Scott Hend of Australia is the defending champion at the UBS Hong Kong Open. The top 110 on the 2015 Race to Dubai after this event will earn their European Tour cards for 2016.
Seve Benson is currently in 110th spot on the standings and will be looking for a decent showing to secure his place on the circuit for next year. Those on the outside hoping to force their way in include English players: Matthew Nixon (114th,) Tom Lewis (116th,) and Matt Ford (118th.)
This will be the 57th edition of the Hong Kong Open and it’s been part of the European Tour schedule since 2002. Since the tournament was first contested in 1959 there have been a number of notable winners including Peter Thomson, Greg Norman, Tom Watson and, more recently, Colin Montgomerie, Rory McIlroy and Miguel Angel Jimenez. The Spaniard has won the event on four occasions.
Last season Scott Hend of Australia was the champion, he came through a playoff with Angelo Que of the Philippines.
A strong field has assembled for this tournament, including Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Patrick Reed. Star names of that quality should attract sizeable galleries.
The Hong Kong Golf Club was founded in 1889. The club has been host to this tournament since 1959 – one of the few professional events to have remained at the same venue for such a long period of time.
Venue: Hong Kong GC, Fanling, Hong Kong
Date: Oct 22-25
Course stats: par 70, 6,999 yards
Defending Champion: Scott Hend (-14)
Thursday 22 – Sky Sports 4 from 7am
Friday 23 – Sky Sports 4 from 7am
Saturday 24 – Sky Sports 4 from 5am
Sunday 25 – Sky Sports 4 from 4am
Matthew Fitzpatrick – The British Masters champion is on fine form at the moment. Besides his memorable victory at Woburn, he was runner-up in the European Masters and third in both the Czech Masters and the Open D’Italia.
Miguel Angel Jimenez – Miguel excels on this course and has won the tournament four times in the past. He’ll fancy his chances this week.
Miguel’s warm up routine:
Thongchai Jaidee – After his win in the Porsche European open, he’ll be full of confidence. Although he’s never won this tournament, he’s finished in the top-10 on four occasions, including a second place in 2007.
Key hole: 18th. At 410 yards, it might not look overly imposing on the card but, with water, trees, heavy bunkering plus a famously elusive green, par here is an excellent score.
Skills required: Course management. This is a layout that demands accuracy and a strategic approach. It’s an old-school track where the ability to hit the long-ball is not a prerequisite. It’s a course that requires good shot-making and a tidy short game.