Just four days after the 2018 European Tour season concluded, the 2019 schedule begins on Thursday. Wade Ormsby defends the Hong Kong Open in Fanling.
Honma Hong Kong Open Leaderboard, Preview, TV Times
A strong field has assembled for the first event of the 2019 European Tour season. Tommy Fleetwood will peg it up in the Honma Hong Kong Open, together with Sergio Garcia, Patrick Reed and Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
Four-time winner Miguel Angel Jimenez will be back in action in Hong Kong as will England’s Eddie Pepperell. In 2017, Jimenez closed out with a tournament record-equalling 63 and he believes a fifth victory could be possible.
“I am looking forward to returning to Hong Kong Golf Club for this year’s tournament,” he said. “It’s a golf course that I have enjoyed a lot of success on over the years and one that tests your game in a unique way. The tournament and the golf club have a wonderful heritage and the fact that it’s all in Hong Kong makes it very special. I look forward to getting back out on course.”
It’s a first chance for the 2018 Challenge Tour graduates to get a taste of 2019 European tour action and 11 of them will peg it up, including Jack Singh Brar of England and Scots Grant Forrest, Liam Johnston, Robert Macintyre and David Law.
This will be the 60th 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, Justin Rose and Miguel Angel Jimenez. As mentioned above, the Spaniard has won the event on four occasions.
Last year, Australia’s Wade Ormsby held on to win by one from a group of four players: Julian Suri and Paul Peterson of the USA, Alexander Bjork of Sweden and Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello.
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.
The weather forecast is reasonable, although it could be breezy, until the Sunday when rain could be a factor.
Venue: Hong Kong GC, Fanling, Hong Kong
Date: Nov 22-25
Course stats: par 70, 6,703 yards
Defending champion: Wade Ormsby (-11)
How to watch the Honma Hong Kong Open
Thursday 22 – Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event from 6am
Friday 23 – Sky Sports Golf from 6am
Saturday 24 – Sky Sports Golf from 6am
Sunday 25 – Sky Sports Golf from 6am
Not a Sky Sports customer and want to watch the Honma Hong Kong Open?
Players to watch:
Sergio Garcia – The Spaniard is in great form right now with three top-10s in his last three starts, including a win. He finished in the top-20 in this event last year.
Rafa Cabrera-Bello – He was joint second in this event last year and has been on solid form of late. He hasn’t missed a cut on the European Tour since July.
Lucas Bjerregaard – The Dane had a great 2018 season and will be looking to get his 2019 campaign off to a flying start.
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.