL AT COLONIAL Colonial CC, Texas 23-26 May, US$6.4 million

CHEERS FOR BOO

Boo Weekley shot a final round of 66 to claim his first PGA Tour victory since 2008 to earn him a place at last month’s US Open. Overnight leader Matt Kuchar shot a solid final round of 68, however he fell behind after Weekley birdied the par-3 13th. It is the sixth time Kuchar has finished as runner-up on the PGA Tour. 1 Boo Weekley

USA

67 67 66 66

266

US$1,152,000

2 Matt Kuchar

USA

65 65 69 68

267

US$691,200

3 Zach Johnson

USA

69 65 68 66

268

US$435,200

4= Scott Stallings

USA

69 65 69 66

269

US$264,533

Matt Every

USA

65 69 66 69

269

US$264,533

John Rollins

USA

63 71 67 68

269

US$264,533

7= Tim Clark

RSA

67 69 65 69

270

US$192,800

Jordan Spieth

USA

65 67 71 67

270

US$192,800

Chris Stroud

USA

67 66 67 70

270

US$192,800

Josh Teater

USA

65 67 71 67

270

US$192,800

THE MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT

FEDEX ST. JUDE CLASSIC

Muirfield Village GC, Ohio 30 May - 2 June, US$6.2 million

TPC Southwind, Tennessee 6-9 June, US$5.7 million

MATT MAKES AMENDS

A birdie on the final hole helped Matt Kuchar capture the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village and seal his second victory of the 2013 PGA TOUR season. Kuchar, stung by Boo Weekley's come-frombehind victory at Colonial the previous weekend, wasn't about to let things slip away this time. His 12-under total of 276 was enough to give him a two-shot triumph over fellow countryman Kevin Chappell.

ENGLISH'S MAIDEN WIN

1 Matt Kuchar

USA

68 70 70 68

276

US$1,116,000

1 Harris English

USA

66 64 69 69

268 US$1,026,000

2 Kevin Chappell

USA

71 71 68 68

278

US$669,600

2= Phil Mickelson

USA

71 67 65 67

270

US$501,600

3 Kyle Stanley

USA

67 70 73 71

281

US$421,600

USA

67 68 67 68

270

US$501,600

4= Bill Haas

USA

68 67 76 71

282

US$272,800

4 Ryan Palmer

USA

72 67 65 67

271

US$273,600

Scott Stallings

USA

70 70 75 67

282

US$272,800

5 Patrick Reed

USA

69 69 64 70

272

US$228,000

6= Russell Henley

USA

67 77 70 69

283

US$215,450

6 John Rollins

USA

67 71 67 68

273

US$205,200

Matt Jones

AUS

69 72 70 72

283

US$215,450

7= Justin Hicks

USA

67 69 69 69

274

US$177,650

8= Brian Davis

ENG

75 70 69 70

284

US$167,400

Rory Sabbatini

RSA

69 69 68 68

274

US$177,650

Pat Perez

USA

72 69 72 71

284

US$167,400

Shawn Stefani

USA

67 65 66 76

274

US$177,650

Justin Rose

ENG

70 70 71 73

284

US$167,400

10= Robert Allenby

AUS

71 70 67 67

275

US$118,275

A pair of late birdies saw Harris English overtake Scott Stallings to claim his first win on the PGA TOUR at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. English, who had the support of a handful of old high school friends in the gallery, survived a final round where he had six birdies and five bogeys to finish with a 1-under 69 and a two-shot victory.

AFP

Scott Stallings

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GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS

EUROPEAN TOUR

Matteo Manassero

MADEIRA ISLANDS OPEN

Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra, Portugal 16-19 May, €600,000

AMERICAN DREAM FOR UIHLEIN

American Peter Uihlein claimed his maiden professional title in superb style, closing with a four-under 68 for a two-stroke victory. Uihlein birdied four of his last eight holes to finish at 15-under 273 at Santo da Serra. Chile's Mark Tullo, the third-round leader, had a hole-in-one on the fourth, but had four bogeys to finish with a final round of 71. 1 Peter Uihlein

USA

72 64 69 68

273

€100,000

2= Morten Orum Madsen DEN

72 69 67 67

275

€52,110

CHI

67 69 68 71

275

€52,110

4 Craig Lee

SCO

67 68 70 71

276

€30,000

Bro Hof Slott GC, Sweden 30 May - 2 June, €1.5 million

5= Seve Benson

ENG

74 69 69 67

279

€19,860

ILONEN ROMPS HOME

Richard Bland

ENG

66 75 70 68

279

€19,860

Rhys Davies

WAL

74 68 70 67

279

€19,860

Roope Kakko

FIN

70 70 71 68

279

€19,860

9= Christophe Brazillier

FRA

70 68 74 68

280

€12,160

ENG

72 71 70 67

280

€12,160

Mark Tullo

Jamie Elson

BMW PGA CHAMPIONSHIP Wentworth Club, England 23-26 May, €4.75 million

MANASSERO CREATES HISTORY

Italy's Matteo Manassero became the youngest winner of the PGA Championship when he beat Simon Khan and Marc Warren in a playoff at Wentworth. The 20-year-old, who has now won four European Tour titles, birdied the fourth extra hole to edge 2010 champion Khan after Scotland's Marc Warren dropped out on the first hole. Overnight leader Alejandro Canizares missed from 18 feet on the last to join the play-off. 1 Matteo Manassero

ITA

69 71 69 69

278

€791,660

2= Simon Khan

ENG

69 72 71 66

278

€412,560

SCO

69 70 70 69

278

€412,560

ESP

69 70 68 72

279

€219,450

Miguel Angel Jimenez ESP

76 69 67 67

279

€219,450

Marc Warren

4= Alejandro Canizares

6= Ernie Els

RSA

72 69 72 67

280

€142,500

James Kingston

RSA

66 77 69 68

280

€142,500

Eddie Pepperell

ENG

71 69 71 69

280

€142,500

9= Francesco Molinari

ITA

70 68 73 70

281

€96,267

SCO

71 75 66 69

281

€96.267

Mikko Ilonen ended a six-year trophy drought by winning the Nordea Masters by three shots. The 33-year-old Finn shot a 69 on Sunday to win with an overall 21-under total on the Bro Hof Slott course. It was Ilonen's first European Tour Victory since he won the same event in 2007. Matteo Manassero, who led the first two rounds, faded over the weekend to eventually share fourth place at 16-under. 1 Mikko Ilonen

FIN

70 63 65 69

267

€250,000

2 Jonas Blixt

SWE

70 66 66 68

270

€166,660

3 Bernd Wiesberger

AUT

69 72 64 66

271

€93,900

4= Thomas Bjorn

DEN

70 67 68 67

272

€59,025

Rikard Karlberg

SWE

69 68 67 68

272

€59,025

Matteo Manassero

ITA

66 65 71 70

272

€59,025

Alexander Noren

SWE

67 69 64 72

272

€59,025

8 Ross Fisher

ENG

72 67 70 64

273

€37,500

9= Felipe Aguilar

CHI

71 67 70 66

274

€31,800

FRA

73 67 66 68

274

€31,800

Julien Quesne

Peter Uihlein

AFP

Richie Ramsay

NORDEA MASTERS

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GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS

LYONESS OPEN

Joost Luiten

Diamond CC, Austria 6-9 June, €1 million

LUITEN SHINES BRIGHTEST

Joost Luiten of the Netherlands won the Lyoness Open by two shots for his second European Tour title. After holding a three-stroke lead overnight, Luiten shot a 71 in the final round to finish at 17-under-par 271 on the Diamond Country Club course. Ranked 137 in the world before the start of the tournament, the win saw the Dutchman climb into the top 100. Defending champion Bernd Wiesberger shot a 69 to tie for 14th, missing out on a chance to qualify for the US Open. 1 Joost Luiten

NED

65 68 67 71

271

€166,660

2 Thomas Bjorn

DEN

71 70 64 68

273

€111,110

3= Wen-chong Liang

CHN

67 72 69 66

274

€56,300

Romain Wattel

FRA

68 68 69 69

274

€56,300

Locust Hill CC, New York 6-9 June, US$2.25 million

5= Jorge Campillo

ESP

70 67 66 72

275

€38,700

PARK WINS IN PLAY-OFF

ENG

67 67 72 69

275

€38,700

7 Eduardo De La Riva

ESP

69 65 69 73

276

€30,000

8 Gregory Bourdy

FRA

70 68 70 69

277

€25,000

9 Lee Slattery

ENG

71 68 70 69

278

€22,400

10= Lorenzo Gagli

ITA

72 67 68 72

279

€17,925

Paul Warning

WEGMANS LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Inbee Park birdied the third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Catriona Matthew to win the rain-delayed LPGA Championship. The entire third and fourth rounds were played on Sunday after Thursday's opening round was wiped out by heavy rains and lightning. Matthew, 43, the 2009 Open winner, carded four birdies in a faultless final round to force the play-off. With this victory, Asian players have won nine straight majors.

LPGA TOUR

1 Inbee Park

KOR

72 68 68 75

283

US$337,500

2 Catriona Matthew

SCO

71 71 73 68

283

US$206,304

SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIC

3= Suzann Pettersen

NOR

72 73 74 65

284

US$132,716

USA

68 70 71 75

284

US$132,716

5= Jiyai Shin

KOR

68 73 69 75

285

US$72,288

Chella Choi

KOR

67 73 73 72

285

US$72,288

Amy Yang

KOR

71 70 74 70

285

US$72,288

Sun Young Yoo

KOR

73 69 70 73

285

US$72,288

9= Michelle Wie

USA

76 68 71 71

286

US$46,121

CHN

74 70 72 70

286

US$46,121

Stockton Seaview GC, New Jersey 31 May - 2 June, US$1.5 million

WEBB ENDS DROUGHT

Australian Karrie Webb won her first LPGA Tour title in two years, recovering from five shots down for a two-stroke win over Shanshan Feng in the wind-whipped ShopRite LPGA Classic. The 38-year-old Hall of Famer shot a brilliant 3-under 68 in rough conditions to win for the 39th time on tour, the most among active players. 1 Karrie Webb

AUS

72 69 68

209

US$225,000

2 Shanshan Feng

CHN

69 67 75

211

US$138,191

3 Hee Young Park

KOR

69 72 71

212

US$100,248

4 Jenny Shin

USA

70 73 70

213

US$77,549

5= I.K. Kim

KOR

72 70 72

214

US$48,422

Chie Arimura

JPN

73 67 74

214

US$48,422

Jeong Jang

KOR

73 71 70

214

US$48,422

Gerina Piller

USA

70 75 69

214

US$48,422

9= Caroline Hedwall

SWE

73 72 70

215

US$29,790

JPN

75 69 71

215

US$29,790

Shanshan Feng

Inbee Park

AFP

Ayako Uehara

Morgan Pressel

74

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GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS

ASIAN TOUR

Pariya Junhasavasdikul

WORLDWIDE HOLDINGS SELANGOR MASTERS Seri Selangor GC, Malaysia 20-23 June, US$311,905

PARIYA PREVAILS

1 Pariya Junhasavasdikul

THA

66 68 71 70

275 US$68,954

2 Arniban Lahiri

IND

73 68 67 68

276

US$42,138

3= Namchok Tantipokhakul THA

72 74 66 65

277

US$21,644

KOR

67 68 71 71

277

US$21,644

5 Lu Wen-teh

TPE

70 72 70 67

279

US$15,706

6= Scott Hend

AUS

70 73 70 67

280

US$11,019

Peter Richardson

ENG

69 73 69 69

280

US$11,019

Wade Ormsby

AUS

68 70 72 70

280

US$11,019

Gavin Green (A)

MAS

68 69 70 73

280

N/A

AUS

73 69 70 69

281

US$8,197

Baek Seuk-hyun

10 Marcus Both

AFP

Pariya Junhasavasdikul holed a pressure-packed five-foot par putt at the last hole to win the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters by one stroke, ending a frustrating three-year winless run. The 29-year-old Thai completed a wire-to-wire triumph following a one-under-par 70 at the Seri Selangor Golf Club to edge India’s Anirban Lahiri, who challenged with a 68 in the RM1.2 million (approximately US$400,000) Asian Tour event.

Advertise! In Hong Kong's Premier Golf Magazine write to

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19

good contrast with pink gold-plated hour markers and indexes. The movement is the automatic calibre BVL 191, with hours, minutes, seconds and instantaneous date, and features a power reserve of 42 hours. Entirely developed in-house, only 250 pieces of the watch will be produced.

INDEPENDENT FASHION

From left to right: the Pershing Chronograph 005 CBF from Parmigiani; the Rolex Day-Date Sertie; Vacheron Constantin’s Patrimony Traditionelle 76

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

Despite the seeming dominance of the large watch groups in the industry, independent companies are proving that they have much to offer in function and style. Chopard’s L.U C Engine One H, released at Baselworld 2013, combines fine watchmaking with stylish, sporty aesthetic that the line is known for. The timepiece is similar to the LUC Engine One tourbillon presented in 2010, but has been rotated 90 degrees for a horizontal dial, hence the ‘H’. A limited edition of 100 pieces, the titaniumcased model features a centre-set minute and hour hands, on top of two indicators, a full/ empty power reserve display on the left, and a tourbillon with Chopard’s variable inertia balance wheel on the right. The back of the watch echoes

the design of a car’s engine, designed with grooved plates and bolts. At 44.5x35mm, this is a handsome, well-sized timepiece. Meanwhile up-and-coming Christophe Claret presented the Kantharos, a stylish monopusher chronograph with striking mechanism and constant force escapement. While the chronograph feature is common, what makes this timepiece different are the cathedral gongs designed to chime at each function change, and the constant force mechanism visible at 6 o’clock, that works to create a steady flow of energy from the beginning to the end of the power reserve. The 45mm titanium watch comes in five different colour schemes, combining black PVD with red and blue hands, white or pink gold accents.

LUXE UTILITY For those who like their luxury watches extremely tough and rugged, Audemars Piguet released a series of Royal Oak Offshores this year. The Royal Oak Offshore Diver, fitted with the self-winding calibre 3120, offers a 60-hour power reserve and comes in a 42mm black ceramic case. Fully HKGOLFER.COM


LADY LOVE

compliant with the NIHS 92-11 (ISO6425), this timepiece leaves no room for estimates, with a balance-stop device for setting the time, ceramic While there are no statistics relating to gender and the use of mechanical watches, ball bearing-mounted rotors, and a black rotating the number of brands presenting entire collections dedicated to ladies is also a inner bezel with diving scale and orange zone strong signal of this trend. Rolex is offering a seven-piece collection of Oyster Perpetual models for ladies. running from 12 to 3 o’clock. The brand’s famous mega tapisserie motif adorns the black dial with Called Day-Date Sertie, the watches come in 36mm 18k Everose or white gold white gold and luminescent-coated hands and cases, with a mother-of-pearl carousel dial featuring an openwork design hour ring in 18k white gold, and set with 217 diamonds inlaid with hour markers, and the back is pink or white mother-of-pearl and engraved with a floral fitted with a sapphire crystal motif. The ‘oxford’ dial, inspired by the English fabric, comes Rolex is offering a water-resistant to 300m. New additions to Parmigiani’s seven-piece collection in a basketweave pattern, with 18k white gold hands. Fitted with the in-house automatic calibre 3155, the watch has Pershing collection include of Oyster Perpetual centre hour, minute, and second hand functions, as well as the Pershing Chronograph models for ladies - called instantaneous day and date apertures, with stop seconds for 005 CBF. A collaboration with precise time setting. A more jewelled option comes with 60 the Confederação Brasileira de the Day-Date Sertie, baguette-cut diamonds on the bezel. Futebol (CBF), the watches come the watches come in Dedicating it’s entire SIHH novelty collection to women, in titanium, with either a rose Vacheron Constantin presents the Patrimony Traditionelle, 36mm 18k Everose gold or white gold bezel. The which comes in a slender 33mm pink or white gold round PF334 chronograph movement or white gold cases case with a bezel set with 54 brilliant-cut diamonds. The indicates hours, minutes, small opaline silvertoned dial comes with minute tracks painted in seconds and the date. The 45mm watches are individually numbered and engraved brown or grey, and applied hour markers and Dauphine hands are made from solid on the casebacks, and come with Hermes blue gold. The watch is fitted with the manual-winding movement 1400, bearing the Hallmark of Geneva. alligator straps. HKGOLFER.COM

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

77


GOLF & INVESTING | 5 MINUTES WITH ...

Pony Leung For golfers and investors out there, you might find golf and investing share a lot of similar attributes. In this, the third in a series of interviews presented by Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd., Pony Leung – the locally-based pro and wine aficionado – talks about her golfing upbringing, her love of links golf and the investing lessons she’s learned over time. What connections do you see between golf and investing? You need to be super patient when it comes to both golf and investing. Even if you prepare well you shouldn’t expect to see immediate results. It’s a process. If you don’t prepare at all – if you don’t have a plan – you shouldn’t expect a positive outcome. When did you start playing? When I was 11 or 12 my dad introduced golf into the family. It came at a good time as I had decided around then that tennis was no longer my favourite sport. Too much running was involved! How often do you play? Typically three or four times a week, but it depends when the next tournament is. If there is one coming up then I’ll play more often. I try and prepare as best I can. What’s been your best ever round? I had a bogey-free 65 at the Faldo Course at Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen about four years ago. I was definitely in the zone that day. It was the most simple and effortless round I’ve ever played. I still remember it vividly but I haven’t been able to replicate it – yet.

Courtesy of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort

Do you have a favourite course? I’m a member at Discovery Bay Golf Club here in Hong Kong, which I love, but my favourite course in the world is Bandon Dunes (pictured) in Oregon. It’s a lovely course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The whole experience is spectacular and I enjoy every second playing there, even when my ball ends up in the gorse. It is the first traditional links-style course that I ever played. You never forget your first one. What about your favourite wine? We understand you’re something of a connoisseur ... Golf and wine are the two things I’m really passionate about. On a hot summer day I probably enjoy wine even more than golf. It’s hard to pick a 78

HK GOLFER・JUL 2013

favourite but I’ll admit to having a bias towards Burgundy. Wine can be a good investment, but I love my collection so much that I don’t think I’d ever be willing to sell any of it. Who would be in your dream fourball? It’d be great to play with Adam Scott, Na Yeon Choi and Suzann Pettersen. I love Scott’s swing, while Choi and Pettersen are my favourite players on the LPGA Tour. How do you maintain focus during a round? It is very important to stay in the present and don’t overthink the shot; you have to stick with your routine and trust all the hard work you put in will deliver results. Between shots I often play tunes in my head and think of things that have nothing to do with golf. How would you describe your overall investment philosophy? For me, investing is a hobby, not a career. I don’t spend my days checking prices. I’ll make a move when there is a great opportunity, but I generally don’t worry too much about my investments. What key lessons have you learned through your personal investing experiences? You can’t win them all! Don’t fantasise about buying at the lowest price and selling at the highest – just stick with your goals and targets. It’s very much like golf: you can’t control the scoreboard. Just play your own game and whatever happens, happens. 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

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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. Š2012 Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd. All rights reserved. (0312-1952/CSHK - 1171)


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