| 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.
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.