HK Team Misses Out On the Bronze Medal
Jon Wallett, HKGA Golf Development Director, recaps on the HK teams’ performances and results at the Taipei 2017 Universiade and 13th National Games of China.
The golf tournament at the Taipei 2017 Universiade was a first-class event over the difficult and challenging golf course at the Sunrise Golf & Country Club. The standard of players was very high with a good representation of 33 nationals and 127 competitors from all over the world. The HK Men’s team comprised of Matthew Cheung (72-7170), Terrence Ng (79-75-70) and Michael Wong (73-76-73). The Ladies team was represented by Isabella Leung (79-73-73), Michelle Cheung (76-77-74) and Kitty Tam (79-79-80). 2 scores from 3 counted each day for the team event.
The HK team improved their position each day, but unfortunately, the play was cancelled on the last day at 5pm due to thunderstorms. Terrence had already finished, and Matthew was on the 17th at 3-under with a par 5 finishing hole. At the time, we were in 7th place as a team, with a high chance of finishing in the top three of the field. Also, Matthew was in 8th place in the individual. In the end, the tournament took the results from the first three days, meaning Matthew finished in 10th place in the individual, the Men’s team finishing 9th and the Ladies team finishing 11th.
A big thank you to Ladies Captain Joanne McKee for her assistance with the team - it was a long week with most days starting by taking a bus between 4:30am and 6:30am each morning and then finishing the day at 9pm each day with the team talk for the next day.
One week after the Universaide, the HK team was in Tinjuan playing the 13th National Games of China. All the teams from different municipalities, provinces, autonomous regions, the People’s Liberation Army and sports associations in China have to qualify for the event. But HK and Macau are invited to participate, totalling 10 Men’s teams and 9 Ladies Teams (Macau did not put forward a Ladies Team).
This is obviously the biggest tournament for the Chinese golfers. Most of the field were professionals, and all the best Chinese players in the world were presented. Li Haotong, who finished 3rd in the British Open, and Feng Shanshan, the world No.6 LPGA player both competed. Matthew Cheung played with 2 Chinese players who had just earned their PGA TOUR card on the first day, and Kitty Tam played with a LPGA player who shot 64!
Nevertheless, the Men’s team were competitive and finished 4th, miss out on the bronze medal by only one shot. Motin Yeung had the best tournament of his Pro career to date, finishing in the top 10. Jason Hak is undoubtedly a big talent, and he had received financial offers to play for other teams. But he chose to represent HK on this occasion, and he shot 70-72-73-73. The course was good - challenging around the greens and an excellent test of golf.
Tim Tang struggled scoring 78-79-82 but then came back with an excellent subpar 71 on the last day. He has not played tournaments for a long time and then to play in a big event on a very tough course was a big ask. But he prepared well for the event, practised hard and was an active and supportive team member throughout the week and it was great to see him have this crucial round for the team on the last day.
Matthew played some good golf and had the best score for the HK team on day 2 with 71, and another 71 on the final day with a birdie-birdie finish. I believe Matthew can do well and over the last 18 months, his World Ranking has gone from approximate 1,000 to currently in the 600s.
For the Ladies team, Michelle Cheung scored 76-77-84-73, Isabella Leung 79-7779-74, Virginie Ding 83-76-83-78 and Kitty Tam 84-77-79-83.
A big thank you to Team Captain Mr Ning Li and assistant Mrs Betty Ng, who both did an excellent job throughout the week.
HK Ladies team at the Universiade (from left to right) – Michelle Cheung, Kitty Tam and Isabella Leung
Jason Hak at the 13th National Games of China
Matthew Cheung at the Taipei 2017 Universiade