HK Golfer Tee Time: The stunning new Overseas collection from Vacheron Constantin
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION ISSUE 54
Masterful McIlroy Leading the Charge DISPLAY UNTIL AUGUST 15
Scotland Travel Events Review Greg Norman
OPEN CHAMPS: TIME FOR SANDWICH
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bulthaup b3 â€“ a solid investment . This universal design system offers everything you could wish for from the total kitchen. If you are looking for superlative quality, lasting value, solid materials and attention to precision craftsmanship and you want to experience the particular advantages of unique interior fittings, then we invite you to visit the specialists in the new bulthaup kitchen architecture. You will find them wherever you see the name bulthaup. www.bulthaup.com
26 On the Cover:
Rory McIlroy with the US Open trophy following his sensational display at Congressional. McIlroy becomes the second Northern Irishman in two years to capture America’s national championship after Graeme McDowell claimed the title at Pebble Beach in 2010. Photo by AFP
26 | The First Rory
17 | Tee Time
The cover story. After his epic US Open victory, Rory McIlroy has been hailed as the next Tiger Woods. It’s early days, but already the young Ulsterman, who will return to the UBS Hong Kong Open this December, is showing that he’s his own man. By Alex Jenkins
32 | Meeting Greg Norman
The publisher of HK Golfer catches up with Great White Shark at Danang Golf Club in Vietnam, site of Norman’s spectacular Dunes Course, one of the finest additions to Asian golf in recent years. By Charles McLaughlin
52 | Open Sandwich
Royal St George’s, the historic English course, promises to live up to its reputation as one of the finest links layouts south of the Scottish border when the world’s best descend upon the Kent coast. By Alex Jenkins
56 | Moving On
HK Golfer talks to Mark Roe, the player turned short game coach-cum-television commentator who rose to global prominence after being harshly disqualified from the 2003 Open Championship. By Lewine Mair
60 | Japan’s Rising Son
Nineteen-year-old phenomenon Ryo Ishikawa heads to Royal St George’s looking to become only the second Asian-born winner of a major championship. By Alex Jenkins
64 | Caledonian Classics
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The co-author of the beautifully presented 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes takes us on a whirlwind tour of the country’s finest and most memorable courses. By Craig Morrison
All the juicy details on Vacheron Constantin’s latest additions to its Overseas line. By Evan Rast
22 | Whisky
The HK Golfer whisky editor reviews the Last Drop, arguably the world’s most exclusive blend. Plus special reader offer! By John Bruce
24 | Money Matters
A look at how structuring your salary package could reap significant savings. By Howard Bilton
42 | Bolle Midsummer Classic
Charles Stone marked his return to Hong Kong with a fine showing in capturing the Bolle Midsummer Classic, one of the most popular events of the year, at Fanling. By the Editors
44 | bulthaup June Stableford
Discovery Bay Golf Club was the venue for last month’s bulthaup June Stableford Tournament, which saw a strong field take to the fairways of the cliff-top Lantau course. By The Editors
48 | Q&A Steven Lam
The talented Hong Kong youngster discusses his game. Interview by David Cunningham III
72 | Global Tournament News
Reports on the latest professional golf news and world rankings. By The Editors
74 | Final Shot: Peter Thomson
The five-time Open Championship winner, an Australian legend, discusses this year’s Presidents Cup, which will be hosted at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in September. By Paul Prendergast HKGOLFER.COM
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE HONG KONG GOLF ASSOCIATION JUl 2011 • Issue 54
Editor: Alex Jenkins email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editorial Assistant: Cindy Kwok Playing Editor: Jean Van de Velde Photo Editor: Daniel Wong Contributing Editors: Lewine Mair, Ariel Adams, Robert Lynam, Evan Rast, David Cunningham III Published by:
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64 DE PA R T M E N T S 08
HK Golfer Mailbag
Around the HKGA
From the President
Hong Kong News
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HK Golfer Mailbag declaring this guy as the greatest thing since Ben Hogan. Doesn’t anyone remember how he folded so dramatically as the Masters? Sure, he’s obviously a very good golfer, but he still only has three wins to his name. I don’t think that equates to the kind of ‘greatness’ that the media keeps referring to. David Martin Via email
HK Open: A Mega Event
It’s great news that Rory McIlroy will return to the UBS Hong Kong Open this December. I can’t wait to go and watch him play once again. What a wonderful talent. But can you please explain something that’s associated with Hong Kong’s premier professional tournament – what is this Mega Event Fund that I keep hearing about, and how does it effect the championship? Alan Carnegie Kowloon Tong Editor’s reply: Thanks for the message, Alan – and yes indeed, McIlroy’s return to the fairways of Fanling is great news for the tournament. Let’s see if he can make it a case of fourth time lucky, having been so close to winning the event on every occasion he’s been here. To answer your question, the Mega Events Fund was set up by the Government to assist local non-profit-making organizations to host more attractive arts, cultural and sports events, which benefit both residents and visitors to Hong Kong. The MEF has decided to support the 2011 edition of the Hong Kong Open to the tune of HK$8 million. This, as David Hui, the President of the HKGA explains in his message on page 38, will help raise the profile of the championship and ensure that we are treated to world-class field. It will also increase the profile of golf in Hong Kong at the grass roots level.
Editor’s reply: Well I’m not sure you’ll enjoy reading our US Open review (from page 26) then, David. We are committed fans of the young Ulsterman, and while we’ll stop short of comparing him with the likes of Hogan and Nicklaus, I think it’s fair to say that he has more potential of anyone golfer in their 20s playing the game today. Watching him almost drive the third hole at Shek O Country Club last November was one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen. The hole measures over 400 yards, and while long driving isn’t everything, it’s certainly a huge amount of fun to watch.
Live Golf News @ www.hkgolfer.com The HK Golfer website www.hkgolfer.com now features live daily news stories from around the golfing world. Log in and find out the latest tournament results from the PGA, European and LPGA Tours along with web-exclusive feature news and reviews.
Rory Fever Unjustified
Has the world gone mad? Rory McIlroy wins the US Open on a course distinctly unsuited to hosting such a prestigious championship and everyone is We Want to Hear from You! Have something to say about an article in HK Golfer or a topic affecting golf in our area? Send your thoughts and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also include your address, contact number, email and HKGA #. The winner of the best letter will receive a bottle of Champagne Louis Roederer courtesy of Links Concept.
HK Golfer・JUL 2011
Local Focus bulthaup Battle at the Bay A competitor plays his tee shot at the scenic sixth hole on the Jade Course at Discovery Bay Golf Club during the June Stableford competition last month. The tournament, which was sponsored for the first time by bulthaup, the leading German kitchen system manufacturer, featured a strong field of players across both men's and ladies' divisions and saw some fine performances over the demanding clifftop layout. YB Rai led the way in the men's gross division, scoring 29 points, while up-andcoming junior Christy Chong swept to victory in the ladies' bracket with 30 points. Read a full report of the tournament within this issue. Photo by Daniel Wong
Global Focus Flying the Flag John Daly took a leaf from the Ian Poulter style book by donning a nifty pair of Union Jack-inspired trousers during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in late May. Daly, the 1995 Open champion, was one of only two Americans in the field (the other being Anthony Kang) but saw his hopes of challenging for the European Tour's flagship event flounder after picking up a hip injury, forcing him to retire midway through the second day. The tournament was won by England's Luke Donald, who defeated fellow countryman Lee Westwood on the first hole of a suddendeath play-off. Photo by AFP
Major Focus Magnificent McIlroy Rory McIlroy plays his tee shot to the tenth hole during the final round of last month's US Open. The 22-year-old Ulsterman, who would stiff his approach for an easy birdie, became the youngest player since Bobby Jones in 1923 to win America's national championship with a near faultless display at a rain-softened Congressional Country Club. His 16-under-par total was the lowest in the championship's history and he wound up cruising to an emphatic eightshot victory. As a result of his win, McIlroy, who let slip a four-stroke lead on the final day of this year's Masters, has reached a career high of number three in the Official Golf World Rankings and goes into this month's Open Championship as the red-hot favourite. Photo by AFP
CLUBHOUSE Away from the Fairways The Cartier ID One Concept Watch
Form and Function: Vacheron Constantin Overseas
A Sporty Statement Evan Rast provides all the juicy details on Vacheron Constantin’s latest additions to its Overseas line CONTINUED OVERLEAF HKGOLFER.COM
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Thing of Beauty: This year, Vacheron Constantin presents a unique combination in the Overseas (below): a perpetual calendar and a chronograph
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hat makes a good sports watch? Readability, accuracy, and a selfwind ing movement are a must. If you’re a diver, it has to be water-resistant to a few hundred metres. If you run, it would be good to have a chronograph, and if you find yourself hitting the greens every weekend, a lightweight one with 40-hour power reserve would be handy (then you wouldn’t have to wind it until Monday morning!). But all these assets are secondary to one very important requirement: it must look exceptionally good. Fortunately for us, watch companies are constantly redefining the luxury sports arena,
and we are definitely spoilt for choice. In the past years, we’ve seen historically conservative brands releasing more sports-driven designs that are, instead of hulking and tough, more elegant and refined, answering the call for versatile timepieces that you can use everyday, but without sacrificing functionality. Many brands come to mind, but one collection that I feel has aced this particular category, if you may call it that, is Vacheron Constantin’s Overseas. The line represents the brand’s foray into the domain of sports watches, and was first launched in 1996 in 37 and 35mm diameter stainless steel cases. (Incidentally, this is the only collection that Vacheron Constantin offers in stainless steel, and price-wise, for the quality you get, it's extremely competitive) We know that Vacheron Constantin has a more than 250-year history in watchmaking, and this is not the only reason why it’s one of the most distinguished brands out there. At the height of the quartz revolution in the 1960s up until the 80s, the House kept its watchmaking traditions intact. This helped the brand be at its most competitive when the mechanical watch industry bounced back in the 1990s. The manufacture has since extended its range of watches, in terms of style and engineering achievements, developing a range of new hand-wound and selfwinding movements, and offering a variety of watches and complications, for men and women. The first generation of Overseas watches had a similar feel to Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and Audemars P i g u e t ’s R o y a l O a k , o f f e r i n g functionality in a sturdy case, yet has the thinness and ease of wearing a dress watch. The line has since evolved into one of Vacheron Constantin’s most dynamic range, with an extensive selection of materials and complications. This year, Vacheron Constantin presents a unique combination in the Overseas: a perpetual calendar and a chronograph. The watch is built with the in-house caliber 1136 QP, an automatic beating at 21,600vph, and with a 40-hour power reserve. In addition to the hours, minutes and small seconds at six o’clock, the Calibre 1136 QP has a chronograph function, as well as a perpetual calendar that shows the day of the week, date, month on a 48-year cycle, as well as a leap-year and moon phase displays. HKGOLFER.COM
HMS1 LIMITED EDITION
HAND-CRAFTED IN SWITZERLAND Manual movement Arnold & Son caliber AS1001 Two barrels, 80-hour power reserve See-through caseback. 100 feet (30 meters) water resistant Available in rose gold or stainless steel
The 42mm case comes in anti-magnetic stainless steel, water-resistant to 15 bar (150 metres). The collection’s Maltese Cross-inspired bezel and push piece guards come in titanium. Another signature feature of the Overseas collection, the screw-down caseback, features a medallion engraved with the famous Amerigo Vespucci threemasted sailing ship. The dial comes in a sunburst satin-brushed slate grey, with 18k white gold applied hour markers with white luminescent hour and minute hands, and for the first time for the Overseas, yellow seconds and subdial hands. The Overseas Chronograph Pe r p e t u a l C a l e n d a r i s a “Boutiques Exclusive” limited edition of 80 pieces, and will be available only in the 27 Vacheron Constantin boutiques worldwide.
LET’S NOT FORGET THE LADIES
It’s been an interesting year, 2011, especially for a growing number of women who happen to love mechanical watches. I think the watch brands were all in agreement that the ladies deserved to be treated to timepieces that were not just smaller spin-offs of the male versions, but designed resolutely with their needs and wants in mind. Therefore, Vacheron Constantin is also presenting the Overseas Small Model, with selfwinding movement and date function, specially designed for ladies. The watch comes in an 18k pink gold case that is 36mm in size, fitted with the calibre 1226, which is also an automatic, running at 28,800vph, with hours, minutes, central seconds and date function. Water-resistant to five bar (approximately 50 metres), the case of this Overseas timepiece is fitted with a solid screw-in caseback etched with the Overseas medallion. The dial is simple, but made more elegant by 88 brilliant-cut diamonds on the Maltese Crossinspired bezel. The dial is also sunburst satinbrushed in a silver tone, with white luminescent hands for readability. Classic 18k pink gold applied Arabic numerals polish off the piece, making it simply elegant. Designed for daily wear, the Overseas Small Model Self-Winding with Date comes in two versions: an 18-carat pink gold bracelet, and the other with a taupe-coloured leather strap complete with an additional vulcanised grey rubber strap. 20
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Probably the worldâ€™s smallest watch manufacturer
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Last Drop, Last Chance HK Golfer whisky editor John Bruce reviews the Last Drop, arguably the world's most exclusive blend
he year 1972 is officially the longest year on record with scientists adding two seconds to the leap year in order to preserve some cosmic balance; a decision that may or may not have had anything to do with the prevalence of hallucinogenic drugs at the time. Perhaps it was all of that extra time on peoples’ hands but the extended year played host to many historic moments: G. Gordon Liddy’s nocturnal escapades brought down a President and the Queen Elizabeth caught fire in Hong Kong harbour. But for true inspiration we had an unknown blender who created the whisky that is now available, in very limited quantities, as “The Last Drop”. Eight y-t wo whisk ies comprised of 12 grains and 70 malts had been blended in 1972, none of them less than 12-yearsold at the time and put into sherry casks. Many of these came from distilleries that no longer exist, with the youngest whisky being from 1960 with some going back to the 1940s. The casks were stored in Auchentoshan cellars near Glasgow and not heard of for 37 years. At this point, serendipity intervened as a trio of whisky aficionados were in search of old whiskies to create a truly memorable blend. Jason Espey, Tom Jago and Peter Fleck have more than a century’s experience in the liquor trade and a history of bringing products to market that have been hugely successful. Tom was the man behind the creation of Bailey’s Irish Cream and Peter launched Malibu. James and Tom were also, more encouragingly for whisky lovers, the men behind the launch of Johnny Walker Blue Label (a blend that I am always delighted to sample). They discovered three barrels of the 1972 mystery blend in the cellars and this led to The Last Drop of which only 1347 bottles were produced. Eighty22
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eight of these bottles made it to Hong Kong via Crown Wine Cellars, the official distributors, and most have been sold or, taking the glass half full stance, a few are still available. Having set off to review an outstanding blend, I now encountered a major hurdle in that, unlike our featured single malts, I had not sampled the Last Drop. Honestly, this would have been the end of this article as I maintained a suspicion, perhaps due to the creamy liqueur connection, that these people were very good marketers and that the whisky might not be all that it was said to be. To my chagrin, the publisher declined my suggestion he purchase the only bottle that is on sale in that Wan Chai institution, the Canny Man, in order to thoroughly review the product. However one should never underestimate the acumen of an ex-banker and he had, to my delight, managed to procure a decent sample from the aforementioned Crown Wine Cellars. The blend has received nu merous outstanding reviews and our mutual sampling of the contents of the sample confirmed all that we had read. Indeed, a small but select group of expatriate Scots making so much of so little but paying even less would have led to smirks of justification on the faces of those who remark on our notional national parsimony. The Last Drop requires diluting as it is 52 per cent in strength, neither filtered nor chilled, but a little less than the same again brings out some magnificent flavours. A great nose that pervades the room if it is left in the glass for a few moments leads into sweet and rich tastes that end with more than a hint of spice. The Last Drop is all that it is claimed to be and is ample reminder that great blends are a magnificent counterpart to the glorious malts that Scotland produces.
Special Reader Offer Enjoy the Last Drop... before there is no more HK Golfer and Crown Wine Cellars have joined forces to offer this ultra-rare whisky at the special price of HK$17,888 (duty paid) delivered anywhere in Hong Kong. Just write to LastDrop@hkgolfer.com or call (852) 3590 4153 to reserve your bottle.
At the end of a great day... ... a sublime experience
As Jim Murray said in his Whisky Bible, “…A whisky that gives you the will to live !” We chose this as our first release because we had never tasted a distilled spirit at once so old – and so young. Only a taste can tell you how splendid it really is. And when it’s finished (which is very soon, now) there may not be anything like it for a while; it took us many years to find these 1,348 bottles, and it will be a long search for its successor. Meanwhile, we suggest you have a look at our cognac 1950, 478 bottles of which have just been released.
firstname.lastname@example.org; (852) 3590 4153 lastdropdistillers.com
Structuring Your Salary
Howard Bilton explains how structuring your salary package could reap significant savings
lthough tax on salaries in Hong Kong is very low – only 15 per cent – there are a number of steps which an employee, working with a sympathetic employer, can take to substantially reduce tax, which can make a significant difference to their end of year tax bill. Those with “non Hong Kong employment” status who travel outside Hong Kong extensively, as many do, can avoid paying tax on a percentage of their salary equal to the percentage of days spent outside Hong Kong. For example, an employee who earns US$100,000 per annum but spends 40 per cent of their time outside Hong Kong would only be taxed in Hong Kong on 60 per cent of their salary. To be considered a non Hong Kong employee their contract of employment must be with a non Hong Kong company and must be both signed and negotiated outside Hong Kong. So this tax break is only available to those who work for multi-national companies and who can be contracted to another group company outside Hong Kong. There is no difficulty with the contract stating that the employee will work in Hong Kong for the Hong Kong branch or subsidiary. A foreign company registered under part XI of the Companies Ordinance is not considered a Hong Kong company but rather is a foreign company registered in Hong Kong. This might be only a technical difference, but it is an important one. It is easy enough to arrange for the contract to be signed outside Hong Kong. The employee could just go to Macau for the day, play some golf and relax a bit in time honoured fashion and sign the contract while he is there. One caveat: it must also be demonstrated that the contract was negotiated outside Hong Kong. It may well be necessary to prove this by producing details of conversations had with whom, on what date and to match those with plane or ferry tickets, passport stamps, hotel receipts, or whatever else evidence that the conversations did indeed occur outside Hong Kong. Under most foreign tax regimes an employee who is paid that same US$100,000 salary but also gets a housing allowance of US$60,000 would pay tax on the total benefit of that package – i.e. US$160,000 – as most benefits are taxed according to and in line with their cash value. Not so in Hong Kong. Accommodation paid by the company on behalf of an employee is taxed at the actual cash value – or 10 per cent of salary – whichever is lower. So in this example the employee would only be taxed on an additional US$10,000 (10 per cent of his salary of US$100,000). For the housing allowance to be treated in this beneficial manner it is wise, if not vital, for the employer to pay the landlord direct. Ideally the lease would also be between the employer and the landlord, although that it is not generally considered essential. If the employer paid the employee the housing allowance of US$60,000 then it may not be possible for the employee to avoid paying tax on the whole of the US$60,000. It is not generally possible to change your status from Hong Kong employee to non Hong Kong employee whilst in the same job – but if an employee moves jobs within the same company or moves company then this would represent an opportunity to change status and cut taxes. 24
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Interest on a loan used to purchase a property for the occupation of the employee would also be deductible. Capital repayments will not be deductible. Amounts paid to an MPF fund or approved retirement scheme can be deducted up to a certain specified maximum. The maximum is not large. Donations to Hong Kong charities (but not foreign charities) are deductible up to a maximum amount of 25 per cent of salary. You must not receive any benefit in return, so the purchase of a ticket to a charity dinner would not be deductible because you get the benefit of a good feed. A donation made at the dinner would be deductible but the purchase of something at the charity auction would not. I see that Goldman Sachs have asked all their employees who are receiving bonuses to give money to charity. What a fine institution. There are some very worthy causes looking for patrons at the moment. I particularly like those working in the field of the arts! Expenses incurred in the care of an elderly relative are deductible so look after your granny. Costs incurred taking a prescribed course of education are also deductible. The government describe this as “expenses of self-education”. Odd. It sounds like you must teach yourself, which possibly isn’t teaching at all. These arrangements work very well for everyone apart from persons who hail from the United States. They are unfortunate in that they have to pay US tax on their worldwide income even whilst not resident in the US. They would get a deduction for any Hong Kong tax already suffered on the same income, so any savings they make in Hong Kong tax would normally result in an increased bill in the US. US persons do get a foreign earnings exemption (US$92,800 for 2011) plus housing benefits, so for those paid amounts of this amount or less any savings in Hong Kong tax is not reflected in higher US tax. For amounts over this the Hong Kong saving does result in higher US tax equal to the saving. HKGOLFER.COM
Except there is an arrangement which can solve this problem. US persons can, with the assistance of their employers, be paid via a “deferred compensation trust”. These are commonly known as Rabbi Trusts after the Rabbi who invented it. The website of the IRS gives guidance on how these trusts must be set up. It involves the employer paying salary to a trustee on behalf of the employee. Amounts paid into the trust are not taxable on the employee until they are withdrawn from the trust. So for amounts which the employee intends to save rather than spend this can be a highly effective way of avoiding or deferring indefinitely (which is as good as avoiding) US tax. These arrangements were used extensively by, in particular, employees of Enron. They set up a large number of Rabbi trusts in the Cayman islands. After Enron went bankrupt the rules were reformed and now the employer, trustee and employee must all resident in the same jurisdiction. That is not a problem for an Hong Kong resident as all elements would normally be in Hong Kong. As always, it is important to get the detail right to successfully claim these deductions, so care should be taken over the drafting of contracts and all other documents.Taxpayers
Those with “non Hong Kong employment” status who travel outside Hong Kong extensively, as many do, can avoid paying tax on a percentage of their salary equal to the percentage of days spent outside Hong Kong. should be ready and able to provide full documentary evidence to support a claim for any deduction. I have come across some clients who think it somewhat immoral to try and reduce the already low level of taxes. I would argue that they might still wish to claim deductions, work out how much tax they are saving and then donate saved amounts to a charity of their choice. Or they could simply volunteer another cheque to the Inland Revenue Department and give them a nice present. The choice is theirs. Howard Bilton is a UK Barrister, Professor of Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego and Chairman of the Sovereign Trust (Hong Kong) Ltd, which specialises in international and offshore tax planning.
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HK Golfer・JUL 2011
us open review
The First Rory
He's young but grounded, rich but exceedingly generous; he's arguably the most talented golfer to have come out of Europe since Seve Ballesteros and the media and fans alike love him. Forget talk of being the Next Tiger â€“ McIlroy, the boy who crushed the field at the US Open, is well and truly his own man, writes Alex Jenkins
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h e gol f i ng la nd scape ha s changed. One moment Tiger Woods was winning everything on what seemed like an easy stroll to passing Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championship victories. The next, Woods is down (if not yet completely out) and a freckly kid with untamed locks is trouncing everyone in sight and winning golf 's most demanding tournament by a staggering eight shots. So superior was 22-year-old McIlroy at Congressional that his record-breaking performance brought to mind Woods' own amazing breakthrough victory at the 1997
Major Young Guns: Many expect McIlroy (left), who broke 12 US Open scoring records at Congressional, to spearhead the young brigade, including Jason Day, top, at the majors over the next decade AFP
Masters when, aged one year younger, he scorched to a 12-shot triumph. No European has ever done anything that compares. Even Nick Faldo and the late Ballesteros, acknowledged as the continent's two finest players, never bullied such a high-class field into submission quite like the Ulsterman did at Bethesda. Take nothing away from Sir Nick, but he was 33 and already a three-time major winner by the time he tamed St Andrews on his way to his most emphatic major triumph (a five-shot win) in 1990. Nobody goes out and wins their first grand slam event by eight – unless of course you're Tiger. Woods, of course, was laid up at home in Florida, tending to a troublesome knee and dodgy Achilles’ tendon at the time McIlroy was en route to becoming the youngest player in 88 years to win the US Open. In all, McIlroy, who will return to our shores for this year’s UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling in December, set 12 records, finishing with a 16-under-par 268. And he set them with the support of the American galleries behind him. Rarely has a golfer from the other side of the Atlantic been treated as such, but that’s the thing with Rors – you can’t help but like him. “The support I got out there was incredible, for a foreigner to come over and play in front of these crowds," McIlroy said. "I think every cloud has a silver lining, and I think what happened at Augusta was a great thing for me in terms of support.” Ah yes, Augusta. A little over two months previously, McIlroy succumbed dramatically when last in the spotlight. Leading by four with 18 holes to play, the tousled one lost all rhythm and composure on the back-nine at the Masters and would end up well down the field, some 12 shots behind eventual champion Charl Schwartzel.
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Stat Attack: McIlroy averaged over 310 yards from the tee and found over 85 per cent of the greens in regulation at the US Open, which according to the USGA is a new record 28
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There was no shortage of pundits who figured McIlroy’s chance had been and gone. While everyone waxed lyrical about his huge shoulder turn and natural free-flowing swing, many thought the Masters meltdown would prove too shocking a scenario for anyone to recover from, regardless of however gifted or talented they may be. Or maybe, they suggested, McIlroy just didn’t have the ‘bottle’ for the big time. But the boy from Holywood, a mediumsized town to the north of Belfast, thought things differently. Rather than try and protect his lead by playing for pars when leading a tournament again, he realized, he should go out with all guns blazing, do what his instincts have been telling him since he first picked up a golf club: attack the golf course and not worry about what anyone else was doing. A s is clear, t his tactic worked rat her tremendously. While it is certainly true that the celebrated Blue Course at Congressional played far softer than is typical for a venue of this championship (thunderstorms throughout the week resulted in extremely receptive greens; players were getting backspin with sevenirons), it wasn’t exactly playing easy: at over 7,400 yards, it was the second longest layout in history to host the US Open. But this suited McIlroy down to the ground. A natural drawer
of the ball (something that Congressional demands), McIlroy was averaging well in excess of 310 yards during the week (he was regularly outdriving playing partner Dustin Johnson, no slouch himself, by 20 yards during the opening rounds), which combined with his sublime iron game (he hit a remarkable 86 per cent of greens in regulation) and refined short game made him simply unstoppable. And what made it all the better for the viewing public: he did this all without preamble. There’s never anything slow about the way McIlroy plays – indeed he’s one of the fastest players on tour, which at a time when five hour rounds on tour are commonplace, already makes him a very decent role model. A lot has been spoken in the past about McIlroy’s somewhat suspect putting action. He has had, as we in Hong Kong well know, an unfortunate tendency to miss complete tiddlers when it mattered most. But this week he was rock solid, which can be explained by his work over the past month or so with Dave Stockton, the two-time major winner who is rapidly becoming something of a short game guru. Stockton got McIlroy to focus more on his routine – don’t bother with so many practice strokes, was the gist of it – and now he doesn’t take any. “It seemed to work,” said McIlroy with a smile. HKGOLFER.COM
2011 US Open Results 1 2 3= 7= 9= 11= 14= 19=
Rory McIlroy Jason Day Kevin Chappell Robert Garrigus Lee Westwood YE Yang Peter Hanson Sergio Garcia Charl Schwartzel Louis Oosthuizen Brandt Snedeker Davis Love III Heath Slocum Graeme McDowell Webb Simpson Matt Kuchar Fredrik Jacobson Bo Van Pelt Johan Edfors Steve Stricker
NIR AUS USA USA ENG KOR SWE ESP RSA RSA USA USA USA NIR USA USA SWE USA SWE USA
65 66 68 69 71 72 65 68 76 67 69 66 70 70 68 70 75 68 65 70 68 69 70 71 72 71 69 67 69 71 69 70 68 74 72 66 69 73 71 67 70 70 72 69 70 71 70 70 71 70 70 70 70 74 69 69 75 71 66 70 72 68 69 73 74 69 66 73 76 67 68 71 70 72 74 67 75 69 69 70
268 276 278 278 278 278 279 279 280 280 281 281 281 282 282 282 282 282 283 283
$1,440,000 $865,000 $364,241 $364,241 $364,241 $364,241 $228,416 $228,416 $192,962 $192,962 $163,083 $163,083 $163,083 $129,517 $129,517 $129,517 $129,517 $129,517 $105,905 $105,905
Comparisons with Woods are understandable – but before we get completely carried away let’s take a moment to remember that his US Open win was only his third professional victory – although McIlroy himself is having none of it. He accepts compliments with grace yet is quick to distance himself from any such talk. When Padraig Harrington said McIlroy would be the first player to break Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, the youngster was clearly embarrassed. “Paddy, Paddy, Paddy, I’m trying to win my first,” he said.
McIlroy, a bright lad who left school at 16 to turn pro, realizes that he, especially in light of the Tiger scandal and the ensuing loss of form that came with it, is the one that the media craves. The Press needs a story – and right now, Rory’s the biggest of them all. He says he can handle it, and who are we to argue. Everyone – even the very greatest – finds difficulty with their game at some point in time, but it would be a huge surprise if McIlroy doesn’t add to his major tally – and soon. Certainly Graeme McDowell, the dethroned US Open champion and McIlroy’s close friend, agrees. “Nothing this kid does ever surprises me,” said McDowell. “He’s the best player I’ve ever seen. He’s great for golf. He’s a breath of fresh air for the game, and perhaps we’re ready for golf’s next superstar, and maybe Rory is it.” Golf is primed for McIlroy. The game has been on the look out for a Tiger replacement and with the likes of Jason Day, who finished second behind McIlroy in Bethesda for this second consecutive major runner-up spot, Schwartzel, Ryo Ishikawa and Rickie Fowler, all coming to the fore in recent times, this new generation, spearheaded by the lad from Northern Ireland, has the potential to be leading the sport for the next decade or more. It’s far too early for talk of McIlroy catching Nicklaus – one down, seventeen to go – but the Golden Bear, who was a few months older than Rory when he won his first major – is a definite fan. “I love his moxie, the sort of way he walks, sort of cocksure about himself,” Nicklaus said. “I kind of like that in a guy. You’ve got to have confidence in what you’re doing. I think this kid’s going to have a great career. He’s got all the components; he’s got lots of people rooting for him.”
Amateur Hour: Patrick Cantlay
The last five major winners include a pair of Northern Irishmen, a German and two South Africans – and Stateside media is not happy. Indeed, just two Americans (the little-known Kevin Chappell and Robert Garrigus) made the top 10 at Congressional and with an injured Tiger Woods unsure of when he's going to play again, the pundits are looking for the Next Great Hope. One contender is 19-year-old Patrick Cantlay who finished the US Open as low amateur. Cantlay, currently a freshman at UCLA, finished in a tie for 21st on a 284 total, helped by a brilliant second-round 67, which included a back-nine of 30, the lowest of the championship. Cantlay followed up his performance in Maryland with a stunning round of 60 at the PGA Tour's Travelers Championship the following Friday, although a lackluster weekend meant he finished in the pack. Cantlay's appearances on tour are expected to be limited however. The Californian is quoted as saying he's committed to finishing college and won't turn pro before then.–AJ
HK Golfer・JUL 2011
HK Golfer Meets
Greg Norman Charles McLaughlin, publisher of HK Golfer, spent time with the Great White Shark during the latter’s trip to Vietnam, where he officially opened the Norman Estates at Danang Beach Resort, a luxurious residential estate that lies within the boundaries of Danang Golf Club
’ve been lucky. Prior to my arrival in Danang, the word from the organizers was that Norman has an especially packed schedule and my time with him will be limited. Five minutes is pretty much all I can expect. The press conference is over and I lurk with intent, hoping to grab the twotime Open champion-turned fabulously successful entrepreneur (and this year’s Presidents Cup captain) before our allotted interview schedule in order to get as much out of him as possible. As it happens, I needn’t have worried. Norman, now 56, recognizes me from a question I’d asked in the “presser” and wanders over and announces himself with a cheery “Hi Charles.” I’m impressed, not to mention delighted. We start to talk as we stroll leisurely through the development, taking in a quick tour around the show house. Norman is all too happy to chat. Throughout the interview I keep expecting him to turn the topic of discussion away from his career and his fantastic Dunes Course at the Danang Golf Club to this super new real estate component – the Norman Estates. After all, it’s the reason he’s here. But he doesn’t, which is good for me because as lovely as these residences are (the three to five-bedroom villas, each with their own pool, range in price from US$800,000 to a rather more hefty US$2 million), it’s golf, rather than real estate, that’s my priority. We end up spending at least 30 minutes together (and enjoy a beer at pre-dinner cocktails later in the evening) and Norman is great company, much more personable and engaging than I was expecting. He’s clearly at a time in his life when he can be rather more cavalier in his question answering than in the past, as his thoughts on the state of the PGA Tour and Tiger Woods below would seem to indicate, and for that I am very thankful … Congratulations on the Dunes Course, it has quickly become a favourite of ours in the HK Golfer office. Did it turn out exactly the way you intended? It did. We came back in here about 12 months ago and made minor changes to some of the greens. Some of the shapers we had in place at the time probably missed it just a little bit. But they were just subtle changes, there wasn’t anything drastic. The playability of the golf course was exactly what I wanted. You know, quite honestly, as designers we don’t normally get this type of terrain to work with. I mean it’s just perfect golf topography, and it’s as simple as that. So, if you can’t build a decent golf course around here, you don’t know what you’re doing! [laughs] I find myself in Hong Kong trying to explain to people what this place is like and it’s basically: a golf course is usually green and you put in some bunkers, whereas here it’s all bunkers and you weave in some green. That’s exactly right [laughs]. It’s a great golf course.
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Stormin' Norman: The Great White Shark, now a successful businessman, has a lot to smile about HKGOLFER.COM
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my God, I want to play again.’ And the other thing that I love about it is that it’s a memorable golf course. You can remember all the shots you played. Now, you were 21 when you turned pro. You look at Rory McIlroy, who was 21 when leading the Masters. Matteo Manassero, 17 and two European Tour wins. Do you wish you had turned pro earlier? Oh. I don’t think I would have been good enough to turn pro earlier. You know, at the time I started taking up the game, which was 16, up to the time I won my first tournament was like five years, so I couldn’t see myself doing it any sooner because I had no introduction to the game of golf any earlier. Is it true that you started at 16 and were a scratch player in just over a year? In 18 months, yeah. I was happy how I started, I played a lot of my national sports, the rugbys and the cricket and the Aussie Rules. I was a swimmer, I was a surfer, I was in athletics, you know. All the other things you are supposed to do as a kid, I did.
“But now the dynasty of American domination of the game of golf is just about over. And these guys, young kids now, like the McIlroys and the Ishikawas of the world, they aren’t intimidated by that any more … these guys know they can beat ‘em on any day.”
But it’s very playable too, challenging but playable. It is, it is. We knew it was going to be breezy here, we knew the type of players who were going to come here. You had to give them plenty of corridor to play with but by making it visually kind of intimidating to the eye, it can make you feel like ‘Oh my gosh, this golf course is difficult.’ But, you know, at the end of the day, when you play here, you get the feel of ‘Oh 34
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Are there any Aussies coming through, at that age? There just seems to be a surge of brilliant young players globally – do you see any brilliant young Australians coming through? Oh yeah. I think Jason Day has probably got the most amount of talent of all our young players right now. There’s a guy called Marc Leishman that I like to watch – big, strong guy. You know it’s just amazing how these guys all of a sudden appear. You don’t really see them. And I’m at that generation difference with them too, I’m not out there and I don’t see them growing up. But when I was out there playing on a regular basis, you would always get this new wave of a young kid coming through, like an Adam Scott coming knocking, biting on your heels, you know. So it never ends. I’m just so impressed with the depth of European golf right now … unbelievable. It’s the best thing that’s happened to the game of golf in decades and decades. Yet now it seems the number one-ranked player in the world is changing every second week, and there are a lot of Europeans in there. What are your thoughts on that? You were world number one for 331 weeks. [Laughs]. Right. I think it was always there. Probably the best thing, like I said to you, that’s happened to the game of golf is the fact that it’s gotten off that number one banner. I mean Tiger Woods carried it for a long period of time, because he was very good. But the game HKGOLFER.COM
of golf is such a global game, that it’s got to be shared around. To see the quality of these guys, whether it’s a Luke Donald, whether it’s a Lee Westwood, whether it’s Manny from Italy or the Molinari brothers, it’s just … I love to see it because the game of golf really has always been that way, but the focus of attention was grabbed by the US PGA Tour, who put it on Tiger Woods and nothing else existed. And yet, all these other guys were still there, they were all winning on a regular basis, they’re all there. But now the dynasty of American domination of the game of golf is just about over. And these guys, young kids now, like the McIlroys and the Ishikawas of the world, they aren’t intimidated by that any more. So, you know, they step up to the first tee of any golf tournament, I don’t care whether it’s a major or just a regular golf event, these guys know they can beat ‘em on any day. Obviously Tiger’s demise - whether it’s his private side or whether it’s his golf or whether it’s injuries - opened the door for these guys in quite a lot of ways. I kept on saying, you know like the Ernie Els of the world, they were playing their best golf against a guy they just couldn’t beat, so their confidence level was shattered. One day Tiger started to back off a little bit, the confidence level picked up and look what happened, [Ernie] won two tournaments last year. So it was a psychological barrier they had to burst their way through, but it was more the media and the exposure and what the US PGA Tour had created in one guy, and now [forcefully] they are paying the price for that. Do you think Tiger can come back from this? I personally do not think so. I mean, I think he will come back and win, no question. Will
“Will [Tiger] come back and dominate the game of golf? No. I think his day is done, I think he has too many distractions … quite honestly, I would just love to see Tiger be a person. Just let go of whatever he’s trying to cocoon up.” he come back and dominate the game of golf? No. I think his day is done, I think he has too many distractions. You know, I think he … quite honestly, I would just love to see Tiger be a person. Just let go of whatever he’s trying to cocoon up. I don’t know him that well, so it’s only my observation, but from what I see I think it would do him the world of good. He still has the talent to do it, but I think he’s going about it the wrong way. I don’t like his golf swing now at all. I think that’s going to be detrimental to his physical health too, just as much as to his mental health. Do you think Tiger made a big mistake dropping Butch Harmon? When you were with him, that triggered off a period when you were just about untouchable – winning the Players and the Open … You know, I can never fault a player for moving from one coach to another. If he does make that decision, it’s how he communicates to the new coach what he’s looking for. I mean, I’ve done it, I’ve been with Butch, I’ve been with Charlie Earp, I’ve seen David Leadbetter. If you feel like you need a change for a specific reason, maybe there’s communication issues, a lack of communication, understanding of what you want, then you’ve got to go to that person and
High and Mighty (clockwise from top): Norman played arguably his very best golf during the 1993 Open at Royal St George's, where he collected his second Claret Jug; in 2008, at Royal Birkdale, the Great White Shark rolled back the years with a vintage performance to finish high up on the leaderboard; with good friend Bill Clinton, the former President of the United States
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“I can never fault a player for moving from one coach to another. If he does make that decision, it’s how he communicates to the new coach what he’s looking for. I mean, I’ve done it, I’ve been with Butch [Harmon], I’ve been with Charlie Earp, I’ve seen David Leadbetter.” say, ‘Hey, this is what I’m looking for: [mimes a swing] I feel like my club is here, but you’ve got a great eye, so tell me whether I’m here, or whether I’m here. Because, I can’t really feel it.’ So you need someone. I don’t want you to come in and change my swing plane to get me to somewhere that you think I should be. So, that’s the kind of communication you’ve got to go through and I think I can say, ‘Hey Charles?’ and you can say, ‘Hey Greg, your club is right here and your swing plane is absolutely perfect and to get it there, this is what you’ve got to do from here.’ And I go [snaps fingers] ‘Got it’ and you and I have connected – boom! Let’s work together. It really is as simple as that. I thought Butch did a phenomenal job on Tiger. Absolutely. The best I’ve ever seen anybody swing a golf club was Tiger in 2000 and 2001. No question about it. He was … he was… [stares wistfully off into the distance] … almost perfect. You count Bill Clinton as one of your good friends. Have you ever met President Obama – and if so, what are your thoughts on his game? Yes, I have. I was in the White House and met him last year. I haven’t seen him swing a golf club but I think it’s great that presidents get out there and love the game of golf.
Danang Duo (above): "I enjoyed it. See you, mate". The author and a delighted Greg Norman with his copy of HK Golfer 36
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He received some bad press recently for playing on Memorial Day … Hey look, you know, he’s a human being. Whether you like his politics or don’t like his politics, whether it’s Memorial Day or not. He’s a human being and he just felt he wanted to
get out there. If you have to nitpick on certain things like that – hey, get a life! I mean, for heaven’s sake … What’s next for Greg Norman? In the world of golf, I’m going to target the end of the year. I’ve missed the middle of the season [through a shoulder injury], which to me is like the Senior US Open, the British Open and the Senior British Open. Now I’ll just take the time, get myself ready, strong again, and I’ll come back and I’ll play the Australian Open. I may play one tournament before that. I’ll play another tournament in Australia and one back in the States. As we prepare to leave, Norman notices a couple of recent editions of HK Golfer. They feature Charl Schwartzel and Martin Kaymer on the covers. Norman fingers the image of Schwartzel: “He’s one great player, this guy. Phew!” “A nd t his g uy!” he says, t urning his attentions to Kaymer. “Wow! I’ll tell you a little story about Martin Kaymer. I was in China six years ago and they asked me to do a clinic, but I was sick as a dog. They asked me to pick someone out, and after seeing Martin I said, ‘the best golfer I have seen today is this guy’ – and he hadn’t even won a thing at this point. He came out and I asked him, ‘Martin, would you mind hitting a few shots because I really can’t,’ and he said, ‘yeah, sure,’ and he was great. He’s remarkable. You can just see the talent. “Thanks Charles. I enjoyed it. See you, mate.” HKGOLFER.COM
JULY STABLEFORD TOURNAMENT Date & Venue:
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 Discovery Bay Golf Club Entry Fee:
$650 (includes golf cart) Entries Close:
1 July 2011 Eligibility:
Men's Maximum Handicap – 21.9 Ladies' Maximum Handicap – 32.7 For entry forms and further information please contact the Hong Kong Golf Association Suite 2003, Olympic House, So Kon Po, Causeway Bay Tel: 2504 8659 Fax: 2845 1553 Email: email@example.com Web: www.hkga.com
From the President I am writing this having just watched Rory McIlroy utterly dominate the US Open. It was a fantastic performance by a hugely talented young player; how wonderful it would be if one day a Hong Kong golfer would be in such a position. Fanciful thinking maybe, but let's remember that Northern Ireland's population is not even half of our wonderful city. Maybe the dream of having a locally-born major champion isn't so farfetched after all. As the newly-elected president of the Hong Kong Golf Association I must thank our immediate past president, Ning Li, and last year's Executive Committee for all their efforts for what was another good year for the HKGA. Building on the foundations set by our most recent presidents – including Rick Siemens and William Chung – the HKGA continues to go from strength to strength in its efforts to help promote the highest level of amateur golf and junior development. I look forward to working with the Executive Committee, our junior development staff, our international squad and all our sponsors – most significantly, EFG Bank, sponsors of the junior development programme – over the next 12 months to continue the good work and further enhance the role of the HKGA in local golf. As we look back on the year passed, there have been a number of highlights, including our first Asian Games appearance. While we did not place among the medals, this was an invaluable experience for our young teams and there were some credible individual performances. Junior golf continues to supply us with hope, as witnessed by many notable achievements over the past year. Liu Lok-tin's magical displays in winning both the Hong Kong Close and Open Amateur tournaments – the first time ever by a Hong Kong-born golfer – was something we are
all very proud of. As was Tiffany Chan's continuing success in ladies' golf tournaments. Lok Tin and Tiffany, along with many others, give us plenty of home for the future and we look forward to seeing their talent continuing to blossom. This year will also see several opportunities in the region for our elite Amateurs to shine; the Nomura Cup in Fiji and our own hosting of the Putra, Santi and Lions Cups in September being prime targets. As the hosts, we naturally look forward to putting on a first-class event and are confident our representatives will do us proud. I'm sure I'm speaking for the team in encouraging as many people as possible to come out to Clearwater Bay Golf Club and support them in their efforts. In December, we'll be hosting the UBS Hong Kong Open once again, and I'm sure we'll attract some of the biggest names in golf. I'm delighted to hear that McIlroy will once again be joining us. After his US Open heroics, maybe he can finally conquer the Composite Course at Fanling. We must again thank UBS for their sponsorship of the event and also the Government for their great help in promoting the tournament this year. The funds that the government have committed to help support the event will not only bring in a stronger field and push the event's profile in the region, but will also help further increase the profile of Golf in Hong Kong at the grass roots level. All in all we have a very busy year ahead of us, and I look forward to working with everyone to making sure we have another great 12 months. Happy golfing to all of you. —David Hui President HKGA
Queen Sirikit Cup: Tiana Rules OK
During the recent 33rd Asia Pacific Ladies Invitational Championship (the Queen Sirikit Cup), local golfer Tiana Gwen Lau was hailed by the Asian Pacific Golf Confederation for her "wonderful honesty". During the event, Tiana called a penalty upon herself as she thought she had improved her lie when, during her practice swing, she dislodged a small twig. When it came to turn in her card, she reported the incident to the Rules officials, who took her to the scene of the incident and declared her free of any violation. Says Ishwar Achanta from the APGC: "I am very glad to see this honest young amateur who has a very bright future indeed. This is the only way to play the game and she has done herself, her parents, her country and Asia Pacific proud!" Kudos Tiana. 38
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Talent Rises to the Top at City Links After almost two months of intense competition, the inaugural Ageas Corporate Golf League has been won by the aptly named Talent2. The recruitment solution and managed services firm held off a strong challenge from The Henley Group to be crowned champions of Hong Kong’s first inter-companies indoor golf competition. Talent2 captured a maximum nine points on the seventh and final night of play at City Links Golf Lounge in The Centrium, Wyndham Street, Central. The winners – comprising main duo Caleb Baker and Matt Bristow plus Neil Robertson, George Vincent and Brian Pemberton – finished top of the overall standings with 49 points. The Henley Group settled for second on 44.5 points while HSBC were third on 40 points. As well as lifting the “War on Wyndham” trophy, Talent2 were given a HK$20,000 cheque to donate to a charity of their choice – in this case Room to Read – www.roomtoread.org, a global organisation seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world through a focus on literacy and gender equality in education. The team also won a golf weekend for two to Bangkok from Golfasian.com, including two rounds of golf, two nights accommodation and round-trip airfares. “The first Ageas Corporate Golf League has been a huge success, with some thrilling but friendly competition and plenty of fun along the way,” said Angela Yam, Head of Branding, Marketing and Communication, Ageas Insurance Company (Asia) Limited. The league, which began in mid-April, was played using the Fourball Better Ball format. A total of eight teams – limited to two players but with substitutes allowed each week – played seven of the world’s most famous courses: Kapalua Plantation, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, The Belfry, Valderrama, the “home of golf” St Andrews and Torrey Pines. The second Corporate Golf League is scheduled to begin in October. Companies interested in taking part should contact: Kim Inglis, Director of Golf, City Links Golf Lounge, on 2522 6366 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ho's Singapore Swing Congratulations to Mimi Ho, who finished top of her division and third overall at the recent Singapore Junior Golf Championship, which was played at the Keppel Club from 1-3 June. Ho, a former Hong Kong Junior Close champion and Discovery Bay Golf Club member, fired rounds of 77 and 75 (eight-over-par) to also place third in the overall girls' championship. Ho also combined with Jay Lau (who placed nineteenth in the boys' 15-17 group) to finish the team event in overall fourth place. Tony Jiang, representing Hong Kong in the boys' 12-14 age division, placed sixth after round of 80,76 and 79.
Societies Share Spoils Singapore Golf Association (Ho); Charles McLaughlin (Societies)
The annual “Calcutta Cup” of Hong Kong golf, a match between the Royal Society of St George and The St Andrew’s Society for the magnificent Shanghai Trophy, was held in glorious weather at the Kau Sai Chau East Course on 10 June. Five players on each team played individual matches, with the competition coming down to the last group on the last green. With the first four matches resulting in two wins for each side, it fittingly fell to the last pairing of St Andrew’s Society Chieftain Neil Orvay and former St George President Jim Wardell to decide the competition. Despite being four down after 11 holes, Chieftain Orvey fought back gallantly, and dramatically holed a putt on the difficult eighteenth of the East to half the match and make the competition all-square, which was undoubtedly a fitting end to a great day 40
HK Golfer・JUL 2011
Back With a Bang Yale student Charles Stone, a former winner of the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship, captures Bolle Midsummer Classic title on return to the city
he largest field in Hong Kong golf assembled in early June for the Bolle Midsummer Classic. Played over the New Course at The Hong Kong Golf Club, over 300 local golfers took part in the annual two-day event, although it was the men’s gross stroke play competition, a division reserved for lower handicappers that provided the most drama. As is usually the case at the Midsummer Classic, the tournament was played in extreme heat and humidity – but Charles Stone, among others, put in some fine performances. Stone, a former Hong Kong Junior Close champion, has just completed his freshman year at Yale and immediately got back into the swing of things at his home course; the Fanling member firing a classy 71 over a slightly modified layout (the par-four ninth hole was closed; competitors played the par-three thirteenth hole twice, albeit to different greens), which was two-over-par on the day. Stone finished just one stroke ahead of Winston Wu, who had to settle for his second successive runner-up finish at this event. Terrence Chung, Adrian Leung and Bibendum Leung placed in a tie for third, a further shot back. Jay Won, the Discovery Bay Golf Club member who has put in a number of notable showings in recent times, would have joined the trio had it not been for a disastrous end to his round. The Korean-born Won made a quadruple bogey eight at the tricky par-four eighteenth to drop into a share of twelfth. “It all came together for me,” said Stone, who has been practicing with the Yale Golf Team for the past semester. “It’s my lowest score for some time, so it’s nice to get back to shooting in the low 70s. The key was being able to keep the mistakes to a minimum. All in all it was a pretty solid round, which I’m very happy about. “My goal is to get on the [Yale] team, so this is a nice confidence boost ahead of the next season.”—Alex Jenkins
End of Year Glory: Stone, right, returned from his first year at college to card a solid two-over-par round over a slightly modified New Course to claim the title
Men’s Gross Stroke Play Results 1 2 3= 6= 9=
Charles Stone Winston Wu Terrence Chung Adrian Leung Bibendum Leung Oliver Roberts Edwin Lam Tim Gilmore Nicky Au Andrew Tsui
Ladies’ Gross Stableford Results 71 72 73 73 73 74 74 75 75 75
1= 3 4= 6 7 8 9=
Michelle Lee Ruby Yim Miranda So Cheung Ping Jasmine Chee Rita Chan Lun Hau-yee Ann Chan Alice Karr Kelly Kung
29 29 28 26 26 25 24 23 22 22
A full list of results can be found at www.hkga.com 42
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Bolle Boys (clockwise from top): The men's winners with Bolle's Andrew Leung and Vivien Lai, Jay Won (T12); Adrian Leung (T3); Oliver Roberts (T6); runnerup Winston Wu; and winner Charles Stone
Defending champion CJ Gatto HKGOLFER.COM
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Rai and Chong make their point with convincing wins at the bulthaup June Stableford Tournament at Discovery Bay
T Daniel Wong
here were plenty of reasons why the bulthaup June Stableford Tournament, held on 19 June, was heavily oversubscribed weeks before the entry deadline. A midweek round over the perfectly manicured and scenic Discovery Bay layout was naturally at the top of list, but the sheer enjoyable nature of the stableford format was undoubtedly another. Stableford is fun – unlike regulation stroke play where every shot counts, in this version of the game you can get away with the odd “blowup” without it ruining either your score or your day. Certainly YB Rai and Christy Chong would agree. The duo finished as leaders of the respective packs: Rai’s 29-point haul earning him the win in the men’s gross division, while up-and-coming junior Chong dominated her bracket, recording 30 points for a three-point margin of victory. The ever-popular tournament was hosted for the first time by bulthaup, the leading German kitchen system manufacturer, who have announced that they will also be presenting the July Stableford Tournament, which will once again take place over the Lantau course on 19 July. Needless to say, this event won’t be suffering from a lack of popularity either.
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Other notable performances on the day included Donald Tang’s total of 39 points, which earned him the silverware in the men’s nett division, and Melody Liang, who made a mockery of her handicap by bagging a quite astonishing 46 nett points to win the equivalent title in the ladies’ category.—Alex Jenkins
Men’s Gross Stableford Results 1 2 3 4= 8= 10
YB Rai Pun Chi-wa Tommy Wong Ng Chi-wah Norton Chan Lyndon Giffard Nicky Au Rocky Chan Leung Chi-wing Jimmy Chan
Ladies’ Gross Stableford Results 29 26 23 22 22 22 22 21 21 20
Donald Tang YB Rai Tommy Wong Eric Tam Raymond Chiok Chan Yu-hung Ng Chi-wah Chow Keung Norton Chan Pun Chi-wah
Christy Chong Kelly Kung Linda O’Brien Ruby Yim Rita Chan Chan Yuk-ngan Chan Ching-yee Liu Gai-yee Lydia Yiu Vicky Tong
30 27 25 24 23 22 20 20 16 16
Ladies’ Nett Stableford Results
Men’s Nett Stableford Results 1 2 3= 5= 9=
1 2 3 4 5 6 7= 9=
Brilliant bulthaup (clockwise from top): All the winners gather following a hard-fought day at Discovery Bay; admiring the view from the sixth tee on the Jade Course; Christy Chong, the ladies' winner, receives her prize; YB Rai, the men's champion, accepts his trophy
39 38 37 37 35 35 35 35 34 34
1 2= 4= 7= 9=
Melody Liang Christy Chong Linda O’Brien Rita Chan Chan Ching-yee Mabel Mak Ruby Yim Liu Gai-yee Kelly Kung Vicky Tong
46 38 38 37 37 37 35 35 34 34
A full list of results can be found at www.hkga.com
HK Golfer・JUL 2011
bulthaup stableford gallery
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junior golf Silky Smooth: Steven Lam at the Hong Kong Golf Club earlier this year 48
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Hailed as one of the brightest prospects in Hong Kong golf, 18-year-old Lam speaks to David Cunningham III about his hopes for the future and how he intends on pulling through his current barren spell
ow would you describe your golf game and personality? I a m qu ite e a s y- g oi n g and open to new ideas and challenges. What I believe in is simply “just do it”. If you over think, your performance will suffer. As I have progressed through my golfing career I have learnt that, and therefore I try to keep things simple and just go out there and do it. What are you thinking about when you are playing a competitive round of golf? Are you relaxed and talkative, or are you focused and silent? To be honest, I am a very talkative person. I talk a lot while practicing, and I always try to keep things fun and interesting. Because when you are having fun, you will try harder and improve faster. During a competitive round of golf I still try to have fun, and just relax and try not to put too much pressure on myself. I do this by really focusing on my tournament strategy and by staying in the moment, focused only on the shot I am about to hit. Are there any experiences in particular that you believe have contributed to the golfer you are today? Meeting top tour pros has given me the chance to receive advice and further develop my potential. They also have given me a lot of encouragement. When you think like a pro, you will play like a pro. Which top tour pros are you referring to? I have been fortunate enough to meet quite HKGOLFER.COM
a number of tour pros from all around the world. One of my closest tour friends is Thai star Thongchai Jaidee. We hang out every time he is in Hong Kong. He talks to me and tries to offer me advice about my golf, what he thinks I need to do to take it to the next level, and what some of my possible options are in my golfing career. We talk about everything else in life too. I really appreciate him taking the time to talk with me whenever he visits, and I really admire everything he has accomplished. Do you have any particular tournament experiences that you believe have made you a better golfer? The 2008 R&A Junior Open [in Scotland]. I was leading by three with five holes left, but I made a big mistake on the thirteenth that ended up costing me the trophy. Even though I lost, I was able to learn why I lost and have become a better golfer as a result and have gone on to win other tournaments. Also, I was able to play in the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, a Japan Golf Tour event,
What's in Steven's Bag? Driver: Titleist 910D2 (9.5°) with Diamana Kai'li 60s shaft Fairway woods: Titleist 910F (13.5°) with Tour AD DI-6s shaft and Titleist 910H (17°) with Diamana Kai'li 80s HYB Mid shaft Irons: Titleist CB (3-PW) with KBS Tour shafts Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design Spin Milled (52° and 58°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts Putter: Scotty Cameron Button Back Newport or GEL Ruby Ball: Titleist ProV1x
Says Steven: I have used Titleist clubs for as long as I can remember – they're a perfect fit for me. My average driving distance has increased to around 280 yards, while my three-wood, which has a little less loft than standard, gives me around 250 yards. A stock seven-iron goes 167 yards. A look inside my bag reveals at least five pencils – I'm just too lazy to take them out. I also keep a red pocket [lai see] in there because my Mum thinks it will bring me good luck. My dream fourball would be Tiger Woods – he's my favourite professional of all time; Jamie Sadlowski, who is the world's longest hitter, and former NBA player Charles Barkley. He has a really funny swing .I think it'd be a lot of fun playing with these guys.
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a couple of years ago [Lam made the cut]. My playing partner [for the third round] was Shingo Katayama and Ryo Ishikawa was in the group right in front of me. Through this experience I learnt how to stay calm in front of big crowds. With respect, you currently seem to be in a slight slump. What would you say is the reason for this? I have made a couple of swing changes as I wish to further improve my scores. But I started over thinking things too much. During last year’s Asian Games, I put way too much pressure on myself. My current situation has definitely been stressful and frustrating but nevertheless it has been a learning and maturing experience and I have never given up. I feel that I have pushed through this, and I now feel that I am swinging really well, and my ball striking is the best it has ever been. I feel that I am getting back in form, but I guess that only tournament results will truly tell. I am really looking forward to getting back out there and competing and showing what I’ve got. What got you hooked on golf and what keeps you coming back?
The Pro's View: Brad Schadewitz I first met Steven when he was eight years old and just starting out. He was a very mischievous, fun-loving kid and has never been shy about his game or around people. Steven has an amazing amount of confidence and when he's playing well, he's almost unstoppable. He has an incredible love for golf and because of this he puts 110 per cent into everything he does. Steven has an amazing short game; when I see him pitch and chip it's like the clubface is part of his hands, such is his control. It's great to watch. Steven's main weakness is his mental game. He has a strong tendency to overthink his bad shots instead of just moving on and accepting that everyone – even the very best players – are going to hit a bad shot every once in a while. This has hurt his ability to perform and score. In previous years, Steven has been a very streaky golfer. When's he's on, he's brilliant but we have identified that his legwork was suspect and that his swing relied too much on timing. His swing has improved in the last couple of years, but he's gotten too mechanical. He needs to get back to what he used to do, which is just scoring and not getting in the way of himself by thinking too much. I feel that he is starting to do this and that he is beginning to return to his former self – a stronger, better player because of the changes we have made. His work in the gym has increased his distance and consistency on the course. One of my favourite stories about Steven was when he competed in his first tournament outside of Hong Kong. I went with him to a tournament at WuYi Golf Club in Guangdong. He was 12-years-old and playing off the white tees. He shot a decent two-over 74 in the first round and when he came off the course in the second round I asked him what he had. He said: "Eight under." I just looked at him with disbelief; I thought he was messing with me. But he gave me this look that told me he was telling the truth. Steven had never shot under par before, not even in a practice round. To shoot 64 and break par for the first time was something else. Steven has been a pleasure to work and interact with. I have loved that I have been lucky enough to see him grow and mature in both his golf and his life. He will be a great addition to any collegiate golf team and I believe he can accomplish whatever he sets his mind to. I expect to see him achieve really big things.
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Satisfaction. I like to compete with people all over the world, and golf is a challenge. I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I reach my goals. What or who drives you to succeed? The amazing support that I receive from my family, the HKGA, my coaches Brad [Schadewitz, the national coach] and Wilson Choy, and my trainer Kape Sieber is what drives me. Do you plan on playing college golf? Definitely. I am still not entirely sure which school I want to go to yet but I would love to go to California because the weather is awesome for golf. What do you think is the weakest part of the your game? My mental game is definitely my weakest point. When I am playing bad, I start to think too much on technical aspects of the game, and as a result I can get in my own way. I try to prevent this from happening by putting a strong focus on my tournament strategy, and the shot I am about to hit, and by doing this I get myself back into the correct state of mind. And the strongest? I would say that my short game and putting. Because of my strong short game I am able to save lot of shots even when I am hitting it bad. When I feel good with my putter, I feel like I can hole every single putt, and this really helps my confidence, performance and scoring. What are your future goals and what's next for you? My future goals are to play on a professional tour. I hope to be able to make it on the European Tour or the PGA Tour. In the near future, my goals are to play well during the summer and impress some college coaches. I also hope to win the Putra Cup, especially since the team has the local advantage [Hong Kong is hosting the South East Asian Team Golf Championship in September]. I also want to qualify for the UBS Hong Kong Open once again. How often do you receive instruction? And what have you been working on recently? I receive instruction once or twice a week from Brad and Wilson. Right now I am trying to keep my arms more connected with my body on the backswing. I am also working on keeping my head more still and delaying my right foot release in the through swing.
What advice can you give aspiring junior golfers in Hong Kong and what is the single best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? There are two pieces of advice that come to mind. From Brad, which is "work hard and be humble." And from my father: "Set goals and dream, concentrate and work hard no matter how difficult it will be. Don’t miss any of your chances or waste your valuable time. It will never come back again as time goes by." What do you believe is most important to a good round of golf? Always start your day with a good breakfast; it gives you the power and energy you need to play well. Also make sure you give yourself enough time to warm up and get ready before you go play. You also need to have a good game plan on the course if you want to be successful. Do you believe that fitness is essential to success in competitive golf? What does your fitness routine look like? Yes. I work out from Tuesdays to Thursdays with the squad and Saturdays by myself. I have gained 10 lbs and I am hitting the ball much further. When working out I focus on building up my muscles, strength and stamina. It helps me to maintain a good golf posture and helps improve my striking consistency. Working out also reduces the possibility of injury. I focus on coordinative strength training and core strength with balance and flexibility. How do you find a balance between your social life, golf, family and school? I mostly focus on golf and school. To complement my schoolwork I have a tutor on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, which allows me to spend extra time on the course during the week, while still performing strongly in school. My social life mainly takes place on Fridays. Who has had the biggest impact on you as a person? Jordan Spieth. I tied for second with him in the R&A Junior Open in 2008. He's younger than me and it was amazing to watch him play so well in the Byron Nelson Invitational [Spieth, the 2010 US Junior A mateur champion, garnered national attention by challenging for the PGA Tour title earlier this year]. Because I tied for second with him I believe that I can do as well as he has done, or even better. Favorite TV show, movie and actor? I really don’t spend much time watching TV, apart from the Golf Channel. I would say my favorite movie has to be the two Hangover films. HKGOLFER.COM
They are both hilarious movies. My favorite actor is definitely Will Smith but I would most like to meet Megan Fox – she is the hottest woman in the world! If you could do absolutely anything, what you would do, and why? I would go play golf in the North Pole, because I heard from Vijay Singh that the greens were really fast there [Laughs]. What is your favourite golf course? It has to be the North Course at Kau Sai Chau. It is one of the most beautiful courses in Hong Kong and I hold the course record there [a stunning 65]. My favorite golf course in the world is definitely Pebble Beach. The 2010 US Open was played there, the views were magnificent and the course was challenging. I would love to have a round of golf there.
Steven's Silverware: Lam has earned plenty of trophies in his career to date, but it was this win at the 2009 Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship that proved to be a breakthrough performance HK Golfer・JUL 2011
Royal St George's, the historic English course, promises to live up to its reputation as one of the finest links layouts south of the Scottish border when the world's best descend upon the Kent coast BY ALEX JENKINS
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAVID CUNNINGHAM III
here's a good chance that many of those who have little idea of golf will know Royal St George's. In Goldfinger, one of the most popular of the James Bond novels, 007 defeats the evil gold magnate over 18 holes of match play at the fictitious Royal St Mark's with sleight of hand and an impressive knowledge of the Rules. In actual fact, Ian Fleming, the book's author, was a member at Royal St George's – or Sandwich as it is commonly known – and based the entire act on his beloved links, where he held an 11 handicap. Unfortunately the 1964 flick of the same name, starring Sean Connery as the super sleuth and the brilliant Gert Frobe as the baddie, used the parkland layout at Stoke Park for their encounter (it was rather closer to Pinewood Studios than the real deal). But never mind. Sandwich, about a two-hour drive from London, will be hosting a rather more important event this month with the Open Championship returning to the Kent coast for the first time since 2003. A Scotsman, Dr. Laidlaw Purves, discovered the course in 1885, and is said to have exclaimed when he looked over the land of what would become Royal St. George’s Golf Club: “By George, what a place for a golf course!” Purves,
with no experience in golf course architecture, enlisted the help of Scottish greenkeeper, Ramsay Hunter, who helped sculpt what would become one of the world's most celebrated clubs. While Purves’ lack of experience could have been detrimental to the success of the design, with the help of Hunter, and aided by the superb potential this land on the Kent coast had for a fine links layout, he was able to create a course which has stood the test of time, and remains a challenging test of golfing prowess for all levels. Only five years after the club's inception, word quickly spread of the “extraordinary new course at Sa ndwich” a nd in 1892, Royal St George’s was awarded the Amateur Championship. Just seven years after its 88 52
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original members founded the club the course hosted its first Open Championship, in 1894. This was the first time an Open Championship had ever been staged outside of Scotland. As the start of the 1894 Open Championship approached, the R&A feared a reduced number of entries due to the long journey south Scottish professionals would have to take to arrive in Sandwich. As a result, the R&A negotiated specially reduced rail fares to encourage entry to the tournament. In reality, only 14 professionals actually took advantage of these reduced rates, but the governing body neednâ€™t have worried as a record-breaking 94 entrants made up the starting field of the thirty-fourth Open. The long carries from the tee required at HKGOLFER.COM
Sandwich, as well as tight fairways surrounded by incredibly dense rough that wind through and between massive sand dunes made for a truly intimidating test of golf. Englishman JH Taylor, the first Open champion at Royal St. Georges, turned in four rounds in the 80s for a total of 326 and a five-shot victory. His score still remains the highest winning total in the history of the Open Championship. Taylor's efforts aside, the course has seemed to lend itself to history making performances. While it's certainly considered one of the most unrelenting layouts on the Open rota, Greg Norman's total of 267 when winning his second Claret Jug here in 1993 is still the lowest in history. It should be noted however that the
History Rich: Royal St George's (top) provided a stuanch test of golf the last time the Open Championship visited Kent, in 2003; 007 watches Goldfinger putt during the 1964 Bond film; Ian Fleming, the book's author based the ficticious Royal St Mark's course on his home club at Sandwich HK GolferăƒťJUL 2011
Agony and Ectasy: Thomas Bjorn (above) gives a wry smile after seeing his Open Championship hopes dashed by a poor backnine in the fianl round in 2003, which would gift the unknown Ben Curtis golf's biggest prize 54
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Great Shark's win, as fine an achievement as it was, was achieved following two days of rain that softened the playing surfaces considerably, making the greens far more receptive than is the norm. Purists will hanker for rather more firmer (and bouncier) conditions this time around. In 1922, when Sandwich held the Open for the fifth time, Walter Hagen became the first native-born American winner, while 81 years later, in 2003, Hagen's fellow countryman Ben Curtis became arguably the biggest surprise major victor of all time after Thomas Bjorn stumbled miserably down the closing stretch. Curtis was then ranked a lowly 396th in the Official World Golf Rankings. If a similarly ranked golfer was to follow in Curtis' footsteps this month, Peter Dawson, the R&A chief executive, will be announcing Rob Oppenheim as the "Champion Golfer of the Year". Rob who? Exactly. (Oppenheim, ranked 396th at the
end of June, plies his trade on the Nationwide Tour but won't be at Sandwich having failed to qualify for the elite field). One former champion who will be back at Royal St George's is Sandy Lyle. The Scotsman won the 1985 Open despite starting three shots back of leaders Bernhard Langer and David Graham at the start of Sunday's round. Lyle, who would go on to win the Masters in 1988, shot a final round of 70 to take the title by one stroke from Payne Stewart. His win was helped by one of the most unlikely birdies to have ever been recorded at the fourteenth hole, a stout parfive. After hitting his tee shot into ghastly rough to the left of the fairway, the laid-back Lyle, one of golf's most unassuming heroes, hacked his ball 80 yards up the cut grass, in front of the bisecting fairway ditch "Suez Canal", before firing a towering two-iron to the front of the green. He then miraculously holed the 45ft putt HKGOLFER.COM
to rapturous applause from the English galleries. For this year's championship, Royal St George's has been tinkered with ever so slightly in order to create the kind of challenge that the Open deserves – tinkering that the R&A believes is necessary to combat the vast distances modern professionals hit the ball, but also, they say, to make it rather more viewer friendly. The course has been lengthened by a hundred yards or so (to 7,211 yards) but perhaps more importantly, the penal rough that was seen flanking the fairways in 2003 has been cut back somewhat. Tiger Woods famously lost his ball with his first drive of the tournament eight years ago in the thick 'Yorkshire Fog Grass' that has since been replaced with a finer strain of fescue. It is worth also noting that the devastatingly ugly Richborough Power Station, which is sure to hove into view during the television broadcast, has been closed. The BBC, host broadcasters of the tournament, showed a rather perverse nature in showing this facility, a few miles north of Sandwich, at every opportunity in 2003. But I digress from far more intrinsic golfing matters ... Par has also been changed – from 71 to a sporty 70 – because the fourth hole – perhaps the most famous on the course, which features a comically large bunker, probably the biggest in major championship golf, some 240 yards from the tee – has been shortened by two yards. Rather than playing as a 497-yard par-five, it will now play as a daunting 495-yard par-four. W hat i mpact t he hole's cha nge of status makes on the outcome of this year's championship remains to be seen, but I'm not sure Fleming himself would approve. Bond aficionados will know that the secret agent won this particular hole from Goldfinger with a hard-earned birdie four. A regulation par doesn't sound very 007.
Champions of Sandwich Year 1894 1899 1904 1911 1922 1928 1934 1938 1949 1981 1985 1993 2003
Winner JH Taylor Harry Vardon Jack White Harry Vardon Walter Hagen Walter Hagen Henry Cotton Reg Whitcombe Bobby Locke Bill Rogers Sandy Lyle Greg Norman Ben Curtis
Score 326 310 296 303 300 292 283 295 283 276 282 267 283
The percentage increase to this year's Open champion's purse. Aside from the Claret Jug, the 2011 winner will walk away with £900,000, which is £50,000 more than Louis Oosthuizen received last year. The championship's total prize fund has been increased to £5 million. The number of times that Royal St George's has held the Open Championship. The first, in 1894, saw JH Taylor claim the Claret Jug with a total of 326, the highest winning score in the championship's history.
The number of shots Greg Norman took en route to claiming his second Open Championship title in 1993. Norman's winning score, which to this day stands as the championship's lowest, was aided by a brilliant final-round of seven-under-par 63.
Golf Punting: A Very British Open The 2011 Open Championship will be a genuine British Open. Royal St George's in July means the wind will blow in from the English Channel, the fairways will be as brown as a pint of McEwan's Export, the greens as unforgiving as a night out in Cardiff – and the winner of the Claret Jug will be a Brit. That's what the bookies think – and I'm not going to disagree. Five of the top 10 favourites chalked up by Messrs W. Hill, V. Chandler, P. Power and Co would represent a home victory and send the local punters home happy. You could do a lot worse than consider any of the very decently priced following: Lee Westwood Luke Donald Graeme McDowell Ian Poulter Paul Casey
10/1 14/1 22/1 33/1 40/1
With the course likely to be playing hard and fast, length is unlikely to be a huge factor for any of these players. But driving accuracy, shotmaking and an ability to handle the links will be key. Donald and Westwood both have to be in the staking plan and Ian Poulter showed he likes the seaside in 2008 when he finished second to Padraig Harrington at Royal Birkdale. If you want a bit of home-grown talent with outsider appeal look no further than Chris Wood. This gentle giant of a lad loves his links and 66/1 isn't too shabby for a young fella finding some form on the European Tour. Other Eurozone contenders should include US Open champion Rory McIlroy (although I'm not sure 6/1 represents astonishing value); the Teutonic Martin Kaymer (solid at 22/1) and Sergio Garcia, my sentimental pick at 20/1. The Spaniard has recently put in some decent showings on both sides of the Atlantic and the Open has a habit of rewarding great ballstrikers in streaky form. How wonderful it would be to see the not-so-young-anymore Sergio hole a putt on the seventy-second hole and emulate the trademark fist-pump of the late, great Seve Ballesteros? Archie Albatross might be a wizened old cynic but Sergio could have the old fool in floods yet ... Of the Americans, forget Tiger (who is uncertain to start) and Phil Mickelson and focus on the better odds represented by Dustin Johnson (40/1), Nick Watney (40/1); Matt Kuchar (40/1) and Jonathon Byrd (125/1). These are the ones that have the potential to break British hearts and join Greg Norman and Ben Curtis, the last two successful foreign invaders, as victorious men of Sandwich. – Archie Albatross
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profile Total Despair: Mark Roe, Media Centre, 2003 Open Championship, Royal St George's 56
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Moving On Lewine Mair talks to Mark Roe, the player turned short game coach-cum-television commentator who rose to global prominence after being harshly disqualified from the 2003 Open Championship
ark Roe is ready for it. Namely, the barrage of questions that will come around Open time as people revisit what happened in the 2003 championship at Royal St George’s. That was when he and his playing companion, Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik, were disqualified at the end of the third round for a scorecard error. To recap, Roe, then 40, had just completed a scintillating Saturday 67 which made him the leader in the clubhouse. He obliged with endless press and TV interviews and was revelling in the likelihood of playing alongside Tiger Woods the following day when, all of a sudden, he was recalled to the scorer’s hut. His first thought was that he had given Parnevik, who had had an 81, one shot too many or one too few. He started to say he was sorry to the approaching Parnevik when the Swedish player stopped him in his tracks and murmured, “It’s worse than that. Much worse.” As the whole of the golfing world would soon be aware, the two had signed for the correct scores but on the wrong cards. Roe knew at once what that meant. His chances of winning the 2003 Open were over. “For the rest of the day,” recalls this former England World Cup golfer, “I was in a state of total shock. I did a second round of all the newspaper and TV stuff and then I drove home. By the Sunday, in contrast, it had really sunk in ... I was unbelievably emotional and spent most of the day crying upstairs. OK, no-one had expected Mark Roe to win the Open but the impossible is possible in this game and I had been playing with an on-course calm I had never known before.” Though Roe, a three-time winner on the European Tour, had no hesitation in taking the blame at the time, he was little by little struck by the notion that the process was less than fair. “I started to question why, when the scorer was an official, his word did not carry the same weight as that of an official on the course,” he said. “After all, when an on-course man gives a decision, that decision is final regardless of whether it’s right or wrong. “In my case,” he continued, “the scorer congratulated me on my 67 and said, ‘You’re free to go’. That was a final decision, so why wasn’t it good enough?” Three years later, Roe received a phone call from David Rickman at the R&A. The Director of Rules was ringing to say that there had been a revision of the Decisions on the Rules of Golf, one which would henceforth allow a tournament committee to strike the wrong name from an otherwise correctly completed scorecard. HKGOLFER.COM
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"I always know what people say when we're heading for the first tee and it's got to the stage where I'm apt to pre-empt it ... I tell them, 'Whatever you do, don't give me the scorecard.'"
“ I n t h e f u t u r e ,” i t r e a d , “ s u c h a n ‘administrative error’ can be corrected without penalty. Revised Decision 6-6d/4 gives a committee the power to strike the wrong name from an otherwise correctly completed scorecard and add the correct name without limit of time.” Roe was happy on behalf of those who might make the same mistake as he and Parnevik had made. But there was no question of him having a new spate of sleepless nights over what might have been. “Of course,” he said, “I think about it on a regular basis but I’ve moved on.” And how.
Though ma ny suspected t hat t he disqualification would have spelt the end of his career, it in fact heralded a new beginning. In the immediate wake of that dark Saturday, Roe drew consolation from the steady stream of emails and texts admiring the gentlemanly way with which he had accepted his lot. And also from his own realisation that this was “a professional tragedy” rather than the kind of personal trauma which, 10 years earlier, had him contemplating suicide amid the guilt of leaving his first wife. Yet within a matter of days, he was being contacted by TV companies. Not for another version of the weekend’s events but to find out if he would be interested in commentary work. An offer from British broadcaster Sky appealed – and Roe has since turned himself into one of that company’s most valued analysts. The commentating, in turn, opened the door for another opportunity which was right up his street.
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As a TV man who has always worked hard to stay abreast of the players’ technical thoughts, Roe caught up with Lee Westwood when he was practising his chipping in advance of the 2007 Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. He was busy quizzing his old friend when Westwood said a heartfelt, “If only I could chip like you ...” To which Roe responded with a mischievous, “You will never be able to chip like me.” When Westwood persisted and suggested that Roe should give him a spot of help, Roe agreed – and so began a partnership which resulted in Westwood notching as many as 17 top 10 finishes in his next 25 events. “Lee was doing what I told him within 40 minutes,” marvelled Roe. Westwood, when asked about Roe’s input, is apt to recite a litany of coaches – including David Leadbetter and Butch Harmon – who had been unable to help with his short-game. “None of them,” he said, “was able to explain the technique that would make me a better chipper. When Mark gave me a lesson, it’s no exaggeration to say it was a ‘eureka’ moment. “Now, I can spin the ball where I couldn’t before ... I can also take on tight pin positions because I’m not afraid of what will happen if I don’t pull the shot off and need to get up and down. It has got to be worth five or six shots per tournament, and that’s the difference between finishing 16th and being in contention every week.” Interestingly, Harmon was one of the first of the other coaches to congratulate Roe on what he had done for his fellow Englishman. Roe, like Denis Pugh and Pete Cowen, was among the coaches on call at last year’s Ryder Cup. “Unsung heroes,” is how Colin Montgomerie labelled the trio. “They were the guys who helped our team to prepare just that bit better than the competition,” said the captain. Today, the now 48-year-old Roe is one of the hottest short game coaches of the moment – a situation which has enabled him to advertise his instructional services at a hefty £500 per hour. Earlier this year, the Volvo Golf Champions in a then trouble-free Bahrain was a typically busy week for the ex-player. One moment he was approving Darren Clarke’s latest putting regime – the Ulsterman endeavours to hole 100 fourfooters in a row every day – and the next he was keeping an appointment to work with Italy’s Francesco Molinari. And when his session with Molinari was over, so he switched to TV mode and interviewed a couple of players before a journalist came across to interview him. Much though Roe loves the TV work, it is the coaching that has done most to take the place of a 21-year playing career – one that ended at the 2006 Dunhill Links Championship, HKGOLFER.COM
where Roe fired a stylish final-round 67 over the Old Course at St Andrews. “When Francesco won in Shanghai,” said Roe, in a reference to the WGC-HSBC event the Italian won only a matter of weeks after Roe had taken him under his wing, “it gave me as much of a buzz as if I had won it myself.” If Molinari, or one of Roe’s other students, were to win at Royal St George’s, that would be the perfect antidote to what happened in 2003. In which case, the chances are that he will handle the mingled cracks and condolences with precisely the same brand of humour he employs when, for instance, he is playing in a pro-am. “I always know,” he chuckles, “what people are going to say when we’re heading for the first tee and it’s got to the stage where I’m apt to preempt it … I tell them, ‘Whatever you do, don’t give me the scorecard.’”
Onward and Upward: The next time Roe played with a Swedish player, in this case Fredrik Jacobson, the Englishman was quick to share a laugh during the pre-round exchange of scorecards (opposite page); blessed with a fine short game, Roe has gone on to share his expertise with a host of European golfers, including Lee Westwood (above), Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari and Justin Rose HK Golfer・JUL 2011
Leading Light: Ryo Ishikawa at Turnberry in 2009 60
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Japan's Rising Son Nineteen-year-old phenomenon Ryo Ishikawa heads to Royal St George's looking to become only the second Asian-born winner of a major championship, writes Alex Jenkins
yo Ishikawa is the poster child for the modern game. He's young and he's Asian â€“ and at a time when golf is keen to embrace both youth and the potential tens of millions of players in the Far East, it is no exaggeration to suggest that this 19-year-old has the requisite star quality to transcend the sport. Born in the Tokyo suburb of Saitama, Ishikawa, like seemingly all of golf's current leading lights, picked up his first club early. Introduced to the game at the age of six in 1997 by his banker father Katsumi (the same year Tiger Woods donned his first Green Jacket), Ishikawa quickly gained success by winning the national junior high school championship in his early teens. Already considered something of a prodigy in local golfing circles, the waif-like Ishikawa (he then stood at barely five-foot-six in his spikes and weighed 130lb) hit the big time at the age of 15 when, on a sponsors' exemption, he played in his first professional event while still an amateur.
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Inviting up-and-coming amateur talents to tee it up alongside the pros is nothing new of course – tournament organizers routinely do this as a way of generating attention; the hope being that the bright, young player in question might make the cut and thereby earn the championship a few more column inches than usual. But the organizers of the 2007 Munsingwear Open KSB Cup got more than they bargained for when the fresh-faced Ishikawa pitched up for their tournament. Opening with rounds of 72
"Whether Ishikawa can follow in the footsteps of YE Yang and become an Asian major winner remains to be seen ... but this personable young man, not yet in his 20s, is already showing the character of a true champion."
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and 69 to easily make it through to the weekend action, Ishikawa grew in confidence as each day passed before firing a brilliant 66 in the final round to take the title by a single stroke. In doing so he became the youngest winner of a Japan Tour event in history. The publicity Ishikawa's victory garnered went through the roof. "New Hero!" screamed the front page of popular daily sports newspaper Nikkan Sports, while the Sankei Sports went even further, calling Ishikawa "More of a genius than Woods!" In terms of sponsor invitations, this was arguably the best – or most fortuitous – of all time. While Japan has long been a proud golfing nation, the county has been without a true hero since the days of the stylish Isao Aoki, who won tournaments – and supporters – around the world throughout the 1970s and 80s . There was also Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki, the most successful player on the domestic professional circuit since the tour's formation, but while he remained a mainstay of the world's top 10 rankings at his peak, Ozaki's performances outside Japan were spotty at best. To Japanese fans and media alike, Ishikawa represents the next great hope and the teenage amateur became an overnight sensation following his breakthrough win. He was immediately dubbed "Hanikami Ōji" – the "Bashful Prince" – on account of his modesty and unmatched talent. Japanese conglomerates – the likes of Panasonic and Toyota – who were eager to throw sponsorship yen his way, were quick to enquire when he was going to join the professional ranks. This happened the following year when Ishikawa had turned 16 – and he soon won again – at the mynavi ABC Championship, where he put in another nerveless display to best his more experienced counterparts. The victory helped catapult Ishikawa into the top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings, but it was the following year – 2009 – when he started to make a name for himself on the international stage. Despite his diminutive build, Ishikawa's wonderfully athletic swing gives him an average driving distance of 300 yards, and he used this in combination with a red-hot putter to conquer all before him – at least on home turf. The skiing fanatic claimed four titles on the Japan Tour to win the money list that year and also earn the attention of Greg Norman, who selected Ishikawa for the International team to face the United States at the President's Cup. 2009 also marked his Open Championship debut. Playing the first two rounds with Tiger Woods, the Bashful Prince outscored the then world number one on Thursday with a sublime 68 before slipping back in the second round to narrowly miss the cut. HKGOLFER.COM
Hitting the Big Time (clockwise from far left): Ishikawa, seen here at Bay Hill, generates enormous power from his athletic swing, averaging over 300 yards off the tee; sharing a laugh with President Clinton during the 2009 Presidents Cup; the Bashful Prince's final round 58 at last year's Crowns Tournament was the lowest ever recorded on a major professional tour.
The Ishikawa File BORN: September 17, 1991 in Saitama, Japan TURNED PRO: 2008, aged 16 PROFESSIONAL WINS: 10 (Nine on Japan Golf Tour) TEAM APPEARANCES: President's Cup (2009); Royal Trophy (2009, 2010, 2011) MAJOR RECORD: Masters (T20, 2011); US Open (T33, 2010); Open (T27, 2010); PGA (T56, 2009) WORLD RANKING: 53 (Current); 29 (Best) OTHERS: Became the youngest player in history to win the Japan Golf Tour money list when he achieved the feat at the age of 18 years and 80 days in 2009. His final-round 58 (which included 12 birdies) at the Crowns Tournament in 2010 was the lowest 18-hole score ever recorded on a major golf tour. AFP
Last year at St Andrews, Ishikawa, buoyed by a jaw-dropping final-round 58 that helped him win The Crowns tournament a few weeks previously, again started brightly with a fourunder-par opening round over the hallowed Old Course. Although he suffered when the winds got up on the second day, his eventual tie for 27th, 14 shots behind eventual champion Louis Oosthuizen, proved that he's adapting well to the intricacies of links golf. And although he has yet to win in 2011, his game is in fine fettle as he heads to Royal St George's: a tie for 20th at the Masters in April gave him his best finish in a major. That 58 in Japan, incidentally, was the lowest round ever carded on a major golf tour. Whether Ishikawa, who is followed to every tournament he enters by legions of Japanese journalists and photographers, can follow in the footsteps of YE Yang and become an Asian major winner remains to be seen of course. But this personable young man, not yet in his 20s, is already showing the character of a true champion, as witnessed by his generosit y in donating all of his tournament earnings this year to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that wreaked havoc on his homeland. "I feel thrilled," said the 53rd-ranked Ishikawa, who also pledged to donate cash for every birdie he makes. "My goal is 200 million yen [HK$19.4 million]. I have enough to spend for my golf. I still have savings. I believe this is the most positive way for me to spend money."
HK GolferăƒťJUL 2011
GOLF TRAVEL A Player’s Guide
Impressive Newcomer: The third hole at Castle Stuart, which hosts this month's Scottish Open 64
HK Golfer・JUL 2011
Craig Morrison, co-author of the beautifully presented 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes, takes us on a whirlwind tour of the country's finest and most memorable courses
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN KERNICK/18 GREATEST GOLF
cotland’s golfing assets are considerable and unique. Most of its courses are historically significant and a great many are amongst the best on the planet. The vast majority of them – and it has 560 courses, more per capita than anywhere else in the world – are open to visitors. Only a handful are not. In Scotland, unlike in so many other countries, golf is entirely egalitarian. It might be the home of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and The Honourable Company – distinguished-sounding organisations with their fair share of grand members too – but people in Scotland don’t play the game for slavish society reasons. Consider St Andrews (where The Royal & Ancient can be found) and Gullane (where The Honourable Company resides), two small towns gloriously given over to golf, each boasting more courses, more world class courses, than is reasonable or necessary. In these places almost everyone plays golf.
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Stellar Seventeenth: The green at the penultimate hole of the Old Course at St Andrews, one of the most challenging and famous par fours in the game
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Historical & Historic
Thinking about golf in Scotland, the birthplace of the game, most of us look backwards: many Scottish courses – the majority of Scottish seaside courses –are more than a century old; Young Tom Morris was already dead when The New Course at St Andrews was opened in 1895; Mary Queen of Scots was playing the game in the sixteenth century (it’s a matter of historical record that she was golfing in February 1567, two days after the death of her husband); further into the mists of time a St Andrews shepherd perhaps took dead aim at a pebble with his crook and fired it gloriously over a sand dune (had he missed he may have abandoned the enterprise and we’d all be playing curling); and long before that, 20,000 years ago, the last Ice Age retreated and left a small northern European country with the greatest natural golfing real estate the world will ever know. Yet, beyond its historical layouts, newer courses have sprung up, and some of them are in their own rights historic.
Golfing pilgrims to Scotland typically make their way east or west. East of Scotland’s industrial central belt is the birthplace of the game, St Andrews its Mecca. "The Auld Grey Toon" has enough courses to keep anybody happy for a week or two: The Old, The New, The Jubilee, The Eden, The Castle, Dukes, Kittocks, Torrance – to name only the top tier. Just outside St Andrews, remaining well within the Kingdom of Fife, more wonderful golf awaits. Fans of Golf In The Kingdom, the Zen novel written by Californian guru Michael Murphy, should make for the Crail Golfing Society which features in the book as Burningbush. It was here that the fictional, enigmatic Scottish professional, Shivas Irons, revealed something of the beauty and mystery of golf. And even if such a spiritual take on the game doesn’t appeal, the two courses at Crail will. Old Tom Morris laid out lovely Balcomie in 1895 and Gil Hanse built the sterner, more modern challenge of Craighead Links in 1998. A day golfing here will live long in the memory.
Northern Beauties (clockwise from below): The seventh hole at Loch Lomond runs hard by the water; Royal Dornoch is perhaps the game's most romantic venue; the spectacular par-three twelfth hole at relatively little-known Hopeman
Ju st a couple of m i les from Cra i l is Kingsbarns, co-designed and developed by Mark Parsinen, another Californian. It opened in 2000 to justifiably rave reviews and has proved to be the spark for a long-awaited new build boom in Scottish golf. It represents Scotland’s highest green fee, £185, but for many it is so special that it also represents a bargain. Each October The Dunhill Cup is played over three courses here: the links at Kingsbarns, The Old Course at St A ndrews and The Championship Course at Carnoustie, just 15 miles away. Carnoustie is also a sometime venue for The British Open. In some ways it is the least aesthetic of the great Scottish seaside tracks. But in almost all ways it is the hardest, anecdotally and scientifically: it was here that HK Golfer playing editor Jean Van de Velde threw away a three shot lead on the seventy-second hole in 1999 and it has the highest course and slope rating in the British Isles – recorded at a jawdropping 75.1/145.
Prestwick Golf Club, just west of Glasgow, is where The Open Championship began. But don’t expect a dated, quirky course when you visit. Prestwick might be something of a shrine but its course is almost 6,800 yards from the
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back tees, and given that the closing four holes are short par fours (perfect for match-play), it’s almost as serious as they come. It will never stage another Open Championship beyond the twentyfourth one it laid on in 1925, but that’s explained by visitor numbers, crowd sizes, more than weaknesses of the course in the world of modern golf. There are, admittedly, three blind shots and there are many severe slopes. But it’s not the museum piece one might expect from reading about it elsewhere. Its glorious neighbour, Royal Troon, still plays host to The Open. Of the newer courses on the same wonderful seven mile stretch of golf along the Ayrshire coast, Dundonald should certainly be added to itineraries. Kyle Philips, who laid out Kingsbarns, created this somewhat unsung masterpiece. Dundonald is owned by The Loch Lomond Golf Club, home to The Scottish Open for the last 15 years. Just north of Glasgow, in one of Scotland’s most stunning settings, Loch Lomond is one of Scotland’s most private clubs. Visitors will have excellent contact books because they must be a member’s guest to play at this pricey and prestigious venue.
Golfing tourists are less likely to make it northwards. But they really should. This month
will see The Scottish Open played at Castle Stuart, just outside Inverness. It has been a monumental move for a prestige tour event to make it north of the Highland Line. But it is hardly surprising. Developed by Mark Parsinen along with Gil Hanse, it is seen as ‘the sequel’ to Kingsbarns and for many it is the best course in Scotland. Once you’ve made it to Inverness you’ve almost made it to Royal Dornoch, perhaps the game’s most romantic, most northerly, outpost. Countless aficionados rate Royal Dornoch amongst the most important experiences in a golfer’s life. But don’t travel all that way for just two courses: consider Moray, Hopeman, Nairn, Nairn Dunbar, Tain, Golspie and Brora. The Carnegie Links just outside Dornoch might be added to the plans of those with contacts: like Loch Lomond it is by invite only. And on the way to these far flung parts, or perhaps on the way back, the golfer should go via Aberdeen. Here one can play the Balgownie Links at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club. It is one of the most thrilling courses in the land and this year it hosts The Walker Cup, the esteemed biannual amateur event between the USA and Britain & Ireland. Next year visitors to Aberdeen should also be able to play Donald
Trump’s first golf course in the UK set amongst the colossal dunes at nearby Balmedie.
Great Golf Courses, Great Golf Holes
In researching and writing 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes I quickly learned that even great courses, the greatest courses even, can never number 18 perfect holes. Sometimes a surprising course will sport the perfect hole. But you won’t know it till you find yourself in its all consuming fairway bunker or looking backwards in wonder from its green. Like lightning you won’t know till it strikes. This is how it is for many when they play The Machrie or Shiskine or Southerness, say: lesser – but no less lovely – courses. In other words almost all HKGOLFER.COM
HK Golfer・JUL 2011
Legendary Links: The second hole at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, one of the most thrilling links courses in the land
The 18 Greatest Craig Morrison is the co-author of 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes & 18 Greatest Irish Golf Holes, published by 18 Greatest Golf, a Scottish-American publishing enterprise which produces the world’s most beautiful golf volumes, as much collectible works of art as books. 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes is introduced by Colin Montgomerie, 18 Greatest Irish Golf Holes by Padraig Harrington. They contain no stock shots, historical images or previously seen work of any kind. Just one photographer and one artist produce the books’ visual content. The books, along with limited edition prints from them, can be purchased by visiting www.18greatestgolf.com. Just 3,000 copies of 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes were released in 2010. Five thousand hand-numbered copies of 18 Greatest Irish Golf Holes have been released in July 2011. The books were printed, bound and hand-finished by the world’s finest print house, EBS Bortolazzi in Verona, Italy. They cost US$300 and can be shipped speedily worldwide.
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Scottish golf courses have elements of magic about them, a certain charm or perhaps, for the overseas visitor, a certain inscrutability: a blind shot, a cavernous hazard or an ancient stone wall ... The perfect golf trip to Scotland will take in some of the country’s most celebrated courses, but perhaps one or two less famous clubs as well. You can see the list of 18 Greatest Scottish Golf Holes at www.18greatestgolf.com.
The Trip of Dreams
Almost all golfers will have ambitions, serious or otherwise, to walk the fairways of Scotland. The lucky ones will someday make good on plans for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, ticking off, amongst others, the marquis courses made famous by The Open Championship. They will never forget the moment of being called on to the first tee of The Old Course at St Andrews, the heart leaping in joyful fear, the countless eyes of golfers past and present upon them. Those who don’t take the journey must makedo with daydreams of golf played amongst the dunes around Scotland’s wild and wonderful coastline, imagining themselves in a country which is the soul of golf. But even if you never make it to Scotland, consider this: wherever you might be, wherever you’re playing t he game of golf, you’re experiencing a little bit of Scotland, its sporting gift to the world.
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China +86 10 6533 1967.
GLOBALTOURNAMENTNEWS PGA TOUR FedEx ST JUDE CLASSIC
TPC Southwind, June 9-12 Harrison Frazar won his first PGA Tour title in his 355th tournament, beating Robert Karlsson with a par on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He won a month before turning 40, and moved to No. 40 in the FedExCup standings, when Karlsson pushed a par-saving putt three feet past the hole. "It was a whirlwind there. This was the first time," Frazar said. "I don't know if I'm supposed to keep the seersucker jacket. I don't know if I'm supposed to carry the trophy. You don't know who you're supposed to talk to. I felt bad. I didn't thank the sponsors. I didn't thank FedEx. I didn't thank the volunteers. I was not quite sure really what was happening right then. The only tournament that I won in Q-school, you walked in, signed your card in the scoring trailer, and they gave you a pat on the back, 'Good job.' You walked out the door. There was nobody there." And Frazar had been so ready to quit golf he had plans lined up for a new job at the end of the year. Now Frazar has the biggest paycheck of his career, taking home $1,008,000. 1 2 3= 8=
Harrison Frazar Robert Karlsson Retief Goosen Tim Herron Charles Howell III Ryuji Imada Camilo Villegas Stephen Ames Carl Pettersson Cameron Tringale
71 65 64 67 66 65 68 68 68 71 64 69 73 65 69 65 72 67 67 66 70 68 68 66 69 69 70 64 69 68 68 68 69 69 67 68 71 68 66 68
267 267 272 272 272 272 272 273 273 273
$1,008,000 $604,800 $252,560 $252,560 $252,560 $252,560 $252,560 $162,400 $162,400 $162,400
TPC River Highlands, June 23-26 Fredrik Jacobson closed out his first PGA Tour title, shooting a four-under 66 in the Travelers Championship for a one-stroke victory over John Rollins and Ryan Moore. "It's been haunting me," Jacobson said. "I've been on the board, I've been asked so many times from the kids, 'Did you get a trophy this week daddy? Did you get a trophy this week?' Nope, no trophy. So, I'm excited about that. I'm glad I'm not breaking that promise for her." Jacobson, a 36-year-old Swede who joined the tour eight years ago and has three European Tour victories, including the Hong Kong Open, had just one bogey in the tournament and finished at 20-under, two shots off the course record. "I was hitting so many fairways," said Jacobson, who tied for 14th at the US Open at Congressional the week before. "It started clicking the end of last week. The last two days I struck the ball the best I ever have at the US Open." Jacobson hit all 28 fairways over the weekend. Rollins and Moore closed with 63s. Moore missed a four-foot par putt on 18. "I'm not beating myself up over that putt," he said. "That happens in golf." Fredrik Jacobson Ryan Moore John Rollins Michael Thompson James Driscoll Bryce Molder Andres Romero Kevin Streelman Blake Adams Tom Gillis
65 66 63 66 64 70 64 63 65 68 65 63 67 65 68 62 69 64 64 67 65 66 64 70 64 67 67 67 66 70 63 66 66 66 66 68 66 69 66 65
260 261 261 262 264 265 265 265 266 266
$1,008,000 $528,000 $528,000 $288,000 $240,000 $201,000 $201,000 $201,000 $156,000 $156,000
As of June 26, 2011
Graeme McDOWELL NIR 5.54
10 Charl SCHWARTZEL
11 Dustin JOHNSON
12 Bubba WATSON
13 Paul CASEY
14 Ian POULTER
15 Nick WATNEY
1 2= 4 5 6= 9=
OFFICIAL WORLD GOLF RANKINGS
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Yani the Record Breaker
Taiwanese star Tseng becomes the youngest golfer in history to scoop four majors after rampant LPGA Championship win
she is playing a major is really, really impressive," Sorenstam said. "She is the new face of the LPGA. She's great for the game. "She still has some things to improve. Once she does, she is going to be hard to stop." The Taiwan prodigy Tseng is a former teen training partner of Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (they both came up through the Faldo Series, Nick Faldo's youth golf development programme), who won his first major title last month at the US Open at age 22. While McIlroy hopes to become a dominant figure on the men's side beyond a single triumph, Tseng has already served notice this is her era in majors as well as this season. Tseng won her first four events of the year, the first in Taiwan, the next two in Australia and the LPGA season opener in Thailand.
LPGA Championship Results 1 2 3= 6= 8=
Yani Tseng Morgan Pressel Suzann Pettersen Paula Creamer Cristie Kerr Meena Lee Stacy Lewis Maria Hjorth Pat Hurst Mika Miyazato
66 70 67 66 69 69 70 71 72 72 69 67 67 72 72 69 72 72 67 69 68 73 70 71 69 72 70 71 71 71 70 71 70 67 75 71 72 72 68 71
269 279 280 280 280 282 282 283 283 283
$375,000 $228,695 $132,512 $132,512 $132,512 $77,630 $77,630 $53,840 $53,840 $53,840 AFP
o rld nu mber one Yani Tseng captured her fourth major title at t he end of Ju ne overwhelming fashion, firing a final-round sixunder par 66 to win the LPGA Championship by 10 strokes. The 22-year-old star became the youngest player to collect a fourth career major title, having previously taken last year's Kraft Nabisco and Women's British Open crowns as well as the 2008 LPGA Championship. "I don't think about being the youngest," Tseng said. "I just focus on the shots and the tournament." Tseng finished 72 holes on 19-under par 269 to complete a wire-to-wire victory for her eighth career LPGA crown. Asked if she has ever played better, Tseng said, "I don't think so, especially because this is a major." American Morgan Pressel was second on 279, one stroke ahead of compatriots Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr and Norway's Suzann Pettersen. South Korean Meena Lee and American Stacy Lewis, the year's first major winner, were on 282. Tseng also led this year's first major, the Kraft Nabisco, after 54 holes in April but touched the trophy before the start of the last round, went on to fire a 74 and lost to Lewis. Tseng will have the chance to complete a career Grand Slam at this month's US Women's Open in Colorado on the same Broadmoor course where Tseng's friend and role model, retired legend Annika Sorenstam, won her first major. "I'm just going to talk to Annika, get some tips, go to the swimming pool and then head for the mountains," Tseng said. "I think I have a chance (to win for the career Slam) the way I'm playing now. That sounds really good." Sorenstam, a 10-time major champion, lives only a long chip shot from Tseng in Florida after Tseng bought Sorenstam's former home. Sorenstam warned current players that Tseng's best might very well be yet to come. "She's playing some amazing golf. The way HKGOLFER.COM
HK GolferăƒťJUL 2011
Former captain and five-time Open champion, one of the true legends of the game, gives his views on this year's Presidents Cup, which takes place at Royal Melbourne in September
'm not a great fan of match play for professional tournament golf. It's great for club golf but not for the big stuff. However, the President's Cup is a special event. This will be the ninth one now and each year it has grown bigger, with excitement building given all the close tournaments we've had. We [the International team] have only won once and we'd like to do it again. The event is being held at Royal Melbourne because of its capacity. It's the best venue we've got in Australia and as good a venue that exists anywhere in the world from the pure watching side of things. It's a course that spectators can walk quite easily. There aren't too many strenuous climbs and descents. The excitement will be there on any of the holes but I'd pick on the par-threes to sit and watch, see how they get on. The Composite Course at Royal Melbourne is very good. It used to have a great mat of couch grass [as the playing surface]. When Ernie Els went round there in 60 [at the 2004 Heineken Classic], I watched him quite a bit and he never took a divot, there was so little grass under the ball. Now we have this Legends Couch grass [a new strain], which is even thinner. It allows the ball to bounce pretty well and you get tighter lies, which is the essence of championship golf. When you're playing by the British seaside, you don't get much grass under the ball and they get high praise for having those conditions. I agree with that. It takes a special skill to play off tight fairways. As far as the tournament goes, I don't think there will be any particular advantage to the Internationals. All these players come to a course on the Monday and in a couple of days they've sorted it out, whether it's the US Open, the Open Championship or the 'Hicksville Open' – that's the way they work. It's perfectly obvious at Royal Melbourne – there's nothing blind. Having said that, I think it will suit the South African players. Those that have gone there have always done well, so I see no reason why they shouldn't play like the 1998 team did here [the 1998 International team, which Thomson captained, won their only Presidents Cup so far]. When we played there, Tiger Woods was pretty near his peak, but he didn't do well. In fact, his iron shots never found the target. He could hit a green but you find you're a cricket pitch away if you're not on the button. He was a bit dumfounded but he did beat [Greg] Norman in the singles match by a hole. The captains are always under a bit of strain and stress in the lead up to the Cup. For example, two players have to be left out, which is how this format differs from the Ryder Cup. This becomes a problem for the captain. If he has someone playing poorly, the 74
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captain has to be stern enough to tell a player that he's not playing him in the morning but that he wants him to get his touch better. The captain has a huge responsibility in getting the pairings right. Don't forget: they're great rivals every other week – they'd eat each other. So the captain has to sort out how to play his pairs and then there is some manoeuvring in matchups, do you put your weakest pair against the strongest of the opposition? Sort of a ‘giveaway’ match. So it's a unique competition in that way. Sunday singles is more straightforward. Foursomes, I think, is a bit of an anachronism in this day and age but it fits well with this sort of event. You wouldn’t have a tournament otherwise played in foursomes. Would I pick Tiger [if I was the United States captain]? If he's not in the top 10 US players automatically, there's obviously something wrong with his game, so I would question it. Players talk about the these swing changes [that Woods has undertaken]. Here is the best player in the world; he should be giving lessons, not taking them. Tiger might turn it down if he doesn’t feel he can win. It doesn’t look good for him if he loses in these matches, he lives on his reputation so he might say he’s not ready. – As told to Paul Prendergast
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Published on Jun 30, 2011