I trust you are enjoying the reopening of our courses and golfing facilities. As we have seen throughout 2020, Hong Kong’s courses and driving ranges were as fully utilised as they could be under the Government’s social distancing measures, which truly underlines the popularity of golf in our city. Once again, I would like to thank all stakeholders for demonstrating the highest level of resilience and professionalism in the face of the challenges that are totally beyond our control.
The highly anticipated China National Golf Championship, which was supposed to be held in September, was postponed to 16-21 November. The venue has been changed from Shannxi to the Yangjiang Taojing Golf Club in Guangdong. The same field has been invited to play in the rescheduled event and our five-strong team of Sophie Han, Ho Ho Yue, Tommy Lin, Kevin Wu and Cyrus Lee have already confirmed their participation. Our team is in good form and at the time of writing this letter, Sophie, age 13, had just finished second in the Match Play Competition after finishing third a few days earlier in the Stroke Play Competition of the China Amateur Classic, which is a highly regarded event that is played by amateurs of all ages and not just juniors, to add to her series of good results in the summer. Ho Ho, Kevin and Cyrus also performed well in the various legs of the China Amateur Open. Ho Ho finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in Guangdong and Shanghai, before finally winning his first title in Beijing. Kevin and Cyrus finished top-10s in the same tournaments.
Our players in the US also registered great results in amateur events and playing as amateurs in professional events. Just to name a few: Taichi Kho finished 3rd at the GCAA Amateur Series at Illinois. Alex Yang came in 9th and 26th respectively at the Western Amateur Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club and the Junior Players Championship at TPG Sawgrass. In between these two amateur events, Alex finished 7th at the Temecula Creek Championship which is a professional event under the Golden State Tour. Leon D’souza finished 42th and 73rd respectively in the Arizona Open and the Southern California Open, both of which are professional events.
The 62nd edition of the Hong Kong Open, the longest running professional sporting event in Hong Kong, has been postponed from the last week of November due to COVID-19 since the international players, including the usual top ranked star players, are unable to come to Hong Kong due to the lengthy quarantine requirements. Every effort is being made by the HKGA and the HKGC, the promoter and the host Club of the Open to restage our banner event as early as possible in the new year. Together with the European Tour and the Asian Tour, we remain resolutely committed to the staging of the event. I am confident that our collective effort will eventually be rewarded, as we were for the past edition. I would also highlight that the entire Hong Kong Government, including the Home Affairs Bureau, the Tourism Board and the Tourism Commission, have been as helpful and encouraging as possible for one of the most important Hong Kong international events to take place.
The opening created by the postponed Hong Kong Open in November did give us some benefits. As readers may recall, despite all the challenges, we successfully concluded our Close Championships for Men, Ladies and Seniors in 2020. The Junior Close has had to be postponed on a couple of occasions due to the pandemic. Thanks to the constant and generous support of the HKGC, we have now managed to secure the precious tee times, as they are in high demand, for the Junior Close to take place in the last week of November when the HK Open was originally scheduled. As such, for 2020, I can proudly report that we are in a position to conclude all our four major Close Championships even in a most disrupted year.
I am also pleased to report that we are on schedule to complete the HSBC Junior Series 2020 with five legs scheduled. Two of these have already been played between the reopening of the courses and the time of writing this letter. I must thank HSBC for their trust and support for us, and the same goes to the other major sponsor Mercedes Benz and our many other sponsors in various capacities. Their respective contributions are vital to the success of our programmes, especially during these challenging times.
As we are approaching December, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all of you, our stakeholders - including members of our host clubs, our sponsors, partners, officials, volunteers, management and staff - a healthy and joyous festive season.