Hong Kong Open (golf)
The Hong Kong Open is a golf tournament which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the European Tour. It was founded in 1959 and in 1962 was one of the five tournaments that made up the inaugural Far East Circuit, later known as the Asia Golf Circuit. It remained part of the circuit until 1996, before joining the Asian Tour, then known as the Omega Tour, in 1997. It became co-sanctioned by the European Tour in 2001, as part of the 2002 season.
|Location||New Territories, Hong Kong|
|Course(s)||Hong Kong Golf Club|
|Length||6,700 yards (6,100 m)|
|Tour(s)||European Tour (since 2001)|
Asian Tour (since 1997)
Asia Golf Circuit (1962–1996)
|Month played||January (in 2020)|
|Tournament record score|
|Aggregate||258 Ian Poulter (2010)|
|To par||−22 José María Olazábal (2002)|
−22 Ian Poulter (2010)*
*These records only date back to 2001 when this tournament became a European Tour event.
The Hong Kong Open was played in spring from its inception until 1994, but since 1995 has usually been played towards the end of the year, in November or December, and as a result has often fallen into the following year's European Tour season.
Since taking its place on the European Tour the event has always been held at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Sheung Shui, New Territories. The Hong Kong Golf Association, Hong Kong PGA, and Chinese PGA receive a limited number of exemptions into the tournament for their members.
In 1958, Hong Kong Golf Club member Kim Hall wrote to Australian professional Eric Cremin to see if those players playing in the Philippine Open in 1959 would consider staying in the region to play in Hong Kong. Hall then approached Peter Plumley, secretary of South China Morning Post, who was also a golfer. Plumley then persuaded his boss to sponsor 1,000 Australian pounds in prize money in the name of South China Morning Post. Then, the first Hong Kong Open was launched in February 1959. According to Hong Kong Golf Club member Willie Woo, Kim Hall was very keen for the tournament and he talked a lot with Australian golfers, including Peter Thompson. Woo helped to get Taiwanese players through his connections.
The first tournament was hosted by Sir Robert Black, the then-Governor of Hong Kong. Around one thousand spectators joined the tournament. Taiwanese golfer Lu Liang-Huan won the inaugural edition of the tournament. The success of the Hong Kong Open prompted first Singapore in 1961, and then Malaysia and Japan in 1962, to introduce their own tournaments and bring about the setting up of the Far East Golf Circuit. The circuit further expanded into a regular ten-tournament tour, called the Asia Golf Circuit, that existed until the end of the twentieth century.
Despite the SCMP's original agreement to maintain 1,000 pounds sponsorship of the Hong Kong Open, it was felt that prize money would need to be increased if the best players were to be attracted. To that end the 1963 event was jointly sponsored by the SCMP and British American Tobacco, with the purse being increased to 4,000 pounds as a result.
Due to poor weather conditions during the 1966 event, the Hong Kong Golf Club lost HK$10,442 as the money put up by the sponsors was insufficient to cover expenses. As a result, the club decided that in future it could not undertake to assist financially in any way, but would continued provide the courses and the general facilities. The 1968 tournament was the first edition to be shown live on television. In 1969, the newly formed the Hong Kong Golf Association took up the task of organising the tournament. In 1971, the Hong Kong Open was on the verge of disappearing due to low spectator numbers and financial problems, but with the assistance of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, who were keen to retain the event on the Asia Golf Circuit, the tournament was saved.
In 1996, Hong Kong golfer Dominique Boulet finished fourth, the best result by a local golfer. In 2008, Florida-based Hong Kong amateur Hak Shun-yat became the youngest player ever to make the cut in a European Tour event, at 14 years and 304 days, eclipsing the record set by Sergio García at the Turespaña Open Mediterrania in 1995. At the other end of the age spectrum, Miguel Ángel Jiménez became the oldest golfer ever to win on the European Tour when he won in 2012 at age 48 years, 315 days, and extended his record by defending his title in 2013 at age 49 years, 337 days.
In 2013, organizers and potential sponsors raised concerns over the complex becoming enmeshed in a controversial redevelopment plan for Fan Ling. The tournament was played that year without a title sponsor.
In 2020, the Hong Kong Open organizers announced that the tournament will be postponed till 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- AGC – Asia Golf Circuit (earlier known as the Far East Circuit); ASA – Asian Tour (previously known as the Asian PGA Tour/Omega Tour/Davidoff Tour); EUR – European Tour
- Due to postponement and rescheduling, the Hong Kong Open was not a European Tour event in January 2020.
- Hend won with a par on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
- Jiménez won with a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.
- Lin won with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff; Molinari was eliminated on the first extra hole after making a par to Lin and McIlroy's birdies.
- Frost won on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff, after McClellan had holed his second shot from the fairway for an eagle 2 on the final hole of regulation play to force the playoff.
- Third round cancelled as the course was unplayable due to rain.
- Reduced to 2 rounds due to rain.
- Cox won with a par on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff; Gale was eliminated after making bogey on the first hole of the playoff.
- Lu won with a birdie on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.
- Thomson won on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.
- Hsieh won on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff.
|13||The Long Hole||529||484||5|
|16||The Road Hole||411||376||4|
- "A different era – founding father of the Hong Kong Golf Open recalls the early days of city's oldest sporting event". South China Morning Post. 3 October 2015.
- "The last Happy Valley golf survivor: Willie Woo goes down memory lane". South China Morning Post. 21 October 2015.
- S.C.M Post Open Golf Competition – New Page in Sporting History of H.K., South China Morning Post, page 1 & 20, 2 February 1959
- Robinson, S (1989), "Festina Lente – A History of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club", p. 85–105
- "HK quit decision won't hurt Asian golf circuit". The Straits Times. Singapore. 4 September 1971. p. 28. Retrieved 25 February 2020 – via National Library Board.
- "Staging of 1972 HK golf 'remote'". New Nation. Singapore. 7 September 1971. p. 15. Retrieved 25 February 2020 – via National Library Board.
- "HKGA decide to hold 1972 tourney". The Straits Times. Singapore. 24 September 1971. p. 30. Retrieved 25 February 2020 – via National Library Board.
- Boulet thrills Open fans with final round flourish, South China Morning Post, 9 December 1996
- "Hak breaks Sergio Garcia's record, makes Euro Tour cut at 14 years old". ESPN. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2008.
- "With This Win: Miguel Ángel Jiménez" (Press release). PGA European Tour. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2013.
- Chen, Bonnie (22 July 2013). "In a hole". The Standard. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
- "Golf: Hong Kong Open postponed until new year because of COVID-19". CNA. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
- "Hong Kong Open rescheduled for January 2020". ESPN. 6 December 2019.
- 戴臣香港高球賽奪冠, Ta Kung Pao, page B7, 18 December 2000
- Suttering Sjoland helds off Woosnam in gripping finale, South China Morning Post, 29 November 1999
- 韓好手姜旭淳奪標, Hong Kong Commercial Daily, 30 November 1998
- Final round duel puts friendship to test, South China Morning Post, 29 November 1998
- Nobilo steadies ship, then takes Open by storm, South China Morning Post, 8 December 1997
- Cuello shrugs off all challengers in Open win, South China Morning Post, 9 December 1996
- Win makes Webb rethink career, South China Morning Post, 20 November 1995
- Frost solves putting riddle in Open play-off, South China Morning Post, 28 February 1994
- Watts stays the course for thrilling Open win, South China Morning Post, 15 February 1993
- "Public golf course plea by Open winner Watson". South China Morning Post. 9 March 1992.
- "Nerve-jangling win for Watson". South China Morning Post. 9 March 1992.
- "湯屈臣失準製造緊張 仍以三桿壓倒華費迪". Sing Tao Daily. 9 March 1992. p. 11.
- "International Results". The Canberra Times. 9 March 1992. p. 22. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
- Langer tames Fanling, South China Morning Post, 11 February 1991
- American Green wins golf Open, South China Morning Post, 26 February 1990
- Claar clinches memorable win, South China Morning Post, page 32, 20 February 1989
- Hsieh leads Taiwan change, South China Morning Post, page 22, 15 February 1988
- Woosnam wins by four shots, South China Morning Post, page 1, 2 March 1987
- King Kanai's charge clinches Open crown, South China Morning Post, page 29, 3 March 1986
- Amiable Aebli walking tall, South China Morning Post, page 33, 4 March 1985
- Brask bolts home by seven shots, South China Morning Post, pate 21, 27 February 1984
- Bit-hitting Norman's conquest, South China Morning Post, page 1, 28 February 1983
- Cox wins Fanling thriller, South China Morning Post, page 1, 1 March 1982
- Taiwan again! Dark horse Chen keeps up the Open tradition, South China Morning Post, page 24, 2 March 1981
- King Kuo's crown as he pips Mr Lu, South China Morning Post, page 21, 3 March 1980
- Australian clinches HK title, South China Morning Post, page 11, 4 March 1979
- Hsieh's fourth HK title, South China Morning Post, page 10, 5 March 1978
- Hsieh wins HK Open, South China Morning Post, page 12, 6 March 1977
- Taiwanese sweep HK Open Golf, South China Morning Post, page 10, 18 April 1976
- Hsieh makes it three, South China Morning Post, page 1, 24 February 1975
- Lu wins Open in dramatic play-off, South China Morning Post, page 19, 25 February 1974
- Tremendous climax to a gripping Open, South China Morning Post, page 15, 6 March 1973
- New Hongkong golf champion, South China Morning Post, page 1, 3 April 1972
- Moody wins H.K. Open, South China Morning Post, page 1, 5 April 1971
- Katsumata leads the charge, South China Morning Post, page 2, 30 March 1970
- First Japanese ever to win at Fanling, Bembridge second, South China Morning Post, page 2, 31 March 1969
- Randall Vines clings to title as dramatic Sugihara bid fools, South China Morning Post, page 2, 25 March 1968
- Thomson wins golf title in play-off, South China Morning Post, page 1, 27 March 1967
- Thrilling Duel Phillips Wins HK Open Despite Back Ailment, South China Morning Post, page 1, 28 March 1966
- Thomson's Dramatic "Open" Win, South China Morning Post, page 1, 29 March 1965
- Hsieh Retains Golf Title, South China Morning Post, page 1, 23 March 1964
- Hsieh Yung-ho Wins H.K. Open, South China Morning Post, page 1, 11 March 1963
- Woodward Wins H.K. Golf Open, South China Morning Post, page 1, 5 March 1962
- Nagle Wins S.C.M. Post Open Golf tournament, South China Morning Post, page 1, 13 February 1961
- Thomson Coasts to Victory in Open, South China Morning Post, 2 February 1960
- "Crampton and Nagle Beaten". The Age. 3 February 1959. p. 20.
- Robinson, Spencer (1989). Festina Lente – A History of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club. Royal Hong Kong Golf Club. p. 105.
- "Hong Kong Open: facts & figures, past champions and trivia". South China Morning Post. 21 November 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
- Official website
- Coverage on the Asian Tour's official site
- Coverage on the European Tour's official site