| Fi­nal Shot

Louie Chan talks to the HK Open Ama­teur cham­pion about his best ever round, favourite cour­ses and his prepa­ra­tion for the UBS HK Open.

HK Golfer - - Contents - In­ter­view by Louie Chan

Matthew Che­ung, the HK Open Ama­teur cham­pion, talks about his best ever round, favourite cour­ses and his prepa­ra­tion for the UBS HK Open.

When did you start play­ing- and where?

My dad put a club in my hands at quite a young age, I have a photo of my­self hold­ing a plas­tic club when I was 3. But, I re­ally started to play reg­u­larly when I was 9 when I moved to Brisbane, Aus­tralia with my mum and brother. My mum signed me up for ju­nior clin­ics at a lo­cal golf club. I loved it when I started play­ing and I haven’t stopped play­ing since.

What’s been your best ever round?

I shot my per­sonal best 61 (-10) at the start of this year at the golf club I prac­ticed at when I was in col­lege in the U.S. It was a qual­i­fier within my univer­sity team. I had 12 birdies and 2 bo­geys. My best tour­na­ment round is 64 (-8). I shot it at one of my col­lege tour­na­ments in Las Ve­gas in 2014. It was the last round of the tour­na­ment and I thought I was able to catch the lead­ers, but my two team­mates just beat me out for the ti­tle.

How would you de­scribe your ama­teur golf ca­reer so far?

I think that my ama­teur ca­reer has been solid. I have not won as much as I have liked but I have come close a lot of times. The most im­por­tant thing for me is that I have im­proved ev­ery year since the start of my col­lege ca­reer. At the end of the day, my ama­teur ca­reer is just a step­ping stone to the pro­fes­sional rank­ings.

How’s your prepa­ra­tion for the UBS HK Open?

I feel like my prepa­ra­tion is go­ing very well. Every­thing seems to be com­ing to­gether nicely. I re­cently won the HK Open Ama­teur Cham­pi­onship and the China Ama­teur Clas­sic and I will play in a mix­ture of ama­teur and pro­fes­sional tour­na­ments lead­ing up to the UBS HK Open. I will be in a com­pet­i­tive mode and my game will be sharp when the week ar­rives. It is go­ing to be an amaz­ing week and I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to it.

Do you have a favourite course?

In Asia, my favourite golf course is def­i­nitely Clear­wa­ter Bay Golf Club in HK. The views are breath­tak­ing and the golf course is very well de­signed. It isn’t long but it can get quite dif­fi­cult when the wind starts to blow. I have a lot of fun ev­ery time I play there no mat­ter the score I shoot! I have played a lot of great cour­ses around the world but I think my favourite one is the com­pos­ite golf course at Royal Mel­bourne. It was a fun lay­out and the course was in ex­cel­lent shape when I played it dur­ing the Asia-Pa­cific Ama­teur back in 2015. The greens were su­per firm and quick and it was a great test of golf, dif­fi­cult but fair.

Who would be in your dream four­ball?

My dream four­ball would be Michael Jor­dan, Tiger Woods, Jack Nick­laus, and Justin Tim­ber­lake. I am a huge bas­ket­ball fan and MJ is the great­est bas­ket­ball player of all time. Tiger was my idol grow­ing up. I was just so mes­merised by his golf swing and he just made golf look so easy. I chose Nick­laus be­cause of what he has done for the game of golf. I love Tim­ber­lake’s mu­sic so I in­cluded him in my dream four­ball. All these guys are/were at the top of their pro­fes­sion and it would be awe­some just to hear some of their sto­ries from their lives and learn from their past ex­pe­ri­ences.

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