Dear Fellow Golfers,
When I wrote my last letter two months ago in early June, we were busy reconstructing our golf calendar for the summer and the rest of the year. Whilst we knew that international competitions and Open tournaments would present enormous challenges due to travel restrictions, we were securing courses and dates for our rescheduled local tournaments to the point where we wondered whether we would be overworking our rules officials and volunteers. Unfortunately the third wave of COVID-19 emerged in mid-July and our activities were once again put on hold.
Before our courses were closed again, we completed the Senior Close and a number of junior tournaments in June. Also successfully held was the inaugural Ladies Golf Clinic at Clearwater Bay on June 18 which introduced our beloved sport to more than 100 female golfers, mostly beginners. It is one of our missions to popularise the sport, and I would like to give special thanks to the 20 or so HKGA coaches for sparing their time to support this event.
While tournaments have ground to a halt in the SAR, some of our players based in Mainland China were fortunate enough to be able to participate in China Golf Association (CGA) events. One of our best young talents, Sophie Han, finished second in the 26th National Junior Golf Championship played at the Yangjiang Lakefront Golf Club in July. The winner was the highly regarded An Tong, currently the No.1 ranked junior in China who is two years older than Sophie. Please remember these names as they will shine brightly for many years to come. At the time of going to press, Sophie had just finished 4th at even par at the Zhuhai leg of the China Amateur Open, as the youngest player in the field. At the same tournament on the men’s side, our boys Yue Yin Ho (Ho Ho) and Tommy Lin finished 2nd and 11th respectively in a very competitive field.
Sophie, Ho Ho and Tommy, who is only 14 years of age and is already ranked 16th in the China HSBC Junior Golf Ranking, will be playing in the National Golf Championship in early September in Shaanxi, following the CGA’s invitation for us to participate in this highest level event in China for both professionals and amateurs competing in the same field. While Sophie will be Hong Kong’s sole female representative, Ho Ho and Tommy are likely to be joined by Kevin Wu and Cyrus Lee to compete in the Men’s division both as individuals and as a team. This promises to be a great learning experience for our young talents and I would like to thank the CGA once again for always keeping Hong Kong in mind and helping us with our development of golf.
At the time of writing this letter, I have just finished watching the closely contested US PGA Championship. It was gratifying to see Li Hao Tong becoming the overnight leader after the second round. It was also great to see other recent years’ Hong Kong Open competitors such as Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose featuring prominently on that star-studded leader board. The winner, Collin Morikawa, is an inspiration both on and off the course. He insisted upon attaining his university degree before turning professional at an academically demanding institution. He again delayed his professional career to play in the World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland in the summer of 2018 as he wanted to represent his country in the biggest amateur event in the world prior to turning professional. At the HKGA, we look forward to developing our own Major champion player in
Let’s hope we can be back on the golf course by the time
I write my next letter. Keep well and stay safe!