Luxury travel: Experience the best of Scotland at magical Dornoch
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION VOTED THE REGION’S NO 1 GOLF MAGAZINE
HKGOLFER.COM OCTOBER 2013
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LYDIA KO: THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION
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HK Golfer Issue 81
76 On the Cover:
Four-time Major winner Ernie Els will be making his debut appearance at this month’s Venetian Macau Open Photo by AFP
46 | Upping its Game
26 | In Focus
Boasting a strong field and increased purse, this month’s Venetian Macau Open is destined to become one of the Asian Tour’s most prized events. By Alex Jenkins
A pictorial look back of the past 30 days – locally, regionally and globally. By The Editors
62 | Supreme Teen At the age of just 16, amateur Lydia Ko has taken women’s professional golf by storm. We talk to her coach Guy Wilson about the secrets to her success. By James Henderson
66 | Minding One’s Manners Having witnessed the ill-tempered events at August’s Solheim Cup at first hand, our correspondent takes a look at the declining standards of etiquette in the professional and amateur codes. By Lewine Mair
AFP (Stenson); Daniel Wong (Lau)
70 | Autumn Offerings
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
33 | Tee Time Our watch editor takes a look at Cartier’s fine watchmaking that was on display at last month’s Watches & Wonders event in Hong Kong. By Evan Rast
40 | Driving Range A review of the handmade Eagle E-Type Speedster, probably the world’s most beautiful car. By Ben Oliver
44 | Tales from the Box
Our equipment editor takes a look at the latest new gear to have hit the shelves. By Charlie Schroeder
Our correspondent wraps up another month of European Tour commentating duties by looking ahead to the 2014 Ryder Cup. By Julian Tutt
76 | How Swede It Is
74 | Amateur Golf’s Richest Prize
A look at Henrik Stenson’s amazing comeback that took him from outside the world’s top 200 to FedEx Cup Playoffs success – and a cool US$10 million. By Paul Prendergast
An interview with Ian Whitty, the man behind Golf1million, an innovative new tournament open to all. By The Editors
82 | True North
94 | Golf & Investing / 5 Minutes With ...
A visit to magical Dornoch, home to a handful of the finest courses in the British Isles. By Craig Morrison
Raymond Roessel, managing director of sports marketing specialists Infinite Ideas International. By Alex Jenkins HKGOLFER.COM
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION OCTOBER 2013 • Issue 81
Editor: Alex Jenkins email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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
82 D E PA R T M E N T S 16 Mailbag 20 Divots 33 Clubhouse 52
National Games Success
Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur
Player Profile: Tiana Lau
Global Tournament News
Omega Golf Day
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. 14
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
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HK Golfer Mailbag Silver Medal a Success For All I truly hope that the wonderful news of Hong Kong winning a silver medal at China’s National Games puts an end to all the speculation about the future of golf clubs in Hong Kong, particularly the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Fanling site. To think, “little” Hong Kong, a team comprising two teenagers and two young men in their 20s could finish ahead of the likes of Guangdong province, which fielded a side that included champions like Zhang Lian-wei and Liang Wen-chong, is not only reward for the Hong Kong Golf Association and the Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association but also for the golf clubs whose courses the national amateur teams and local pros use for their training and practice. It goes without saying that if these facilities are taken away, the growth of the local game could be impacted to an irrecoverable degree. John Leung Tat Chee Avenue
Walking Courses The topic of good wa l k ing courses (ones where carts are neither mandatory nor needed) was discussed by a number of readers over the course of few issues previously, and I would like to add my own recommendation: Dalat Palace Golf Club (pictured) in the central mountainous region of Vietnam. Dalat itself is a fine town and the course, which has been existence since 1922, is a splendid track, one that is best traversed by foot. Thanks, and keep up the good work. Bruce Moore Clearwater Bay Editor’s reply: Thanks, Bruce. Very much in agreement with you regarding Dalat. A fine course – one of only a handful that uses bent grass on its greens – and a wonderful walk.
Discovery Bay Golf Club permits visitors on weekends
Visitors at HK Clubs One of the letters published in the last issue of your magazine mentioned that Fanling and other members’ courses in Hong Kong are in fact open to the public (without having to play with a member). Is this true, and if so, can you send me some information about this as I’m very interested? Pieter Maarten Meiners Via email Editor’s reply: The Hong Kong Golf Club (both the Fanling and Deep Water Bay sites) are open to visitors during the week. The same applies at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club and also Discovery Bay Golf Club, the latter of which permits visitors on weekends too. For specific information and green fees visit their respective websites: hkgolfclub. org, cwbgolf.org.hk and dbgc.hk.
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HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
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Green Jacket Breaks Golf Auction Record
A green jacket owned by the winner of the first Masters Tournament in 1934 sold at auction for nearly US$700,000 (HK$5.42 million) last month.
Zhang and Liang Confirmed for Royal Trophy Bid
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
The jacket, awarded to Golf Hall of Famer Horton Smith some 13 years after he won the first Masters in 1934, was sold by New Jerseybased Green Jacket Auctions to an undisclosed bidder for $682,229.45 in an online auction, making it the highest priced piece of golf memorabilia in history. Awarded every year since 1949, the green jacket has become a symbol of one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world, which began in Georgia as the Augusta National Invitational Tournament. Adam Scott (pictured) was the recipient of the green jacket following his Masters victory earlier this year. Smith’s two-button, single-breasted green jacket, size 43 long, was coveted by collectors for decades and was thought to be lost – until a family member who had the jacket realised its value and called Green Jacket in July to report that it had been with family since Smith’s death in 1963. Smith, who won the tournament in both 1934 and 1936, played in every Masters Tournament until the year he died at age 55. Chinese golf legends Zhang Lian-wei and Liang Wen-chong (pictured) have been appointed by Asian Team Captain YE Yang as vice-Captain and team member for the next edition of the Royal Trophy to be played on 20-22 December 2013 at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou. The two stars are widely acclaimed as the most accomplished Chinese golfers in history and both have represented Asia at the Royal Trophy previously; Zhang in the inaugural edition played in Thailand in 2006 and Liang Wen-chong four times – including in the two encounters where the Asian Team triumphed over the Europeans. “It is an enormous honour to represent Asia at the next edition of the Royal Trophy when the competition will be played in my home nation of China and my home province of Guangdong,” stated Zhang, winner of 15 professional career titles. “I am thankful to captain YE Yang for nominating me for this prestigious and very important role in the Asian Team and I am looking forward with great anticipation to working together with him in leading Asia to victory at Dragon Lake Golf Club.” The Royal Trophy is played over three days in a highly competitive team match-play format featuring sixteen foursomes, four-ball and singles matches. Each continent is represented by eight players. HKGOLFER.COM
PRECISION. TRUST. PROVEN. CONSISTENCY.
Woods and McIlroy Set for Hainan Showdown
World number one Tiger Woods and two-time major winner Rory McIlroy will battle against each other in ‘The Match at Mission Hills’ on October 28, their second head-to-head 18-hole contest in China. The event, which is promoted by Hong Kong-based Infinite Ideas International, will be held over the Schmidt-Curley-designed par-73 Blackstone Course at the 180-hole Mission Hills Resort in Haikou, the capital city of tropical Hainan island off China’s southern coast.
Watson: No Wild-Card Picks Best
Tom Watson’s first move as US captain for the 2014 Ryder Cup was to reduce the number of wild-card picks from four to three – but if he had his own way, he’d probably have none.
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
“The Match at Mission Hills should be a great contest in a great setting in Haikou, and I’m excited about playing there for the first time,” said Woods (pictured), winner of 79 PGA Tour titles including five this year. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about Blackstone, so it should be a great course for the re-match with Rory, who I know has played there before in the World Cup. I’ve played at Mission Hills on the mainland, but this will be my first time playing at their Haikou resort so I’m looking ahead to visiting Hainan Island for the first time.” Woods, 37, admitted he’s eager to rebound from his one-stroke defeat to McIlroy in Zhengzhou last October, when the American was ranked world number two behind McIlroy, whose five wins in 2012 included a second major at the PGA Championship. “I’m hoping to win this time,” said Woods. “We both played well last year, but Rory got me by one. I’ve had a really good year on the PGA Tour, so it would be nice to earn another trophy in China.” “If you really look at it, the purist form of Ryder Cup would be no picks, no captain’s picks, 12 players who qualify,” Watson said at the “Year To Go” press conference at Gleneagles last month. “That’s the way I qualified ... you had 12 players and no picks. Maybe that’s the way it should go back to.” If that had been the case at Medinah last year, Europe probably wouldn’t have returned home with the trophy. Ian Poulter – one of two wild-card selections – helped Europe rally from 10-5 down. No surprise then that Europe’s Captain Paul McGinley reaffirmed Europe’s commitment to two wild cards. Europe is looking to win the biennial competition for the eighth time in the last 10 meetings and for the United States to break Europe’s recent stranglehold, Watson needs 14-time major winner Tiger Woods to transfer his winning form on the PGA Tour to the Ryder Cup. The top-ranked player has struggled to produce his best golf in the team competition, winning the Ryder Cup just once — in 1999 — since his debut in ‘97. However, Watson considers Woods pivotal for the team next year. “Tiger has a sense about him and in talking to Davis (Love III), he was very much a leader at Medinah,” Watson said. “We need him to be a leader. There’s not a question about that.” HKGOLFER.COM
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Stewart in the Driver’s Seat With one event of the season remaining, James Stewart (pictured) is on course to claim his first HKPGA Order of Merit title since 2006 having built up a healthy advantage at the top of the standings. Stewart, who came so close to winning the Ageas HKPGA Championship at the beginning of the year, only to lose out to Asian Tour regular Unho Park at the death, has been in a rich vein of form this season, with wins at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club and the Hong Kong Golf Club in legs two and three. Last year’s Order of Merit winner Tim Tang lies in second place with the final counting tournament, the Yinli & Nine Eagles HKPGA Invitational Series event, to be played on 22-24 October.
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HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
Local Focus Thailand Come Out On Top Thailandâ€™s Chayanid Prapassarangkul tees off on the 13th hole at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club en route to victory at the Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur Championship last month. Chayanid put in a brilliant display at the rain-affected tournament, finishing with a level-par total to win by five strokes. Ornnicha Konsunthea and Sherman Sanjiwatthanpong made it a clean sweep for the Land of Smiles, finishing in second and third place respectively. Tiana Lau was Hong Kongâ€™s best performer. The in-form 16 year-old battled back well to secure a share of fifth spot alongside Pauline Del Rosario of the Philippines. Photo by Daniel Wong
China Focus Local Heroes Scoop Silver In one of the best results in the history of Hong Kong golf, the men’s team – represented by Motin Yeung, Jason Hak and HKPGA professionals Tim Tang and James Wong – claimed the silver medal at the National Games – which is considered as China’s “Olympics” – with a wonderful collective performance in Shenyang last month. The side, pictured here alongside the women’s team and coaches Brad Schadewitz and Ducky Tang, got within three shots of eventual winners Liaoning, the host province, on a thrilling final day before settling for second place. Guangdong, which fielded a side including stars Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lianwei, finished in third. Photo by LCSD
Global Focus USA Take Wind Out of GB&Iâ€™s Sails Nathan Green of the United States celebrates holing a birdie putt during his foursomes match at last monthâ€™s Walker Cup, which saw the American side win comfortably over their British and Irish opponents. The 44th edition of the biennial amateur match was staged at the historic National Golf Links of America, which was designed by the noted architect Charles B McDonald and is considered one of the most exclusive in the land. Legend has it that a member once remarked that a windmill would make a nice addition to the course, so McDonald purchased one when he was in Europe and the sent the member the bill. Photo by USGA
Away from the Fairways | TEE TIME
STUFF OF LEGENDS
The Tank MC Skeleton watch combines a resolutely masculine case with the modernity of a skeleton movement HKGOLFER.COM
CARTIER BRINGS A NEW COLLECTION AND ITS MOST IMPRESSIVE CREATIONS TO THE FIRST EVER WATCHES & WONDERS IN HONG KONG, WRITES EVAN RAST CONTINUED OVERLEAF HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
W With the Tank MC watch (above), the Maison’s iconic design features a larger case, inspired by strong square dimensions and a small seconds counter, which gives this model power and elegance 34
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
ith its latest series of Tanks, superstar status, of course – is that he’s one of super complications and those veterans in the industry, and has achieved concept watches in tow, much as a singer, actor and film producer in the Cartier was at the centre of last 30 plus years of his career. the action when the first The series of watches most identified with Watches & Wonders opened Cartier, the Tank made its debut back in the 1917, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition and the collection just evolved through time. The Centre on September 25. series that most closely The series of Running for three days, the show re s emb l e s th e f ir s t featured 13 brands from the Richemont watch is the Tank Louis watches most stable, Cartier, being one of the most Cartier. Then there’s the identified with prominent, with its large, plush booth understated Tank Solo. Cartier, the Tank In 1989 came the Tank right smack at the entrance to the hall. On the first day, the maison hosted a Americaine, with its made its debut cocktail to launch the latest edition to its slender elongated case, back in the 1917, Tank line, the Tank MC, with a short film by and seven years later, and the collection the Tank Francaise with British director Baillie Walsh, and starring Andy Lau, who would later grace the its unique chain-link just evolved stage for a Q&A session. The message of bracelet. through time. Cartier’s Tank MC campaign is something Last year, the maison we all can relate to: time will stop for no p re s e nte d a w h o l e man, so best make the most out of it. According range of watches under a new shape, and with to Cartier spokesperson, one of the main reasons the crown incorporated into the case design, the the brand cast Lau in the film – apart from his Tank Anglaise. HKGOLFER.COM
WE TAKE OUR WATERPROOF TESTING VERY SERIOUSLY With his legendary concentration and 45 years of experience our Master Watchmaker and renowned craftsman, Gilbert O. Gudjonsson, inspects every single timepiece before it leaves our workshop.
All the watches are designed and assembled by hand in Iceland. Only highest quality movements and materials are used to produce the watches and every single detail has been given the time needed for perfection. The quantity of watches produced is limited, giving them an exclusive and truly personal feel.
OFFICIAL HK AGENT: TIMES INTERNATIONAL CREATION LTD. CONTACT: JSWATCH@TIMESIC.COM +852-3590-4153
The Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal (above) uses technology developed for the Cartier ID One and is a numbered edition limited to just 50 pieces
This time, the Tank evolves further with Cartier’s base calibre, the 1904 MC, used in the Calibre de Cartier watches. The Tank MC forms an entirely new collec tion, with a modern size, at 44x34.3mm, The aim of Watches and five different versions all showcasing the automatic & Wonders is not with date movement on only to present the the sapphire caseback. The latest collections, but steel version comes in white also to bring cutting or black dials, while the pink gold version comes in white edge, historic and or chocolate brown dials, significant timepieces and easily distinguished by sub-seconds at 6 o’clock. that highlight The fifth model is diamondthe watchmaker’s encrusted in white gold. capabilities. As always, the dial work is impressive and the watch fits well on the wrist. It’s not super thin, but it’s not overly large and bulky either. To make things more interesting, Cartier also offers the Tank MC in a 43.9x39.1mm palladium 36
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
case with a skeleton movement, the Calibre 9611 (the same one used in the Santos 100), whose bridges also function as the hour indices. The manually wound movement has a power reserve of 72 hours. The Tank MC Skeleton is also offered with a diamond-set case. The aim of Watches & Wonders is not only to present the latest collections, but also to bring cutting edge, historic and significant timepieces that highlight the watchmaker’s capabilities. For this reason, Cartier brought an extensive selection of timepieces, some of them for the first time, to Hong Kong. Both the ID One and ID Two were in attendance, concept watches that were never meant to be sold but feature the maison’s vision for the future of timekeeping. The ID One was centred on the optimisation of a regulating element, with a niobium-titanium case, carbon crystal components and adjustment- and lubrication-free pallet and escapement wheel. CONTINUED ON PAGE 90 HKGOLFER.COM
CLUBHOUSE | DIVOTS
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WINE OF THE MONTH: 2013 MOUNT HORROCKS CORDON CUT RIESLING Riesling hasn't always enjoyed a stellar reputation among the wider wine-buying public – largely thanks to the flood of cheap (and generally quite nastily sweet) wines of the varietal that hit the market during the 1980s – but those in the know have always loved the grape, which is now finding increasing popularity with Australian winemakers. One producer that has been making waves of late is Mount Horrocks which, under the command of Stephanie Toole (pictured), has enjoyed great success with its Cordon Cut Riesling, a wine that according the critics, is well on the way to achieving cult status. Riesling can be pernickety but the grape clearly enjoys the altitude in South Australia's Clare Valley because the Cordon Cut displays contrasting levels of sweetness across a wonderful richness of honeyed fruits and marmalade. Riesling must contain acidity to counteract the natural sugars, otherwise it can be sickly and cloying; the great ones, like the Cordon Cut, are characterised by a minerality that cuts through with a crisp, lime zing, making it a great accompaniment to foie gras and cold meats. The finish is juicy, clean and long. When served very chilled it works superbly as an aperitif. The 2013 vintage is available in Hong Kong through Armit (armitwines.co.uk; 3796-7192). HK$261 per 37.5cl bottle.
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HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
Dragonair (dragonair.com) has announced that it will operate a new three-timesweekly seasonal service to Siem Reap, which spells good news for golfers looking to combine a visit to the ancient temples at Angkor with a round at the impressive Nick Faldo-designed Angkor Golf Resort (pictured). The flight, which will start on 29 October, takes a shade over two hours and will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Angkor Golf Resort opened in 2008 and has won acclaim for its intelligent design, spectacular bunkering and first-class playing surfaces. Green fees: US$115. Visit angkorgolf.com for further information. HKGOLFER.COM
CLUBHOUSE | DRIVING RANGE
BRITISH BEAUTY BEN OLIVER REVIEWS THE HANDMADE EAGLE E-TYPE SPEEDSTER, A CAR THAT JEREMY CLARKSON DESCRIBES AS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE WORLD.
eep in the southern English countryside, at a former farm whose Clarkson of Top Gear fame was moved to describe exact location remains a secret to all but serious customers given it as “by a long way, the most beautiful car I’ve the value of the cars here (helicopter landing coordinates are ever seen. It might actually be the most beautiful supplied on request), you’ll find a temple to the most beautiful car thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve never driven a car that I’ve in the world. For 30 years, Eagle, founded by vintage car collector wanted more than this one. I yearn to own one.” and racer Henry Pearman, has traded in only the very finest Jaguar But even Clarkson can’t afford to. Only six E-types, the best now commanding HK$2.5m before taxes. Eagle also restores Speedsters will be made, each taking at least 6,000 them, but only to Pearman’s exacting, ‘zero-miles’ standards. It also improves hours to complete. The price? Around a million on them, offering a series of upgrades that keep the car’s US dollars, or HK$7.5 million. Even Only six Speedsters at that price, all six are officially sold, essential character but give it the reliability, comfort (and brakes!) of a modern car. A classic, fully restored E-type body will be made, each although if you’re quick you might be fitted with the full range of upgrades becomes an Eagle still be able to negotiate for one. An taking at least E-type, and comes with a HK$4m price tag. equally limited run of coupes inspired 6,000 hours to But now Pearman has gone a step further, and boldly by Jaguar’s one-off 1963 Low Drag attempted to improve not only on the E-Type’s performance complete. The price: Coupe E-type race car will follow if but on its shape: one that has been granted a place in the you can’t secure a Speedster. HK$7.5 million. permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, But can the Speedster really justify which regularly wins ‘world’s most beautiful car’ contests and which even Enzo that price? See one, and drive one, and you’ll be Ferrari reportedly admitted was the most beautiful he’d seen. Brave move. convinced. I was given the address of the farm But Eagle’s brilliant technical director Paul Brace seems to have pulled it off with to find out for myself. The car is more bewitching his Speedster body. Its subtly re-profiled shape, cut-down ‘speedster’ screen and than pictures can convey, and almost impossibly roofless rear end seduces everyone who sees it. Even the usually cynical Jeremy low. Yet it is comfortable, and the quality of
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
SCORECARD How much?
HK$7.5 million (ex-factory)
4.7-litre straight six
Performance: 0-100kph in 5.0secs 257kph How heavy? 1,008kgs
construction would shame a Lexus. It starts and moves off as easily as a modern car and feels as tight and bulletproof: you know you could cruise from here to the south of France without being let down. But most importantly, it’s a thrilling car to drive fast. With 310bhp it isn’t excessively powerful, but it is very light, weighing in at just over a metric tonne thanks in part to its gorgeous, hand-rolled aluminium coachwork: less than most small hatchbacks. That gives it a power-to-weight ratio in excess of Jaguar’s ballistic modern F-type V8 S, itself a very fast car. But the Speedster manages to marry modern supercar pace to a very old-school, tactile, involving driving experience. It still feels like an E-type, except you know that now you have brakes that work, and so you’re inclined to use more of the power. But perhaps the greatest satisfaction is knowing that you’re piloting that sensational shape through the scenery: the Eagle Speedster is worth the price for that alone. HKGOLFER.COM
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
| TALES FROM THE BOX
What’s in a
In his latest installment, commentator Julian Tutt looks ahead to the 2014 Ryder Cup, which will be played at the Gleneagles Hotel at the height of the Scottish autumn, recounts his experience on Tour in the Netherlands, examines “Oscillate-gate” and remembers the day he fell foul of Tiger and his agent.
Daniel Wong (Tutt); AFP
The Ryder Cup (right) will be fought for at the Gleneagles Hotel’s PGA Centenary Course next September; the author fell foul of Tiger Woods and his agent Mark Steinberg (opposite) at the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in 2006 44
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he PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles – what a m a s t e r s t roke of c re at ive n a m i n g! We w e r e t h e r e re c ent ly for t he Joh n n ie Walker Championship, which involves a great and long-standing sponsor at a magnificent venue that will stage the Ryder Cup in 2014. The course was in better condition than ever and the event was well supported by the bulk of players likely to be on Captain Paul McGinley’s team. Spot the deliberate mistake! More of that in a moment, but first the name. Jack Nicklaus’ course was originally called the Monarch’s, a most appropriate addition to James Braid’s wonderful old King’s and Queen’s masterpieces. Then, in 2001, the Professional Golfers Association celebrated its centenary. At which point some genius of corporate paralysis had an Einstein moment and decided that the Monarch of the Glen should forthwith be known as “The PGA Centenary Course”. What a ring that has to it. The Gleneagles Hotel is, if slightly austere in external appearance, a magical place to stay. Splendid tartan-clad old retainers offer a warm welcome, while the extremely well-trained Eastern European staff enhances the feel-good factor. The estate boasts a splendid equestrian centre, superb shooting facilities, exciting offroading, excellent tennis courts and the British Falconry School; not to mention great golf. At the heart of one of the most romantic and beautiful settings it is possible to imagine lies … “The PGA Centenary Course”. My colleague
Dougie Donnelly has a house there, and he says the local joke is that it is not even the third best course in Auchterarder. Enough said. The Ryder Cup’s visit next September falls within a short season which in these parts is normally referred to as “autumn”. But judging by the 100mph winds and torrential rains that swept through there last month, “winter” might be a better description. That should really work
in Europe’s favour, because the Americans will hate it, while the home side will be totally familiar with it having played there on a regular basis. Spot my second deliberate mistake! Who knows, perhaps young Tommy Fleetwood will make the side. He is one of Europe’s emerging young stars who, unlike the majority of his better-known peers, actually did play in the Johnnie Walker Championship, and won an exciting play-off to boot. The following week’s Wales Open at Celtic Manor reminded us how very fortunate they had been in 2010, when a rain-ravaged Cup was only rescued by a brilliant and memorable extra day. Good luck to Gleneagles, they may very well need it. My jou rney to t he K L M Open soon afterwards was made undesirably interesting by being tossed around in one of the sponsor’s aircraft in continuous turbulence on the approach into Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. The pilot deserves mention in despatches and life membership of the European Tour for his skilful and smooth (all things are relative) landing. I arrived at my hotel late on the Tuesday night to be informed by my taxi driver that the house opposite was a “sex house”. Anyhow, the week was quiet in comparison, although once again the missing stars weren’t missed at all as Messieurs Luiten, Jiménez and Dyson amongst others provided royal entertainment and another thrilling climax. While all was peace and tranquility in Europe, America was reverberating to the unsavoury sounds of “Oscillate-gate”. Much has been said and written, but to me the case is cut and dried. If a player attempts to remove a pine needle, pretzel or discarded cigaretteend from beneath his ball he is taking a chance. Isaac Newton would tell you that the likelihood of the ball oscillating (which, according to the Rules of Golf, means returning to exactly the same position) is quite remote. The normal procedure for the vast majority of honest, upright professionals is that if they think the ball might have moved, they would call over the fellow competitor who is marking their card, discuss it and if there was a smidgen of doubt either take a one-shot penalty and replace the ball, or call for a referee, who, not having seen the incident, would probably outline the procedure and leave it to the player’s discretion as to how he should proceed. Of course, if there is known TV evidence, then that would automatically be used to give a categoric ruling. In Tiger Woods’ case, he thought he was judge and jury and he came down in favour of the defendant. Thankfully the HKGOLFER.COM
Much has been said and written [about Tiger being penalised] , but to me the case is cut and dried. If a player attempts to remove a pine needle, pretzel or discarded cigarette-end from beneath his ball he is taking a chance. Court of Appeal ruled otherwise. Two things strike me about the video that he had been unaware of. Firstly his hand lingered for a long time after he had tried to move whatever it was underneath his ball. Was that not the lingering hand of a guilty man? Secondly, there is no doubt from the blown up images that the ball did move, and the fact that he continues to protest his innocence merely lowers him even further in the eyes of right-thinking people. Woods’ long time Agent Mark Steinberg once accused me, in derogatory fashion, of asking a “tabloid” question, when I was working for BBC TV. Woods – who was being paid shed-loads to appear –was at the beginning of a threeweek run in Britain and Ireland that was culminating at the Ryder Cup, and whose whole body language said “get me out of here”, had lost at the 33rd hole of the World Match Play contest at Wentworth to the highly unfancied Shaun Micheel. I had heard comments outside the ropes, and indeed even the BBC’s Andrew Cotter in commentary questioned Tiger’s commitment, so in the greenside interview that followed I said to Tiger, “The cynics might say that you weren’t trying your hardest but I suspect that’s not the case?” He gave me a very curt response and after another couple of questions we went our separate ways: me to the TV Production office, where I was congratulated by my editor and producer on a job well done. I thought no more about it until I got a call from the producer at about nine o’clock that evening to say that he had just come off the phone after an hour of ear-bending from Steinberg, who had Tiger alongside him. I was forced to apologise (I’m not quite sure what for) at which point Mr Steinberg brought up the “tabloid” bit. I now have a few more “tabloid” questions for the pair of them, but I know I have got a fat chance of asking them, let alone getting a straight reply. Jack, I am convinced your record is safe. The golfing gods will have it no other way. Finally, well played Henrik Stenson on winning the FedEx Cup. Years ago he lost a very considerable sum of money to the Ponzi crook Allen Stanford. He richly deserves this latest epic success. HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
TOURNAMENT PREVIEW | THE VENETIAN MACAU OPEN
Major presence: Ernie Els will be making his debut at the Macau Open from 17-20 October
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Upping its Game Boasting a strong field and increased purse, the Venetian Macau Open, which takes place later this month, is destined to become one of the Asian Tour’s most prized events, writes Alex Jenkins.
he Macau Open has long been a favoured stop on the Asian Tour, and for good reason. The Macau Golf & Country Club, and the risk/reward nature of its tricky layout, is a fine venue, while the myriad off-course attractions of the former Portuguese colony – from glitzy casinos, outstanding restaurants and vibrant nightlife – are a draw themselves for the 140-plus field of young professionals, particularly at the beginning and end of tournament week. But these days there is an extra incentive. Since the Venetian Macao took over the role of title sponsor in 2012 – and incidentally becoming in the process the first title sponsor in the tournament's 14-year history – the prize purse has grown from a relatively paltry US$300,000 to an impressive three-quarters of a million dollars. This year's event, which takes place between 17-20 October, raises the bar yet
further; US$800,000 is what's at stake, which propels Macau into the league of the Tour's bigtime events. For years golf industry insiders have long seen Macau as a tournament with tremendous potential. And while US$800,000 is still a world away from the mega millions that are on offer at the continent's richest events in Shanghai – the WGC-HSBC Champions and BMW Masters, which will be in the immediate weeks after Macau – the Venetian's input is to be applauded. As we have seen with both the Hong Kong and Singapore Opens, garnering golf tournament sponsorship is far from straightforward – even in Asia, which has been far less afflicted by the affects of the Global Financial Crisis than either Europe or the United States. The future it seems is bright for the Macau Open, and for those of us who want to see high-quality professional golf, this is great news.
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Els will have reason to celebrate regardless of how he performs, as he turns 44 during the tournament.
Clockwise from above: Gaganjeet Bhullar secured his fourth Asian Tour victory with a brilliant performance in Macau 12 months ago; the Indian driving down the par-5 18th hole en route to victory last year; Macau Golf & Country Club’s daunting 17th – a spectacular par-3 – will doubtless have a role to play in determining the 2013 champion
More money generally – but not always – equates to stronger fields, and this month's event will likely boast arguably the best collection of players in Macau Open history. The biggest news is that four-time major champion Ernie Els has confirmed his place – although his participation will no doubt have been aided by a hefty appearance fee and the role of IMG, his management company, as the tournament's promoter – but we can expect to the cream of Asian golf – the likes of Thongchai Jaidee, reigning champion Gaganjeet Bhullar, China's Liang Wen-chong and possibly runaway Order of Merit leader Kiradech Aphibarnrat – to tee it up at scenic, cliff-top course. One of only six players to have won twice at both the US Open (1994, 1997) and the Open Championship (2002, 2012), Els will be looking to carry his recent good form, which included a win at the BMW International Open, to Macau, a city he has yet to set foot in. A win, however, would put the four-time major champion alongside a notable list of international stars
such as Lee Westwood and Colin Montgomerie who have triumphed in Coloane. "I am excited to be playing Macau," said the 'Big Easy', who has collected 70 professional titles over the span of his 25-year playing career. "I have never been there before but have heard many good things about the tournament as well as the city itself. The Venetian Macao is known for its world-class hospitality and entertainment and I have no doubt it will be a fantastic week on and off the course." And Els will have reason to celebrate regardless of how he performs, as he turns 44 during the tournament. Possessor of the most rhythmical swing in the game, the tall South African didn't rule out a visit to the gaming tables once his work on the course was done. "Time is moving on but I still love the game," said Els. "I'm trying to keep myself in half decent shape. It's exciting times. I believe I can play past 50, competitively. I still very much enjoy trying to improve ... I know the tournament has been going for quite some time and Macau is a happening city. People like to go there for fun and hopefully I can find the right number on the roulette table." One player who absolutely had the right number last year was Gaganjeet Bhullar. The
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The future it seems is bright for the Macau Open, and for those of us who want to see high-quality professional golf, this is great news. young Indian opened up with a sparkling 63 and put on an exhibition of ball-striking and he secured his fourth Asian Tour title with a 16-under-par total. Indeed, the Amritsar-born Bhullar led wire-to-wire and never looked fazed, despite a brilliant final-round charge by American Jonathan Moore who closed with a 65. “I have great memories of my win last year in Macau," said Bhullar, who currently lies in second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit. "I played consistently well throughout the four days and managed to hold off some really big names, which gave me a lot of confidence. I like the course at the Macau Golf & Country Club a lot and have every reason to believe I can repeat what I accomplished last year. I am looking forward to the challenge.” Strong field aside, one other incentive that will be sure to lure plenty of fans from Hong Kong via the CotaiJet to Macau is the tournament's entry price: zero. For the second successive year, organisers have confirmed that spectators will be admitted on to the course for free throughout the course of the four days. HKGOLFER.COM
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ZHANG IN SEARCH OF TITLE NUMBER THREE
The Macau Golf & Country Club will be celebrating its twentieth anniversary later this year.
Two-time champion Zhang Lian-wei will compete at the 2013 Venetian Macau Open alongside Yang Zi-hao, the winner of the 13th Zhang Lian-wei Cup International Junior Invitational, which took place earlier this year. With wins in 2001 and 2002, Zhang has participated at every Macau Open except 2003 when he was injured. The Chinese legend is excited to return once again to the Macau Golf & Country Club, which has been a happy hunting ground for him over the past decade and a half. “Every year I look forward to going to Macau and playing at the Venetian Macau Open. There is something special about the tournament and I always seem to play well there. Since it all began back in 1998, I have only missed the competition once when I was injured. I am really proud to say I have never missed the cut at this tournament, which I consider a highlight of my career. It has been a while since my last win in 2002 and I think I am in the kind of form that can lead me to another title in Macau. “I love this tournament, it is superbly run and with the Venetian now on board as title sponsor, the entertainment and hospitality offerings have gone up another notch, making it a truly world class tournament,” Zhang added. Joining Zhang in Macau this year is teenage sensation, Yang Zi-hao. The 16-yearold was impressive at the Zhang Lian-wei Cup International Junior Invitational, which he won by three shots. The tournament was developed 13 years ago to promote golf in China and to provide a platform for aspiring and talented young players to compete at a high level, and build confidence as they prepare to become professionals and challenge on some of the biggest stages in world golf. The winner of the competition this year receives an invitation to play at the Venetian Macau Open and Yang is keen to make the most out of this unique opportunity. “I am really excited to be playing the Venetian Macau Open this year,” said Yang, who hails from Chengdu. “The amateur circuit is tough but playing professionally is something entirely different. This will be a great learning experience for me and I hope I will play well enough to make the cut so I get to enjoy the experience for four days instead of two! I am also very thankful to Mr Zhang. He is the pioneer of golf in China and because of his achievements over the years, the sport has become more popular, and in turn young players such as myself have many more opportunities to play.” The local challenge will be spearheaded by 25-year-old Xiao Jie-yu, one of the most experienced and consistent amateurs in Macau. Three top juniors – Choi Hou Kuan, Zhang Jun-tao and Tang Chak-hou – will also represent Macau at the tournament.
Victor Fraile / The Power of Sport Images
Zhang Lian-wei, pictured above with talented youngsters Yang Zi-hao and Xiao Jie-yu, has two Macau Open titles to his credit – and has never missed the cut in 13 appearances 50
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AROUND THE HKGA
Hong Kong golf celebrated one of its greatest days last month after the men’s team claimed the silver medal at the National Games – otherwise known as China’s “Olympics” – in Shenyang, writes Alex Jenkins.
Courtesy of the LCSD
Flying the flag (clockwise from above): James Wong, Timothy Tang, Jason Hak and Motin Yeung pose in front of the final leaderboard with their richly deserved trophy; coaches Ducky Tang and Brad Schadewitz celebrate with the team; the women’s team of Tiffany Chan, Mimi Ho, Kitty Tam and Wong Lai on their arrival back in Hong Kong 52
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n a performance that surely ranks alongside that of the victorious side which claimed the inaugural Putra Cup tournament in 1961, Hong Kong – represented by newly-turned professional Jason Hak, James Wong, Timothy Tang and amateur Motin Yeung – put in a brilliant collective performance to finish on 15-under-par, 10 shots behind host province Liaoning which claimed gold. “It’s a bit overwhelming,” said a delighted Brad Schadewitz, the national coach. “The National Games is a huge deal and it’s taken
extremely seriously, so for us to win the silver medal is a fantastic achievement. All the best athletes in China take part … all the guys should be proud of themselves and be proud of doing it for Hong Kong.” After a strong start, Hong Kong made a big move on day three when, with three scores out of four counting, Yeung fired a classy 67 in combination with a 69 from Tang and a 72 from Wong. While Lioaning still maintained a healthy advantage, the performances gave the team a cushion ahead of the highly fancied Guangdong side in third place. Hong Kong’s HKGOLFER.COM
near neighbours, spearheaded by Liang Wenchong and Zhang Lian-wei, China’s top two players over the past 15 years, featured a team bristling with talent and experience. On a windswept final day, Hong Kong again got off to a decent start and at one point closed to within three shots of Liaoning, a side that boasted the at times brilliant Hu Mu. Gold wasn’t to be however. Liaoning and Hu finished in style, while Guangdong ran the SAR all the way before having to settle for bronze. “We didn’t realise they were closing so strongly,” said former Asian Tour player Tang, in reference to the Guangdong team who finished just one stroke behind Hong Kong. “We just played our own game and in the end it’s a great job accomplished.” While Hong Kong were by no means favourites for the National Games, which saw golf included for the very first time thanks to the sport’s re-introduction to the 2016 Olympics, Schadewitz said he was confident of a strong result ahead of the tournament. “I was excited to see James and Tim playing so well before we left for Shenyang. I knew Jason and Motin were coming in with some good performances under their belts, too, so I really HKGOLFER.COM
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The men’s team (above) during practice at the interestingly named yet wonderfully conditioned Shenyang Northern Bear Golf Club 54
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thought we’d have a chance,” said Schadewitz. “We might have surprised a lot of people but we didn’t surprise ourselves.” US-based Yeung, who has represented Hong Kong at amateur level for the past two years and is currently studying at Duke University, finished as the SAR’s leading individual. Rounds of 68, 72, 67 and 72 gave him an impressive total of 279, the third best individual score of the tournament. “It’s funny because Motin didn’t play all that well in the practice round, but we worked on an old habit that had come back into his swing and he performed when it counted. He was excellent,” added Schadewitz. Given the team’s make-up – HKPGA pros Wong and Tang combining with Hak, who only turned pro a month before the event and amateur Yeung – the side were performing together for the first time and didn’t have long to gel. But the chemistry, said Schadewitz, clearly worked. “The guys bonded great. In fact everyone – including the girls’ team and the coaches – all got on really well. We were the only medalists to stay in the athletes’ village, which I think helped. There was a real spirit among all the Hong Kong representatives, and it showed on the golf course.” In the women’s event, Hong Kong – represented by amateurs Tiffany Chan, Kitty
Tam, Mimi Ho and professional Wong Lai – finished in seventh spot. Guangdong, headed by major champion Feng Shanshan, clinched gold with Shanghai second and Beijing third. “The girls, like the guys, got off to a great start, and while they didn’t play as well on the other days, they only finished two shots out of fifth place,” said Schadewitz. “We also had a much younger team than the other sides, so all in all it was still a good effort.” Tom Phillips, the newly-installed chief executive officer of the HKGA, was on hand to meet the returning players at Chek Lap Kok and was generous with his praise. “Congratulations to the team and our coaches, Brad Schadewitz and Ducky Tang, on a tremendous effort,” said Phillips, who joined the HKGA in August after heading Sir Nick Faldo’s industry-leading Faldo Series of youth development programme. “Credit must also go to the sponsors of both the HKGA and the HKPGA, the Home Affairs Bureau, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department as well as the golf clubs of Hong Kong. Without their support over the years a result like this would not have been possible. It’s a great achievement for Hong Kong golf.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 56 HKGOLFER.COM
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Q&A: MOTIN YEUNG Where does the National Games success rank among your list of other golfing achievements? Definitely on top of the list! This is the first time I have played a tournament with professional players – to compete against the likes of Liang Wen-chong and Wu Ashun is very special.
You finished with the third best total of all the players in the field. What was it about your game that was really working for you during the week? I was just hitting the ball really well. I didn’t miss many fairways and I had a lot of greens in regulation. That made the scoring a lot easier!
You know Jason Hak having played with him before, but how did you bond with the two HKPGA pros in the team – Timothy Tang and James Wong? We all became really good friends. They’re both really cool, and they even taught me some Cantonese. I loved hanging out with them.
What does it mean to you to represent Hong Kong? I’m really happy to play for Hong Kong and to play for Brad [Schadewitz, the national coach]. I think we had great team chemistry. Playing for Hong Kong also gives me many opportunities to participate in other international events such as the World Amateur Team Championship, which I played last year.
What were the expectations heading into the week? With Guangdong featuring both Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lian-wei, was beating them a realistic proposition?
What are your immediate goals? Do you have any plans, like Jason, to turn pro?
We didn’t expect much, we just tried to play our best. Liang Wen-chong and Zhang Lian-wei definitely made up a good team, but we thought if we could play well, beating Guangdong wouldn’t be impossible.
To keep up with school work and play golf tournaments is very, very tough! So my first goal is to be able to succeed in school and finish all four years. Hopefully after college I will be able to play professionally.
NATIONAL GAMES – FINAL RESULTS
Courtesy of Duke Photography
Motin Yeung (above), the only amateur in the Hong Kong men’s team, was excellent, finishing with the third best individual score of the entire field, which comprised mostly professionals 56
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HKGA | LADIES OPEN
Thai Trio Take
Chayanid Prapassarangkul shows her class to lead a strong Thai display at the Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur Championship. Photography by Daniel Wong
hailand’s Chayanid Prapassarangkul cruised to a five-shot victory at the rain-shortened Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur Championship, which was completed at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club in early September. With adverse weather conditions hampering play over the first two days, the field returned early on the final day to complete the opening round – and it was 17-year-old Prapassarangkul who fared best, carding six birdies to cap a brilliant 68 and take a healthy six-stroke advantage into the final nine of the curtailed tournament. A solid one-over score of 37 in the afternoon enabled her to finish comfortably ahead of compatriots Ornnicha Konsunthea and Sherman Sanjiwiwatthanpong, who tied for second place. With the in-form pair of Mimi Ho and Kitty Tam representing Hong Kong at the National Games in Shenyang and therefore unable to compete on home turf, the 58
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Chayanid romped to a five-stroke victory at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club SAR’s best hopes lay with Tiana Gwenn Lau, who had enjoyed a successful summer competing in the United States. The 16-year-old didn’t get off to the best of starts in the rain but a fine final nine-hole score of 36 enabled her to climb the leaderboard and finish in a share of fifth overall. Sisters Estee Vivian and Emily Vickie Leung claimed a share of seventh, a further five shots back. In the Mid Amateur division, denoting competitors aged 25 and over, Hong Kong’s Alice Karr put in a solid effort to hold off Felicia Louey and claim the title by two shots. Jane Lo finished in third place. HKGOLFER.COM
Tiana Lau bounced back to be Hong Kong’s best finisher
Hong Kong’ Alice Karr claimed the Mid-Amateur Division I title
Thailand’s Sherman in action
Estee Vivian Leung earned a share of seventh alongside her sister Emily Vickie
Ladies Open – Overall Results 1 2= 4 5= 7= 9=
Chayanid Prapassarangkul Ornnicha Konsunthea Sherman Sanjiwiwatthanpong Parinda Phokan Tiana Lau Pauline Del Rosario Estee Vivian Leung Emily Vickie Leung Queenie Lai Michelle Ho
THA THA THA THA HKG PHL HKG HKG HKG HKG
Runner-up Ornnicha of Thailand fired the lowest nine-hole score of the final afternoon
Ladies Open – Mid Amateur Results 68 37 77 33 74 36 73 39 78 36 74 40 81 38 79 40 82 39 81 40
105 110 110 112 114 114 119 119 121 121
1 2 3 4 5= 7= 9 10
Alice Karr Felicia Louey Jane Lo Helen Cheung Sunny Kang Cheung Ping Emma Pike Anna Ingrid Leven Franziska Hu Pia Fung
HKG HKG HKG HKG HKG HKG HKG HKG HKG HKG
83 42 85 42 88 42 93 41 95 44 88 51 98 43 95 46 99 44 98 47
125 127 130 134 139 139 141 141 143 145
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Six years ago, Tiana Lau made headlines around the region for a quite amazing feat: the then 10 yearold made two holes-in-one during a practice round over the Executive Nine at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. While luck plays its part in the making of any ace, to get two in the space of six holes as Tiana is bordering on the miraculous. Now 16, Hong Kong international Tiana is back in the news for a quite brilliant summer in which she excelled at tournaments in the United States. In early July, she captured the girls’ title at the San Diego County Junior Golf Association’s Tour Championship at Temecula Creek by two shots before winning again just three weeks later at the Premier Junior Tour’s Orange Lake Resort Junior Open in Florida thanks to successive rounds of 68. In between these two events, Tiana participated at the prestigious Callaway Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines in California where she finished in a creditable share of 48th in the girls’ 15-17 age division. Before returning to Hong Kong, Tiana capped a memorable month by posting four solid rounds to finish in third spot at the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship at PGA National. “Tiana has enjoyed a great summer and has really improved in all aspects of her game,” said national coach Brad Schadewitz. To underscore that statement, Tiana finished as the top Hong Kong player at last month’s Ladies Open Amateur Championship.
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WOMEN’S GOLF | LYDIA KO
At the age of just 16, amateur Lydia Ko has taken women’s professional golf by storm. James Henderson talks to her coach Guy Wilson about the secrets to her success.
f prodigious talents are in fact born and not made, then the golfing gods looked down with an even greater smile than the young girl staring back. It was a chance meeting that introduced a five-year-old Lydia Ko to golf 11 years ago, but now she sits atop of the amateur world rankings, dominating a game she once knew nothing about. Lighting up the sport with her infectious smile and enviable talent, the 16-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander still retains the childlike laissez-faire attitude that has contributed heavily to her global appeal. "For Lydia, it is just a matter of hitting balls," insists Guy Wilson, Ko's coach since the age of five, and a driving force behind her success. Flicking the golfing switch in Ko was her aunt, Insook Hyon, who handed the wide-eyed youngster a putter and a 7-iron. The rest as they say, is sweet golfing history. The bespectacled teenager, as many forget she still is, has earned praise from figures such as Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie, and through her performances ensured the words of acclaim didn't fall on deaf ears. Scoring professional wins at the Canadian Women's Open, NSW Open and the New Zealand Women's Open ensured Ko broke a host of records for youngest winner in the sport, along with her US Women's Amateur victory a year ago.
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But is holding the mantle of the most talented teen in golf a burden too heavy to carry for such young shoulders? "Lydia is not at the point of putting bread on the table, she is just trying to learn and play her game," says Wilson, director of instruction for the Institute of Golf in New Zealand. "It will change when she turns professional when money becomes an issue but at present she is just enjoying the freedom and keeping her focus on the golf." Wilson, based on Auckland’s North Shore, carries the weight of nurturing the most exciting talent in the game. Words of praise are often transparent, entirely groundless on many occasions, but with Ko, actions always speak louder. If players such as Little Lydia, as she's affectionately known back home, come along once in a generation, then mentors such as Wilson are of equal standing within the game. Wilson's holistic approach to tutoring, combined with a detailed development strategy, has transformed a young pretender into a genuine contender. But when catching Wilson out on the course and quizzing his methods, his secret is simple. "Lydia has no added distractions," says Wilson, in charge of Ko's off the course affairs. "I cannot control a ball as good as she can so the relationship works well – it is as simple as that. "The role of being a coach has evolved over the years, enabling Lydia to concentrate purely on the golf." To be world number one, it is essential to have all distractions removed. But given Ko's tender age, how far can a coach justify pushing someone so young? "It is all that Lydia has ever done," insists Wilson, who claims practicing up to eight hours a day is part of Ko's routine. "We practice everyday, whether that is for an hour or an entire day, it depends how her game is."
Ko's dearth of physical strength seemingly has little bearing on the end product however, with the strongest part of her game coming off the tee. HKGOLFER.COM
Double winner: Lydia Ko with the Women's Canadian Open trophy after claiming the title for the second successive year
LYDIA KO PROFILE Date of birth: 24 April 1997 Place of birth: Seoul, South Korea Turned pro: 2006 Amateur wins: 2011 – Australian Women’s Amateur Strokeplay, New Zealand Women’s Amateur Strokeplay, New Zealand Amateur Matchplay; 2012 – Australian Women’s Amateur, US Women’s Amateur, World Women’s Amateur (top individual) Professional wins: 4 – including the Canadian Women’s Open (2012 and 2013) Major record: 2nd at the Evian Championship (2013) World ranking: 1 (Amateur), 5 (Professional)
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Because of her age and skill level, tournament organisers see her as much as a draw card as a top 10 player ... people can relate to an amateur more than they can than a professional.
Clockwise from above: Ko has been working hard in the gym to try and gain those needed extra yards off the tee; Ko's LPGA professional counterparts give her a soaking after winning in Canada; with champion Stacy Lewis at the Women's British Open after finishing as the top amateur 64
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Adopting the quality over quantity approach, Wilson can either spend five minutes with Ko, checking her swing is in order, or maybe six hours on the course working on her short game. "We communicate every day," he says. "Technique can change quickly so we have to keep an eye on it and stay on the ball.” Ko's impact on the shores of New Zealand is already highly significant, with the teenager no longer known purely in the golfing world. But Ko puts in the hours, and is getting the rewards. Most golfers do not take up the game until their teenage years and even then they cannot commit to something so monotonous. Growing up in Ko's world however, it was all she knew. Yet while she is reaping the rewards from an early start in the game, approaching the unpredictable later teenage years is an issue closely monitored by Wilson and his team. "The strength thing is an issue but that will come in time," says Wilson in reference to Ko’s relative lack of distance. As a result he has assigned Ko to leading high performance golf conditioning coach Jay Harrison. Tasked with implementing strength work into Ko's training, Harrison's role of turning growing
pains into physical gains is a method Wilson claims is going to plan. "Lydia's physical development program is going well," he says. "But it is very difficult to be able to strengthen the body safely when it is still growing." Ko's dearth of physical strength seemingly has little bearing on the end product however, with the strongest part of her game coming off the tee. "Lydia’s main strength is in her driving and ball flight control for sure," says Wilson, speaking after Ko fired a seven-under 65 in the first round of the Women’s British Open at St Andrews, the Home of Golf. "She will very rarely miss the fairway and if she does, she will not be far from it. "Her accuracy is as good as any on the Tour but the key for us is to establish the length from the green and what is required from the distance to the hole." Getting to the green is one thing for Ko, but finishing the job is a different matter entirely. "Lydia needs to keep working on her putting," Wilson says. "When you get to the elite level putting is crucial.” Indeed, it was a series of missed short putts during the final round of last month’s Evian Championship in France that denied the Kiwi a maiden major title. In the end Ko finished two shots behind the winner, Norway’s Suzann Pettersen. Ko underwent an intensive six-week training program last year with many major changes to HKGOLFER.COM
her game; a move Wilson believes has ensured progress from tee to green. "We primarily altered her swing and grip positions to allow her to be safer to injury given the amount of golf she plays," he says. "The body is placed in dangerous positions on a daily basis so it is a matter of longevity and ensuring she is protected. "If she continued in her old style, she would suffer serious injuries five years down the line so they needed to be made." Five years down the little is an exciting place to picture Ko, who continues to face questions regarding when she will ditch the amateur scene and turn professional. "More of the same," insists Wilson, happy to keep a lid on any brimming speculation regarding Ko's future plans. "The main goal is to commit to the professional events that I doubt no one has been offered before as an amateur. "Because of her age and skill level, tournament organisers see her as much as a draw card as a top 10 player ... people can relate to an amateur more than they can than a professional.â€? After all, a smile says a thousand words. HKGOLFER.COM
HK GOLFERăƒťOCT 2013
Manners Having witnessed the ill-tempered events at August’s Solheim Cup at first hand, Lewine Mair takes a look at the declining standards of etiquette in the professional and amateur codes.
Lexi Thompson felt that their opponents, Carlotta Ciganda and Suzann Pettersen, had been given a wrong ruling. And one which had worked ridiculously in their favour by the time it had been sorted out. To recap, after Ciganda had hit into a lateral water hazard to the right of the 15th, the referee spent the next 20 minutes wondering where the Spaniard should take her drop. As he pondered, so he looking more and more like a shocked Jean Van de Velde standing in the waters of the Barry Burn at the 1999 Open Championship. Since the boundary of the hazard was distinctly squiggly and the poor fellow simply could not ascertain where the ball had crossed the water, he eventually called for a second opinion. Sad to say that when it came, it was wrong. The moment Ciganda had holed a long putt to walk from the green with an improbable half,
ou can rest assured that Fred Couples and Nick Price will have been warning their players to mind their on-course manners ahead of this month’s Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village. Andy McFee, a senior referee on European Tour, thought that team captains everywhere would be hot on that particular topic following events in the recent Solheim Cup at the Colorado Golf Club. Not too many would have thought that the female of the golfing species would be in trouble for their conduct. Yet that Colorado week resulted in one top US official being moved to proclaim, “I used to think that the women’s etiquette was better than the men’s, but not anymore.” In truth, there was a mildly hostile feel to the match from the moment that Stacy Lewis and
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
Uncool in KL: Tiger Woods shows his frustration during the final round of last year's CIMB Classic
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
The Solheim Cup resulted in one top US official being moved to proclaim, “I used to think that the women’s etiquette was better than the men’s, but not anymore.”
Dottie Pepper (above) in a heated discussion with a referee at this year's Solheim Cup, which the United States lost; the experienced rules official John Paramor (opposite) feels the etiquette section in the rule book had made too silent an entry when it was introduced in 2008 68
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Lewis and Dottie Pepper, one of the US captain’s assistants, had rounded on the original referee in the full glare of the TV cameras. “It would be better if this was happening in private,” suggested a somewhat uncomfortable commentator. “Not for us it wouldn’t,” roared his colleague, who clearly felt that this on-screen aggravation made for great television. On another occasion, Paula Creamer was patently in a fury when the Europeans gave her a putt as she was about to take the putter back. (One of the Europeans’ caddies had said ‘That’s good’ when he realised that she was only tackling the putt with a view to helping her partner with the line of her birdie attempt.) Creamer’s anger was understandable in that a caddie is not entitled to give a putt, but she would have done better not to be heard shouting on TV. By the same token, it was probably not the best that Charley Hull and Jodi Ewart-Shadoff, the
opponents, were to be seen giggling nervously. Moving on, there was another farce at the 15 – another long wait and all-round irritation – when a second player was inconsiderate enough to hit into the aforementioned ill-defined water-hazard. Paul McGinley, next year’s European Ryder Cup captain, felt a certain sympathy for the Solheim Cup girls in those instances where the rulings had gone awry. However, where Lewis had complained that the elongated goings-on in her match had cost the Americans their building momentum and probably a couple of points, McGinley suspected that the player had hardly helped herself. He cited a salutary lesson he had learned at the start of his college days at San Diego University – the story of how he had rounded on a playing companion from UCLA who had buried his putter in the side of the fourth green. McGinley lost his own concentration in the process and, when he got back to base, he had a telling-off from his coach. The latter told him that the miscreant ways of his playing companion were nothing to do with him, and that he should have remained focused on his own game before reporting the incident at the end. HKGOLFER.COM
McGinley’s main grouse with the Solheim girls concerned the lack of etiquette being shown to the Europeans by those Americans who walked from the greens the moment their own putting was done. What made him doubly aware of the goings-on was that he had shortly before been talking to Tom Watson about the spirit in which the 2014 Ryder Cup should be played. Both had been adamant that the match should retain its edge but never at the expense of good manners and integrity. “The Americans even went on walking off the greens in the singles after they had been lambasted for it over first couple of days,” said the Irishman. “I’d be very disappointed,” he continued, “if any of my team were to behave like that. It’s totally out of order and it’s also counterproductive. You don’t want to give your opponent that kind of ammunition.” Putting practices, for what it is worth, are covered under ‘Etiquette’ in Section 1 of the Rules of Golf under the heading, “On the Putting Green”. Here it states, “On the putting green, players should remain on or close to the putting green until all other players in the group have holed out.” Penalties can be applied where a player “consistently disregards these guidelines”. News travels fast in the refereeing community and John Paramor, one of the world’s most senior referees, was as well-versed as anyone with what had happened at the Solheim when he turned up for the Omega European Masters in Switzerland last month. He had heard so many versions of the rulings at the 15th that he did not want to comment further until he had a clearer picture in his head. Yet when it came to the ‘walking off the greens’ issue, he said that this was not exactly new: he himself had been aware of it in a Ryder Cup context. “Things are starting to get a bit feisty in all these matches and etiquette can suffer – and it's suffering in regular events as well,” he said. Paramor clearly felt that the etiquette section in the book of rules had made too silent an entry when it was added to the publication in 2008. “I wonder what’s happened with it?” he queried. His feeling is that the individual nature of golf, coupled with the vast money at stake, has resulted in the players becoming more and more concerned with what is going on in their little world – and altogether less interested in what is happening to their playing companions. They just don’t want to take on that kind of responsibility. “The whole idea of a player serving as a marker for another is no longer what it was,” said the official, who admitted that there are plenty of professionals who cannot be relied upon to mark down their companion’s score at the end of every hole. HKGOLFER.COM
Going on from there, he agrees with Thomas Bjorn’s assertion that it is not enough for a player to half-know the rules as applied in the case of Stacy Lewis. “You have to know them back to front if you are going to take on a referee,” said Bjorn. The Ryder Cup Dane added, quite freely, that there are players on the European Tour who “don’t know the first thing about the rules and it’s embarrassing. When some of them don’t understand the different regulations between red stakes and yellow ones, you’ve got a problem.” When it was put to Paramor that the decline in standards was probably more noticeable in the West than the East, he was not so sure. It was Paramor who had taken a bit of stick for giving the then 14-year-old amateur Guan Tianlang of China a one-shot penalty for slow play at this year’s Masters. Paramor stopped short of saying that the player had been discourteous and opted instead for the line, “Let’s say he was less than happy.” Others who were on the spot made no secret of the fact that they were taken aback at the sight of a child who was clearly in no mood to be told what to do by anyone, and that he was unutterably slow from the point of view of his playing partners. Guan’s approach will no doubt be copied by the next child which, of course, is the thing with bad manners: they tend to be catching.
Paramor’s feeling is that the individual nature of golf, coupled with the vast money at stake, has resulted in the players becoming more and more concerned with what is going on in their little world – and altogether less interested in what is happening to their playing companions. HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
EQUIPMENT | NEW GEAR
Charlie Schroeder takes a look at the latest new gear to have hit the shelves.
Get Into the Grove Two new mallet-style flatsticks claim to help golfers control their putts’ distance. PING’s Nome TR (from HK$2,800) boasts something last year’s iteration didn’t have: grooves of variable depth that have been milled onto the face. PING says by having deeper grooves in the middle of the face and thinner ones on the perimeter, golfers can better control their ball speed on off-center strikes, thus making miss-hits travel farther. Another new offering comes from Scotty Cameron and Titleist. Called the FuturaX (HK$3,900) and used by Adam Scott to win this year’s Masters, this space-age putter features two large weight ports on the end of a large reverse “C” bar. This weighting scheme moves the centre of gravity farther from the face and produces a higher sweet spot and a larger MOI for more consistent ball speeds across the face – just the thing that will help golfers control their putts’ speed. Cameron calls it a “lethargic putter, for those golfers that need a slow, steady stroke”. The Nome has a bold alignment bar and can be adjusted from 32 to 38 inches, while the FuturaX features a Frozen Titanium finish that helps reduce glare, two black sightlines and red cherry-dot weights in the sole and balance bar. For more information visit ping.com and titleist.com. 70
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Taking a Load Off Pushing a trolley on Hong Kong’s mountainous golf courses can be a bit challenging especially when it’s parked on the side of a hill. Sun Mountain, who have been making collapsible push carts since 1999, have addressed that issue with their latest offering, the Micro Cart Sport (price available on request). This lightweight, four-wheeled caddie has a low centre of gravity so it stays upright even when parked precariously on side slopes. Another advantage to using it here is its diminutive size and weight. Its frame is built from a lightweight anodized aluminum so it weighs a scant 13 pounds and, when collapsed, measures just 52 cubic inches, making it fold 25 per cent smaller and weigh 20 per cent less than its competitors. Comes with a padded valuables tray, magnetic scorecard holder, ball and tee holders and drink holder. Visit Sun Mountain’s authorized Hong Kong distributor, Golf Corner in Causeway Bay, to place orders. golfcornerhk.com
Designed for Speed Lighter and more adjustable than any of the company’s previous titanium drivers, Callaway’s two new FT Optiforce drivers (HK$3,800) were built with one thing in mind: distance. These light and long clubs (measuring a stout 46 inches) produce fast clubhead speeds and, Callaway claims, longer drives. Another way Callaway generates speed is with an aerodynamic clubhead that generates 23 per cent less drag and a light shaft. The primary stock shaft is a 43-gram Project X Velocity, the lightest shaft Callaway has ever included in a standard driver offering. The secondary stock shaft is a 62-gram Mitsubishi Diamana S+. Both drivers weigh less than 300 grams. What’s more golfers can adjust both drivers’ lofts by four degrees. The 440cc, which was designed for better players is set at 9.5°, but can range from 8.5°-11.5° and the 10.5° 460cc game improvement version has lofts as low as 9.5° and as high as 12.5°. Slice the ball? No worries. Players can also adjust the clubs so they have draw bias. Look for a dual cog that can change the club’s lie angle. Fairway woods available too. callawaygolf.com
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MWT Made Easy Let’s face it, movable weight technology – MWT in golf geek speak – hasn’t always been the easiest concept to grasp. The very thought of putting more weight in the heel to draw the ball (and vice-versa) contradicts all logic (at least to people who weren’t physics majors). Fortunately golf’s movable weight pioneers, TaylorMade, have introduced a new club that simplifies the process. (Okay, so Mizuno unveiled a similar technology six years ago in their MP-600, but never mind). Their new SLDR driver (HK$3,095) features a track on the sole that extends from the toe to the heel with the words “FADE” on the toe and “DRAW” on the heel, so you know exactly what you’re doing. Within that track is a 20-gram weight that you can position in 21 different notches. TaylorMade engineers say adjusting it allows you to shift the centre of gravity further and influence shot shape by more than 50 per cent. Comes in TP and ladies’ versions as well. taylormadegolf.com
Black is Back Japanese manufacturer Miura has released a very limited set of Black Boron irons (HK$28,000 per set, 4-PW). How limited? Only 10 sets are made every other month. To date, the company has released versions of their CB-501 and Passing Point 9003 irons in the new finish and both sold out quickly. These beauties are perfect for golfers who like a really black clubhead, as the boron penetrates deeply into the finish. For those who like a more silvery-grey patina, try the company’s Limited Forged Black Blades and Black Wedges. For more information on availability visit miuragolf.com or call the brand’s official Hong Kong distributors, Golf Partners, in Central, on 3110-3328.
Something for Christmas Increasing numbers of Hongkongers gain entry to public transport with the aid of a nifty Octopus watch and with the recent introduction of Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear watch, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that engineers can cram a lot of data into a tiny space. Consider then the sporty new offering from SkyCaddie, the rangefinder experts, who have released their SkyCaddie Watch (HK$2,288) in Hong Kong. Preloaded with up to 30,000 course maps, this is considered the most accurate GPS unit on the market, and gives you easy-to-read distances to the front, centre and back of each and every green. What’s more, the manly, waterproof watch even boasts and odometer so you can tally the number of steps you take on or off the course. To order online visit hkgolfer.com or write to skycaddie@ hkgolfer.com. 72
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Lift Your Sole Over the past few years golf shoes have gotten lighter, more comfortable and sportier looking. So sporty in fact that it’s getting harder to tell the difference between a pair of golf shoes and street shoes. FootJoy’s new M:PROJECT (from HK$1,400) is the latest such offering in this hybrid footwear category. These shoes, made with a thin, yet durable leather from Pittards of England, are so low to the ground it often feels like you’re not wearing shoes at all. The objective, as Titleist Performance Institute’s Dr. Greg Rose says, is to increase movement, which can benefit some golfers. While some golf shoes may be too rigid, the M:PROJECT allows golfers to “actually sense things that they couldn’t sense before.” Rose goes on to say that creating more mobility “actually teaches you how to create more power.” Available in multiple colour combinations and in softspike and spikeless versions. footjoy.com ￼
Small but Shapely
Adams Golf’s Idea SUPER 9031 hybrid (approximately HK$1,550) features a tiny 80cc clubhead with Velocity Slot Technology in the crown and another slot on the sole. Both features help enhance ball speed. Conceived for low-to-mid handicappers, this utility club also has a thin maraging-steel clubface that produces a spring-like effect. That, combined with the smaller head shape, means better players can not only expect to hit longer shots, but shape them with ease. Comes in four different lofts (16°, 18°, 20°, 23°) and three different (Mitsubishi Diamana D+) shaft flexes. adamsgolf.com
Grip and Spin What do Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter and Lexi Thompson have in common? They’re all on Cobra’s Tour staff, which means they wear bright, colourful outfits of dubious style and offer advice on new club design. Their latest release? The company’s new Tour Trusty Wedge (around HK$920). Constructed with a straighter leading edge and non-offset hosel, the Tour Trusty has, not surprisingly, been built with a shape better players prefer. What makes it really perform well around the greens, however, are larger and wider milled grooves (for more spin) and a Variable Feed Rate milling that roughens the rest of the face rough for better grip. Made from 8620 carbon steel and available in two finishes, Tour Matte Satin and Tour Matte Black PVD. Comes in 11 different loft/bounce combinations. cobragolf.com HKGOLFER.COM
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
INTERVIEW | GOLF1MILLION
Amateur Golf ’s Richest Prize
Golf1million offers the recreational golfer the opportunity to compete for the same kind of rewards under the same kind of pressure that the PGA Tour pros do week in week out. HK Golfer talks to its founder, Irishman Ian Whitty, who describes his venture as “Amateur Golf ’s First Major”. Ian, please explain, what is Golf1million?
How do you enter Golf1million?
Golf1million is both a golf apparel brand and golf event. Golf1million was created to give the average club golfer the chance to experience what Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy would experience when playing in the Masters or The Open Championship. We all dream about playing the final hole at the Masters or standing over a six-foot putt to win the Open, but we could never have this experience until now. Golf1million will recreate this experience for all the golfers that are lucky enough to be drawn to take part in the event. Over four days the golfers will get a chance to be part of the most amazing golf event and test their skills to the limit under extreme pressure while being watched by the TV cameras and thousands of golf fans.
It’s very simple. You buy a Golf1million golf shirt online at golf1million.com or at one of a large number of golf events and exhibitions we’ll be attending around the world between 1 November and the middle of 2015. When you get your shirt you will also receive a membership card with a unique number and code, which you use to register your details online. Everyone that buys a golf shirt is a winner, as they are getting a high-quality limited-edition shirt and a chance to be one of the lucky 50 golfers to get drawn and participate in the greatest amateur golf event in the world.
Sounds exciting, how did you come up with the idea?
David Cannon / Getty Images (Emirates GC)
I worked as a golf tour operator specialising in bringing overseas golfers into Ireland. Then, in 2010, I became the director of the Amateur World Cup of Golf events, offering average amateur golfers the chance to take part in great tournaments whereby they get a chance to play some of the best golf courses in Ireland and also enjoy a holiday of a lifetime. This sparked the idea of the ultimate golf event that every amateur golfer in the world would love to take part in and experience. We all dream of such an event and hopefully Golf1million will fulfil every golfers dream. 74
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How do your shirts compare to the many other golf shirts currently for sale? The idea of the shirt is to create a high quality golf shirt that looks and feels the same as the shirts that a lot of the top pros currently wear. We will only make one million of these shirts and when they’re gone, they’re gone. The only way that you can get a chance to take part in this event is by purchasing one from our apparel range. When will the draw take place? The draw will take place in July 2015 and the event itself will then take place in October 2015, so the lucky 50 golfers will have time to get loads of coaching and practice. All travel arrangements will be taken care of by us. HKGOLFER.COM
Over four days the golfers will get a chance to be part of the most amazing golf event and test their skills to the limit under extreme pressure while being watched by the TV cameras and thousands of golf fans. What will the Golf1million experience be like? All the golfers will get the full VIP treatment for the week: TV interviews, chauffeur transfers, coaching, top-class hotel rooms, an amazing welcome party and prize presentation dinner. Each player will get to bring one other person for this once in a lifetime experience. So the big question: what does the winner get? The sports world’s most valuable trophy; it is worth US$1 million. This is a winner-takes-all event. Won’t the golfer who wins lose their amateur status upon accepting the trophy? Under the R&A’s Rules of golf, an amateur may accept a symbolic prize of any value (Rule 3-2a). What is meant by a symbolic prize? Well, this is a trophy made of gold, silver, ceramic or glass etc that is permanently and distinctively engraved. The USGA’s Rule on the subject is very similar. For instance, if you manage to win The Open Championship as an amateur – which Bobby HKGOLFER.COM
Jones did in 1926 – that replica Claret Jug is all yours. So whoever wins the first Golf1million Series event will get to keep the trophy. Where will the event take place? We have yet to confirm the host location but trust me, it will be somewhere amazing. Currently we are looking at Las Vegas, China, the Middle East or possibly Vietnam to host this event. All will be revealed very soon. What is the format of the event itself? As we want this to be a true test of golf we have decided to begin with two rounds of stroke play. After two rounds the top eight players go through to a shoot-out match-play format. On day three they will play the quarter-final and semi-finals, and day four we will have the final two play for the title and trophy under the watchful gaze of TV viewers from around the world. It’s going to be very special week. For more information about Golf1million visit golf1million.com
Could the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai (above) be the venue for Golf1million's innovative event? Founder Ian Whitty (opposite) is looking at potential host courses in the Middle East, China, Las Vegas and Vietnam. HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
PGA TOUR | FEDEX CUP PLAYOFFS
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
Swede It Is
Paul Prendergast recounts Henrik Stenson’s amazing comeback that took him from outside the world’s top 200 to FedEx Cup Playoffs success – and a cool US$10 million.
Comeback king: Just two years ago, Henrik Stenson was ranked outside the world’s top 200. With his FedEx Cup success, he’s now number four HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
For Stenson, his massive earnings might feel like redemption. He reportedly lost US$8 million in one of Texan crook Allen Stanford’s investment schemes.
Jordan Spieth (above) enjoyed an incredible rookie season and will represent the United States at this month’s Presidents Cup; Tiger Woods (opposite) wasn’t at his best at East Lake, struggling until the final day to finish the Playoffs in second place behind Stenson 78
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he planet’s hottest male golfer, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, held off mounting exhaustion and all comers to capture the PGA Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship by three shots at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, putting the icing on the cake of an incredible three-month form streak that had its origins in Germany way back in June. A tie for 10th at the BMW International Open in Munich opened the floodgates to an amazing run: tied third at the Scottish Open, second at the Open Championship, tied for second at the Bridgestone Invitational, third at the US PGA and then two FedEx Cup Playoff Series wins, culminating with last month’s Atlanta victory. This incredible stretch allowed the 37-year old
to catch and pass Tiger Woods to bag the seasonlong FedEx Cup and the staggering US$10 million top prize from the bonus pool. Stenson said it was the trophies – and not vast amounts of cash – that he was interested in, but for Stenson the earnings might feel like redemption. He reportedly lost US$8 million in one of Texan crook Allen Stanford’s investment schemes. Stenson, who at one point in the tournament held a nine-shot lead, took a four-stroke advantage into the final round only to see that whittled down at one point to just one as the mightily impressive 20-year old Jordan Spieth made a charge on the final day. However, a settling birdie at the 15th and a late Spieth bogey secured the title at his first attempt and the likeable Swede, who had fallen to outside the world’s top 200 just two years ago, was able to complete one of the great modernday comebacks. "This is going to sink in over the coming days," Stenson said while holding both trophies after posting a 13-under total of 267. "What better way to go into a month-long break than this?" HKGOLFER.COM
The victory caps not only a remarkable few months for Stenson but consolidates his return to the upper tier of the world’s elite, after only returning to the top 100 at the end of 2012 when he won the South African Open. Rookie sensation Spieth – who was ranked 810th after missing the cut in his first event of 2013, but has now jumped to 21st – closed with an eight-birdie 64 despite stumbling towards the end of the round and finished in a tie for second with the PGA Tour’s most fashionable parttimer, Steve Stricker, at 10-under. Webb Simpson carded the round of the day with a 63 to locked up fourth place at nine under, a stroke clear of Dustin Johnson. Having been pushed back to second in the FedEx Cup standings by Stenson’s brilliance heading into the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods couldn’t get anything going before closing with a three-under 67 to finish a distant tie for 22nd. The final round would boil down to Stenson and his ability to hold his form and his nerve, with the prospect of an incredible pot of gold at the end of the rainbow looming over him. "That was the hard bit – to put everything aside, as always, and focus on the right things,” said Stenson, who earned US$1.44 million for the win. “I didn't play my best round today, but I was hanging in there, took the right decisions." Stenson’s meteoric rise boils down to the culmination of a lot of hard work on both the physical and mental sides of his game with coach Pete Cowen and sports psychologist Torsten Hansson, after falling from a career-high ranking of fourth following his win at the Players Championship in 2009. Mental lapses and a hot temper had gotten the better of Stenson in recent years – the most graphic example of affliction might have been the cut hand incurred from a snapped shaft during the 2011 US. Open at Congressional, as he and former caddie Fanny Sunneson performed running repairs on a wound oozing blood late in the final round. The fire within was evident as recently as the BMW Championship at Conway Farms, where he slammed his driver into the ground after finding a hazard off the tee on the 72nd hole. The ground won, as it often does, and his caddie didn’t even flinch as his boss retrieved the strewn pieces of the offending weapon before doublebogeying the hole. He then proceeded to take out his continuing frustration on his unfortunate locker, for which he later apologised. He blamed the most recent signs of anguish in part on growing fatigue levels, something the supremely athletic Stenson was not alone in vocalising as an unrelenting schedule throughout the summer months took an increasing toll. HKGOLFER.COM
Stenson’s meteoric rise boils down to the culmination of a lot of hard work on both the physical and mental sides of his game with coach Pete Cowen and sports psychologist Torsten Hansson. However, the physical improvements in his game have been evident all year long and a range of statistical data backs them up. “If you look at Henrik’s stats, he just doesn’t have a weakness,” Cowen said. “He’s now got a lot more control over what he’s doing and his confidence is sky high.” In Atlanta, Stenson ranked first in greens in regulation, third in driving accuracy but most importantly, third in strokes gained on the greens. His dominance over the second half of the season is of no surprise when you examine an array of season stats that are the envy of most – seventh in fairways hit, third in total driving, first in greens in regulation, first in ball striking and fourth in scoring. Cowen added: “If Henrik gets a sniff of winning a tournament then he’ll most likely win it. He could have won two Majors already this year but was only beaten by two players who had better final days. “Now he’s back at the top, he’s confident and HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
able to handle all the pressure there is.” Through his ball striking and snowballing confidence, the Swede was able to put himself in position more often than most to take advantage of hot putting weeks and his timing has been impeccable, particularly during the Playoff Series where wins are worth significantly more than in the regular season. “It's just been a great summer," said Stenson, "way beyond what I could imagine. The way that I performed here since mid-July has been incredible." Apart from a well-deserved break from the game, a maiden Major Championship for himself
and for Sweden has to be on the agenda for the resurgent Swede, now once again ranked fourth in the world. Barring injury, the number one ranking may also be a part of his destiny before The Masters rolls around in April next year. Stenson plans on playing all European Tour Finals Series events leading up to the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai where a continuation of his form could see him close the gap on Woods, the current numero uno. Watching him try – while also keeping an eye on how young Spieth continues – will be worth waiting for.
FedEx Cup Playoffs Points and Payout SWE
2 Tiger Woods
3 Steve Stricker
4 Adam Scott
5 Zach Johnson
6 Matt Kuchar
7 Jordan Spieth
8 Graham DeLaet
9 Phil Mickelson
10 Justin Rose
Steve Stricker (above) has played only a parttime schedule on the PGA Tour this year, but that hasn’t stopped the 46-year-old from enjoying a solid season, notching numerous high finishes to place third in the FedEx Cup Cup Playoffs
1 Henrik Stenson
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
GOLF ATRAVEL Player’s Guide
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
Craig Morrison visits magical Dornoch, home to a handful of the finest courses in the British Isles and a selection of memorable accommodations.
Picture perfect: the seaside links at Royal Dornoch, one of the most highly rated courses in the world, doesnâ€™t need to host an Open Championship to enhance its already glorious reputation HKGOLFER.COM
HK GOLFERăƒťOCT 2013
G Clockwise from above: the Carnegie Links at Skibo Castle is a sensational links kept in sensational condition; the boutique Links House at Royal Dornoch has its own putting green on its doorstep; Alan Grant, the larger than life host at The Carnegie Club 84
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olfers make for Dornoch, in Northeast Scotland, for its championship course, its quite extreme isolation and no small amount of romance. The game’s been played here for 400 years and Royal Dornoch Golf Club has formally existed since 1887. Today it is a quite exquisite links, a fabulous test, natural and flowing, each and every hole just right, the order ideal, the location idyllic, the effect on the golfer spellbinding. Despite its age the course is as relevant now as ever, increasingly relevant if the consistently improving rankings in countless golf magazine lists are considered. With a few more yards, a few large hotels and a better road network (none of which anyone should wish on this place) Dornoch would probably host very significant golf events. But it’s better by far the way it is. Although off the beaten track, far into the Highlands, four hours north from Edinburgh, one hour north from Inverness, golf pilgrims make their way here. Perhaps they’ve picked up one of many travelogue books where an overseas visitor (likely American) comes to Scotland and has an epiphany on a Scottish seaside golf course
(mostly Dornoch). Or maybe they’ve heard the reaction of famous golfers or architects, from Tom Watson and Greg Norman to Pete Dye and Gil Hanse, who have made the trip and invariably expressed shock and awe. These in-the-know global golf visitors come and stay in attractive local hotels or bed and breakfasts or else the super-wealthy might become members of The Carnegie Club at nearby Skibo Castle, historic home to the world’s then richest man, Andrew Carnegie. He retired here, relaxing in his personal library distributing his monies across the planet to build public libraries. In spare moments he learned the game of golf, something he came to late in life but which he decided was an “indispensable adjunct of high civilisation”. Carnegie built his own course at Skibo Castle too which, over the years, has become a fabulous course in its own right, a true links wending its way round lochs and sea lochs, endlessly interesting, very challenging, and arguably the best conditioned course in the British isles. It is also an incredibly private affair, open only to members of The Carnegie Club, not those who turn left on aircraft but those who board their own planes. It’s that sort of place. HKGOLFER.COM
Never a Resort But now, for the first time in many years, limited tee times at Skibo have been made available to non-members, specifically a few games each week are open for guests at a new hotel, Links House, which opened this summer. It is highend, intimate and charming. I try to think of a less-lazy or loaded description, but there’s no escaping it. This is a boutique hotel, a brilliant boutique hotel, an indulgent retreat. It’s a much needed alternative to Skibo: somewhere very special but not impossibly private. It has just eight bedrooms, each named after a Scottish salmon river. And the full name of the hotel is Links House at Royal Dornoch. So we think we know who this is aimed at: big game hunters, guys here to land a large fish, bag a brilliant golf course. It’s a hotel concept which won’t be unfamiliar to those who have visited Keiser or Kohler destinations – places like Bandon Dunes and Whistling Straits – in the US. But in the UK it feels a little like the first of its kind. Gentlemen might come here and puff on something Cuban at the outdoor cigar hearth or maybe settle some bets on the practice putting green maintained by Royal Dornoch’s greenkeepers. They could happily work through some interesting malts from the excellent whisky selection, looking out over the first at Royal Dornoch where Links House is perfectly placed. But actually, it’s much less buddy-trip, backslapping or blokish than these manly refinements suggest. And guiltily I think how much my non-smoking, non-golfing, non-whisky drinking wife would like it here. Links House is a charming 19th century home turned into a hotel. Certainly it has the necessary sporting accoutrements, the drying room, the butlers who know how to change golf spikes. But its intimate style, its antiques and open HKGOLFER.COM
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fires, have nothing to do with the clubhouse. Its fine dining is serious indeed, not pretentious or difficult, but far removed from club sandwiches named in honour of hard drinking golf pros! It’s the perfect addition to Dornoch, a town which is an incredible golf destination, but which will never be a golf resort.
The Perfect Host
Clockwise from above: late evening at Royal Dornoch’s clubhouse; the majestic course in its autumnal livery; the comfortable library at the Links House 86
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Alan Grant is a member of Royal Dornoch. He is also the host at The Carnegie Club, the man who makes the privileged members there feel at home. For a passionate golfer he is incongruously artistic, creative in life not least through his sometimes homemade wardrobe, creative on the course too, with a long sweeping fade from the tee and flashes of genius around the greens. He is front of house, but takes it easy in the background. His considerable charm is very natural. He meets and greets at Skibo Castle, sometimes says a few words before dinner in the evenings. As with his golf swing, he makes sure things go smoothly. He can often be seen on the links at Skibo (invariably the least busy golf course you can imagine) with little less than a half set, joining guests for a few holes, maybe thrilling them with a fabulous lob shot, maybe just adding some highland colour. As an art graduate he travelled far from
Dornoch, the town where he grew up. And in his Carnegie Club capacity he travels far and wide too, often visiting the club’s international members many of whom have become his friends. But it is this part of the world he loves and for all Skibo’s glories it is Royal Dornoch Golf Club he is in thrall too. Playing with him there he tells me the first six holes at Dornoch speak to one another, so that when one gives up a birdie its neighbour will know to demand a bogey. They commune with one another as he does with the course here. This is his way: a little bit of light Scottish magic in his stories. He spins great yarns. He doesn’t tell but he shows and one leaves convinced of Dornoch’s special properties because that’s the way he feels, that’s what he believes and sees in Dornoch. He tells jokes and at the same time is deadly serious. Like Shakespeare’s Fest, the clown of Twelfth Night, Grant is ‘wise enough to play the fool’. He tells me you’ve not lived till you’ve putted out by moonlight on the 18th green and I believe him. Alan also tells me that the links at Dornoch is like a ‘72 Margaux. Looking for some sort of symmetry I check the wine lists at Skibo and Links House. Very serious wines are available at both venues. But the specific vintage and producer doesn’t show up. I learn two things: Alan has been party to some significant rare wine and Dornoch itself is a rare and special pleasure. HKGOLFER.COM
TRIP PLANNER WHERE TO PLAY / STAY Links House at Royal Dornoch The huge beds are the right side of firm. The enormous baths are for swimmers only. The showers, in drier regions of the world, would be considered an environmental disaster. In short, Links House is very luxurious. The service standards are off the scale but, refreshingly, they don’t smother guests. American proprietors seem to have made their mark here because the staff are charming but not overbearing. The way things are done here is a great improvement on many upscale UK hotels. The staff can arrange access to the nearby salmon and trout fishing, to upland shooting, stag stalking and of course golf. But equally, they will leave you alone to a glass of whisky, a book and the brilliant view over the links. linkshousedornoch.co.uk
Royal Dornoch Dornoch is the hometown of Donald Ross who built more than 400 courses in the US, each one a little bit of Dornoch, a sidesloping fairway here, a raised green there. Ross was a greenkeeper, originally apprenticed to Old Tom Morris at St Andrews where he learned the trade. (It was Morris who laid out Dornoch’s original 18.) Amongst the courses Ross would go on to build in the States is Scioto where Jack Nicklaus learned the game, so a link is established between the father of golf, Tom, and its greatest exponent, Jack. In these ways, Dornoch, arguably, has had more influence on golfers and golf course architecture than anywhere else. Back to the course: The first is a short sweet par-4. The second is a simple par-3, simple until you miss the green and discover that all recoveries are very, very hard! The third, well, it takes your breath away because the panorama over the entire links is suddenly revealed. And so it goes on: interest, intrigue, balance, soaring views. A second 18, The Struie, is also an excellent linksland challenge. www.royaldornoch.com
The Carnegie Links at Skibo Castle Skibo Castle’s newly renovated Carnegie Links is just minutes from Dornoch. It is a sensational links in sensational condition. Invariably quiet – which is just as its members want – you will have the course pretty much to yourself. carnegieclub.co.uk
Golspie Golf Club Just north of Dornoch is Golspie Golf Club, a James Braid course, linksland for the most part, a few holes showing some inland characteristics. But it is none the worse for it. The setting is fabulous too. Green fees are from £45 (HK$560). golspie-golf-club.co.uk
Brora Golf Club North of Golspie, Brora Golf Club is a wonderful links, James Braid’s work again. Such is its significance in the Braid canon and such is its beauty, The James Braid Society (Peter Thompson is its President) has made its home here. The golf course is excellent. Inevitably it seems short by today’s standards, but somehow the bunkers are perfectly placed, the greens still tough to hit, the course still every inch a challenge. Fences protect greens from cows and sheep, so you might
imagine some rough conditioning. Actually though, the course is pristine, more manicured than its natural setting, unchanged architecture and rural remoteness would have one imagine. Those who believe Dornoch is the last word in northern romantic remoteness and natural golf need to get to Brora. broragolf.co.uk
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HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS
Crans-sur-Sierre GC, Switzerland 5-8 September, €2.2 million
ISPS HANDA WALES OPEN
BJORN TRIUMPHS IN PLAY-OFF
Newport, Wales 29 August - 1 September, €2.1 million
BRILLIANT BOURDY WINS IN WALES
Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, the 2009 Hong Kong Open champion, produced a stunning finish to end a four-year winless drought with a two-shot victory at the Wales Open. The world number 173 birdied each of his final three holes to beat overnight leader Peter Uihlein and take his fourth European Tour title. Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen fired a 66 for the best round of the day but had to settle for third at fiveunder par.
Denmark's Thomas Bjorn birdied the first play-off hole to capture his second European Masters title in three years after coming back from two shots down in the final round. Bjorn's 14th career European Tour title was his first since winning here in 2011, when he closed with a 62 to also finish 20 under. Runner-up Craig Lee almost made history by threatening to produce the first sub-60 round in the history of the European Tour when he cared a stunning 61. 1 Thomas Bjorn
66 66 67 65
2 Craig Lee
71 65 61 67
3 Victor Dubuisson
68 65 66 66
1 Gregory Bourdy
67 72 70 67
4 Alejandro Canizares
69 65 65 67
2 Peter Uihlein
69 70 67 72
5= Ross Fisher
71 69 63 66
3 Soren Kjeldsen
69 74 70 66
Miguel Angel Jimenez ESP
65 68 69 67
4= Joost Luiten
73 68 69 71
7= Gregory Havret
68 69 70 63
71 69 73 68
68 66 69 67
6= Damien McGrane
70 71 70 71
9= Tommy Fleetwood
65 68 69 70
72 67 72 71
67 65 72 68
8= Seve Benson
76 70 69 68
70 75 69 69
71 71 70 71
Kennemer G&CC, The Netherlands 12-15 September, €1.8 million
OMEGA EUROPEAN MASTERS
LUITEN THE FLYING DUTCHMAN Joost Luiten
Joost Luiten made it a day of double Dutch delight with victory in the KLM Open after compatriot Daan Huizing won the Kharkov Superior Cup on The Challenge Tour. Minutes after Huizing secured a twoshot win in the Ukraine, Luiten beat Miguel Angel Jiménez on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off at Kennemer Golf Club to become the first home winner for a decade. A par on the 18th was enough to give Luiten his third European Tour title and second of the season after Jiménez three-putted from long range. 1 Joost Luiten
69 65 66 68
2 Miguel Angel Jimenez ESP
64 67 70 67
3= Simon Dyson
69 63 71 68
69 68 68 66
67 70 68 66
65 70 67 69
7 Julien Quesne
67 65 70 70
8 Soren Kjeldsen
68 67 72 66
9= David Horsey
71 66 70 67
65 66 77 66
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
GLOBAL TOURNAMENT NEWS
SAFEWAY CLASSIC PRESENTED BY COCA-COLA
Columbia Edgewater, Oregon 29 August - 1 September, US$1.3 million
PETTERSEN CLAIMS SAFEWAY CLASSIC
Suzann Pettersen won the Safeway Classic for the second time in three years after a final-day collapse by Yani Tseng. The Solheim Cup star, who had also won the 2011 tournament at Pumpkin Ridge, overcame an uncertain start to her final round to close with a fiveunder 67 and finish two strokes clear of American Stacy Lewis. Overnight leader Tseng limped home in 78 to finish eight shots behind Pettersen. 1 Suzann Pettersen
68 63 70 67
2 Stacey Lewis
67 70 65 68
3 Lizette Salas
66 68 68 69
CN CANADIAN WOMEN'S OPEN
4 Cristie Kerr
66 68 69 69
5 Caroline Masson
69 64 70 70
6= Sandra Gal
66 66 73 69
67 72 69 66
8 Karrie Webb
69 67 67 72
9= Lexi Thompson
65 70 71 70
64 66 71 75
Royal Mayfair GC, Alberta 22-25 August, US$2 million
KO MAKES HISTORY
Teenage golf phenom Lydia Ko made history at the CN Canadian Women' s Open by becoming the first amateur in history to win two LPGA events and the first amateur to successfully defend her title after carding a final round 65 to seal a five-shot victory. As an amateur, she could not accept the US$300,000 first prize, which instead went to Icher. Icher, ranked 24th, had her best finish of the season to end the tournament on 10 under.
1 Lydia Ko
65 69 67 64
2 Karine Icher
67 66 70 67
3= Brittany Lincicome
68 68 66 69
68 68 64 71
5= Stacy Prammanasudh USA
68 67 69 68
71 66 65 70
7= Suzann Pettersen
69 67 65 72
70 67 67 69
9 Gerina Piller
70 66 67 71
Thai star Thaworn Wiratchant rediscovered his best form when he won the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) for an unprecedented 16th Asian Tour title. The reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, whose best result prior to the week was tied 28th in May, battled to a four-under-par 68 for a 13-under-par 275 total to win by one-shot at the US$500,000 Asian Tour event.
10= Paula Creamer
66 68 69 72
1 Thaworn Wiratchant
69 67 71 68
2 Chan Kim
70 68 68 70
3 Angelo Que
74 72 66 66
4 Chan Shih-chang
71 71 71 67
5= Chiragh Kumar
68 69 74 70
73 69 69 70
69 68 71 73
73 67 67 74
72 72 68 69
69 73 72 68
YEANGDER TOURNAMENT PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP Linkou International G&CC, Chinese Taipei 12-15 September, US$500,000
THAWORN SEALS MAGICAL 16TH TITLE
10= Matthew Steiger
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36
The 9914 MC movement, invented and developed by Cartier for the Tortue XXL watch (above), combines several original features from the multiple time zones complication: lateral cities disc, indication of “Home” time by a 24-hour hand, and automatic adjustment for summer and winter time 90
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From this concept watch, the Rotonde de gold at 51x45.6mm, the watch is not your average Cartier’s Astrotourbillon Carbon Crystal watch world timer. Along its left flank, a small window was conceived. The watch, which was presented offers a list of cities, which allows the user to select in 2012, is a very limited edition that offers solid his/her local timezone via a pusher at two o’clock. evidence of the leaps and bounds Home time is displayed on a that Cartier has made in Fine disc, and sun/moonAnother interesting lower Watchmaking. shaped hands indicate watch on display As with the first Rotonde de day and night, allowing Cartier Astrotourbillon presented for a more elegant multiwas the Tortue in 2011, the seconds hand is level dial design. The watch XXL Multiple actually a tourbillon carriage features the automatic Timezone watch, that turns around the dial every calibre 9914MC, which can minute. Many of the discoveries be viewed via the caseback, which was from ID One were used in the offering a power reserve of presented this year watch, including the shiny black 48 hours. at SIHH. This is niobium-titanium case, in 47mm, Also part of the Cartier with an adjustment-free tourbillon exhibition at Watches and not your average escapement made from a carbon Wonders was the 2013 world timer. crystal escapement wheels and Mysterieuse collection, high bridges, and tungsten-carbide axis. jewellery watches, including Another interesting watch on display was the the Rotonde de Cartier gold Panthere with Tortue XXL Multiple Timezone watch. Presented Etruscan granulation, and historical pieces from this year at SIHH and available in pink or white the Tank archives. HKGOLFER.COM
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OMEGA GOLF DAY Omega, makers of luxury Swiss watches and one of golf’s biggest sponsors, held its annual golf day at Clearwater Golf & Country Club in mid-September to celebrate, among other things, the recent US PGA Championship, which was won by Jason Dufner. In addition to the Wanamker Trophy, the American received an Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M timepiece for his fine play. Featuring a combination of Omega clients and members of the Hong Kong golf media, the event was played under sunny skies on a course that was in first-rate condition. Following the play, a delightful buffet was served, followed by an awards ceremony. Caroline Ruga, marketing manager of Omega Hong Kong, was on hand to dispense prizes to the lucky winners, which included Stuart Gethin (Best Gross – Men), Reuben Chu (Best Net – Men) and Angela Leung, who scooped both the Gross and Nett prizes in theLladies’ division. Omega’s partnership with the PGA of America, which provides multiple “Official Timekeeper” designation, formally began at last year’s US PGA Championship and will extend through the PGA’s Centennial in 2016.
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
CLUBHOUSE | TEE TIME SPECIAL
PIAGET’S NEW RECORD-BREAKERS ULTRA-THIN IS THE NAME OF THE GAME WITH THESE TWO TIMEPIECES FROM THE ALTIPLANO LINE.
f there is one thing that never changes at Piaget, it is the tireless determination to constantly push the boundaries of the infinitely small, as can attest the impressive succession of record-thin achievements that have punctuated the history of the Manufacture de Haute Horlogerie for over 50 years. Now the manufacture presents two exceptional new models, each of which sets a double record in its category. The classic and timeless Piaget Altiplano Date model boasts the Caliber 1205P, the world’s thinnest automatic movement at just 3mm thick, housed in a likewise record-breaking 6.36mm case. Marrying Haute Horlogerie and Haute Joaillerie, the Piaget Altiplano automatic gem-set Skeleton watch dazzles with its Caliber 1200D, whose mainplate and functional parts are entirely set with gemstones. It’s a level of expertise exclusively mastered by the Manufacture Piaget, combined with another double ultra-thin record: 3 mm for the movement and 6.10 mm for the case.
As the 12th movement specifically dedicated to the Altiplano Collection, Caliber 1205P was developed on the basis of the 1208P presented by Piaget in 2010. Loyal to the signature codes of the latter, it also drives an off-centered small seconds indication, and for the first time displays the date. In addition, it is distinguished from its illustrious predecessor by being fitted inside a slightly smaller 40mm case – the perfect size to accommodate it. The sapphire crystal case back reveals the full wealth of a movement entirely developed and manufactured in-house by Piaget. No less than 221 parts patiently designed, produced and assembled by hand combine to form an intricate and supremely delicate mechanical composition. HKGOLFER.COM
ALTIPLANO AUTOMATIC GEM-SET SKELETON As a past master in the ancestral art of skeletonworking, Piaget has over the years developed and created the world’s thinnest skeleton models – and they’ve done it again with the Caliber 1200D, the first ever automatic gem-set skeleton movement. Successor to the already iconic automatic skeleton caliber 1200S with its peerless slenderness, Caliber 1200D is the 34th movement to be entirely developed and produced by the Manufacture in the last 15 years. It is an unprecedented feat blending watchmaking and jewelry know-how, and its extensive two-year development process alone called upon the full range of Piaget’s skills. Mirroring Piaget’s unique mastery, this 3mm movement representing the thinnest in the world in its category is adorned with 259 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.8 ct) and 11 black sapphire cabochons (approx. 0.2 ct) set within a diameter of 31.9 mm. This exceptional gem-setting requires four days of work to complete just one movement. HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
GOLF & INVESTING | 5 MINUTES WITH ...
Raymond Roessel For golfers and investors out there, you might find golf and investing share a lot of similar attributes. In this, the sixth in a series of interviews presented by Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd., Raymond Roessel – the managing director of sports marketing specialists Infinite Ideas International – talks about his introduction to the game, his love of the Masters Tournament and his investment philosophy. What connections do you see between golf and investing? Both are very similar; you can choose to play aggressively or conservatively and both take a significant amount of time to master. Practice and patience is key. When did you start playing? I started playing golf when I was about 12. We lived across the street from a public course in Madison, Wisconsin, and my father started taking me out for fun. I eventually joined the junior programme there and worked at the course for a few years. How often do you play? Not often enough! I’m lucky enough to visit a lot of great courses all over the world, but it’s mostly for work at various tournaments. I only get to play about once every month or two. My wife Samantha is starting to play, so hopefully that will allow me to get out a little more often. I did play at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, where I used to work, twice last month and it was great to get back out there. A big ‘thank you’ to Kevin Hind, the director of instruction, for the invitation. What’s been your best ever round? I’ve never been able to go really, really low – nerves always got the better of me. I’ve had 66 quite a few times, but nothing lower. Do you have a favourite course? My favourite course to be at is Augusta National – it’s just everything you imagine it would be while watching it on TV growing up. I really enjoy sitting on the hill at the sixth hole on Sunday afternoon. Clearwater Bay (pictured) is my favourite in this part of the world.
Who would be in your dream fourball? Can I make it a two-ball? A late afternoon round with my dad would be perfect. He still lives in northern Wisconsin, so we don’t get to play too often. 94
HK GOLFER・OCT 2013
I always enjoyed our late afternoon rounds in the autumn when the leaves were changing. You rarely see those colours here in Asia. How do you maintain focus during a round? That is one of the most difficult aspects of the game, especially when you don’t play often. With technology today you are always thinking about other things, or reaching for your phone when riding in the golf cart. To overcome this I like to walk the course – hopefully with a caddie, which is one of the reasons I like to play at Shek O or Fanling. Both are great walking courses. Walking allows you time to relax, talk to your playing partners and prepare for the next shot. How would you describe your overall investment philosophy? My wife and I tend to be fairly conservative; we invest for the long term, rather than chase too much for a short-term return. We also prefer investments where we have a strong personal knowledge of the company or sector. What key lessons have you learned through your personal investing experiences? Like most people I’ve experienced my fair share of buyer/sellers remorse and it’s often frustrating. This has now led me to take a much more long-term view and be happy with hopefully consistent growth, either through the increase in share price or through dividend yield. HKGOLFER.COM
GREAT GOLF STARTS WITH GREAT ADVICE
Hank Haney PGA Teaching Pro
When it comes to golf and investing, everyone can use a little help from the pros.
For more on the connection between golf and Investing, visit www.schwab.com.hk/golf
Schwab Investors Centre: Suites 1607-1611, ICBC Tower, No.3 Garden Road, Hong Kong | +852-2101-0511
EXPERT IN U.S. INVESTING This material is issued by Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd. and has not been reviewed by the Securities and Futures Commission in Hong Kong. Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd. is registered with the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") to carry out the regulated activities in dealing in securities, advising on securities and advising on futures contracts under registration CE number ADV256. ÂŠ2012 Charles Schwab, Hong Kong, Ltd. All rights reserved. (0312-1952/CSHK - 1171)
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Published on Oct 2, 2013