Ladies Close Ama­teur & Mid Ama­teur Cham­pi­onships

De­spite a 7-year com­pet­i­tive lay­off, for­mer cham­pion (2009) Stephanie Ho has still got her game and won the Ladies Close Ama­teur Cham­pi­onship at Dis­cov­ery Bay Golf Club, writes Louie Chan.

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Louie Chan

Stephanie Ho sank a 30-foot putt to beat Hu Jing at the first hole of the play­off in dra­matic fash­ion.

The top ama­teur golfer turned pop singer sank a 30-foot putt to beat Hu Jing at the first hole of the play­off in dra­matic fash­ion. Both play­ers fin­ished on 220 af­ter 54 holes. Hu was the club­house leader af­ter two rounds and had a 3-stroke ad­van­tage over Ho. But Ho kept her nerve and forced the game into the play­off.

Ho will be in­vited to play in the Hong Kong Ladies Open, a pro­fes­sional event, at the Hong Kong Golf Club in May. She also se­cured a spot in the pres­ti­gious Mercedes-Tro­phy Hong Kong 2018 event back at Fan­ling.

“I was con­sis­tent and played well in the front nine. I thought I was lead­ing by four strokes af­ter five holes. But I have made some mis­takes on course man­age­ment in the back nine. There were ups and downs in the fi­nal five holes. The 18th was al­ready a drama – my birdie putt lip-out, then she (Hu Jing) birdied to tie for the lead.

“Hon­estly, I was not un­der a lot of pres­sure dur­ing the play­off, as I have been through this for quite a few times. I still re­mem­ber play­ing against Tiffany Chan at the Ju­nior Close Cham­pi­onship when I was 12 years old. It was also at the Dis­cov­ery Bay Golf Club, and we had a play­off for five ex­tra holes! I have been away from com­pet­i­tive golf for seven years, so I just try my best to play the men­tal game,” con­cluded Ho.

HKGA squad team­mates Vir­ginie Ding and Quee­nie Lai tied at third on 230. Michelle Che­ung, who won the best ama­teur tro­phy at the 2017 Kaoh­si­ung En­tre­pre­neur As­so­ci­a­tion Ladies Open last De­cem­ber, carded a fi­nal-round 71 to fin­ish fifth on 231.

Lead­ing fi­nal scores: 220 – Stephanie Ho 76 70 74, Hu Jing 72 71 77; 230 – Vir­ginie Ding 78 79 73, Quee­nie Lai 79 76 75; 231 – Michelle Che­ung 77 83 71; 236 - Jas­mine Chee 79 82 75.

Mid-Ama­teur Di­vi­sion 1: 220 – Stephanie Ho 76 70 74; 250 – Yvonne Wong - 81 88 81; 251 – Chris­tine Kwok 83 86 82.

Mid-Ama­teur Di­vi­sion 2: 253 – An­nie Wong 84 91 78, Chris­tine Wong - 84 86 83; 254 – He­len Che­ung 83 85 86.

Nishi Yoshi­hiro, Pres­i­dent of the HKGA (cen­tre) with the prize win­ners at the 2018 Hong Kong Ladies Close Ama­teur and Mid Ama­teur Cham­pi­onships at the Dis­cov­ery Bay Golf Club.

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