Rising stars have shot at big time
Golf fans will be able to attend the World City Championship golf tournament free from March 23 to 26 on the Fan Ling golf course, where two of Hong Kong's own rising stars will play alongside European golf legends, the Hong Kong Golf Club said.
Club captain Andy Kwok Wing-leung said yesterday the championship will be the first international golf event in the city after a three-year-hiatus.
The club aims to support the government's "Hello Hong Kong" campaign to attract international visitors.
"That mission is already coming to fruition with Swedish star Henrik Stenson set to make his first ever visit to Hong Kong," a club spokesman said.
In a video, Stenson, who boasts 22 wins including the 2016 Open Championship, said: "I'm excited to be coming to Hong Kong for the first time and look forward to seeing all the fans in Fan Lng."
English golfer Ian Poulter, who set the championship record at 22 under par at the 2010 Hong Kong Open, said he welcomed the opportunity.
"Hong Kong is one of my favorite places and I am looking forward to coming back to Asia's World City for the inaugural WCC," he said.
Kwok thanked the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and the Asian Tour for their recognition of "the tournament, the course, and the club."
He said activities including golf clinics, live music, a classic car show and more would be organized.
Local rising stars Terrence Ng Shing-fung and Isaac Lee, who will be playing at the championship, hoped they can play a few practice matches with the veterans.
Ng turned pro after competing in his third Hong Kong Open as an amateur player in January 2020.
"The Fan Ling course isn't particularly long but it can get quite tricky, especially around the green," Ng said, adding that local players might have a leg up over international contestants.
Lee, who has only competed in local competitions thus far, said the WCC would be a major milestone for him as he grew up watching Poulter and Stenson play. "This is the first time I've competed in an international competition and it's my biggest competition too," Lee added.
"We are also proud that the field will feature many of Hong Kong's elite golfers and a chance to prove themselves against the world's best," Kwok said.