Propelling To The Pro Ranks
by Louie Chan / Image: Zachary Fu
HK Golfer talks to Terrence Ng, Hong Kong’s leading amateur golfer, about
his preparation leading up to the 2019 Hong Kong Open at the end of this month.
Terrence Ng will play as an amateur for the last time in this year’s Hong Kong Open
HK Golfer: With less than a month to go, how’s your preparation going for the Hong Kong Open?
Terrence Ng: I registered for the First Qualifying Stage of All Thailand Golf Tour Q-School in the first week of November then I will come back to compete at the Hong Kong Open Amateur and Mid Amateur Championships in the middle of the month. I will use these two tournaments to keep my
Then I will have another two weeks to practice and play at Fanling as much as I can. I am very familiar with the New Course. However, the composite course that hosts the Hong Kong Open consists of only eight holes from the New Course. I believe that the ten holes from the Eden Course will very decisive for the players to shoot low scores. I plan to gain more experience on the Eden course prior to the tournament.
HKG: Do you think you can fully utilise the home course advantage?
TN: For local players, I think our most significant advantages are the understandings of the green elevation and where not to miss around the greens. We also know how to read the break and grain of the greens at Fanling. I have seen world-class players such as Sergio Garcia struggle a lot on the greens in the past two years.
However, the course setup for the Hong Kong Open is different from how we play at the amateur tournaments. The rough will be much longer, and the green will be much faster. Tour pros get used to these setups every week, so, this could also be a disadvantage for me.
HKG: Have you set any goals for yourself?
TN: Any player is going to say he wants to win going into a tournament, but I will say my realistic goal is to finish in the top-40. Even though I have never made the cut in my last two attempts (2015 and 2016), I have more confidence that my game has matured enough to qualify for the weekend.
HKG: This will probably be your last Hong Kong Open playing as an amateur.
TN: Yes, indeed. I will turn professional after this Open, no matter what my final result is. Most of the golfers I used to play with in the same age group are either now playing the professional tour or have given up their dream. For me, it’s now or never.
HKG: Your last big tournament was the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) in late September. Any positive takeaways from that?
TN: Honestly, I didn’t play well at Sheshan. It’s a very challenging course which has hosted the World Golf Championships - HSBC Champions for more than a decade. The fairways are narrow, and the rough is thick and sticky. Playing such a challenging course, the line between playing well and mediocre is very fine. But I was happy that I held my nerve and made the cut, and competing against the finest in the Asia-Pacific region also helped me to maintain my competitive edge.
HKG: Looking back on your amateur career, who has had the most significant impact on you?
TN: My dad, because he is the one who first let me touch a golf club and got me started playing when I was eight or nine. He taught me how to grip the club, how to set up, and how to hit the ball, so I really want to thank him. I also like Steve Stricker, as he and I have a similar style of game. Neither of us is particularly long, but we make up for it with our short games and putting. His putting is incredible; he can hole it