Hong Kong Ju­nior Close Cham­pi­onship

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Louie Chan

Taichi Kho and Vir­ginie Ding won their re­spec­tive divi­sions, both in play­off drama at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fan­ling.

Taichi Kho and Vir­ginie Ding won their re­spec­tive divi­sions, both in play­off drama at the Hong Kong Ju­nior Close Cham­pi­onship at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fan­ling. Win­ning a play­off is noth­ing new for the 16-year-old Taichi, who won his first Hong Kong Ju­nior Open ti­tle on the third ex­tra hole last Au­gust. Taichi and close friend Kevin Wu Sho Wai were neck and neck af­ter 54 holes, both fin­ished 217. When the pair started to tee-off on the first ex­tra hole, heavy rain ar­rived. Taichi needed only a two-foot tap-in putt for par to win, while Kevin three-putted for bo­gey.

“It’s the 1st hole of the New Course and I didn’t want to be ag­gres­sive and just played it smart. So, I took my 3 Wood and made sure I hit the fair­way. The sec­ond shot left me 176 yards to the pin. I hit 175 and missed on the left. When I saw, Kevin leav­ing it just on the green, I knew he would have a tough putt. I chipped to two feet but un­for­tu­nately Kevin 3 putted.” ex­plained Taichi.

It was also a close af­fair in the girls’ divi­sion, which saw Vir­ginie sink a 40 foot putt against Chloe in the sec­ond play­off hole to clinch her ti­tle. Vir­ginie and Chloe could not be sep­a­rated over 54 holes to tie at 225 with ex­actly the same scores for 3 rounds (76-74-75).

“I felt the first ex­tra hole (15th of the New Course) was the hard­est one for us. We both had bad ex­pe­ri­ences there on the first day and in the play-off we both took bo­gey 5s so we needed to go to the 16th. It’s an in­ter­est­ing hole and we were both in the same sit­u­a­tion in the right-hand bunker af­ter 2 shots. We both got out but I had a longer putt but with some luck, it fell in. It was a good fight against Chloe and we had a good laugh about it. We have played against each other for 3 con­sec­u­tive years now and we have be­come very good friends,” added Vir­ginie.

In ad­di­tion to tak­ing home the cham­pi­onship sil­ver­wares, Taichi and Vir­ginie were one of the 10 play­ers to re­ceive divi­sion hon­ours for the 2016 HSBC Ju­nior Or­der of Merit.

Lead­ing fi­nal scores: Boys’ Divi­sion: 217 - Taichi Kho (76 69 72), Wu Sho Wai (74 71 72); 224 - Ku Lung Hei (75 76 73); 227 Alex Zhuo (74 81 72), Dar­ren Choi (77 77 73). Girls’ Divi­sions: 225 - Vir­ginie Ding (76 75 74), Chloe Chan (76 74 75); 229 - Hu Jing (75 78 76); 230 - Selina Li (79 78 73); 239 - Stephanie Wong (84 75 80).

Taichi Kho (left) and Vir­ginie Ding (right) re­ceive their Hong Kong Ju­nior Close Cham­pi­onship tro­phies from Sue Sue Tong, Club­house Man­ager of the Hong Kong Golf Club

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