YOUNG GUNS HOPING FOR BEIJING QUALIFICATION

Jason Hak Shun-yat is hoping for a positive start to his competitive year by securing qualification for the Volvo China Open.

HONG KONG GOLF CLUB, 22 FEBRUARY 2017

Sixty players from 14 countries and regions will compete in the 2017 Volvo China Open Hong Kong International Qualifying, and eight of them are amateurs, including two lady players from Hong Kong. The 36-hole event starts tomorrow and will be played over the New Course at the Hong Kong Golf Club at Fanling.

The 23-year-old Hak played well last year to finish in 17th position on the PGA Tour China Series, and he claimed earnings of more than RMB 250,000.

I concentrated on the PGA Tour China Series last year and played pretty well, particularly towards the end of the season,” said Hak, who turned pro in 2013.

I competed at Beijing Topwin Golf Club last year and led for the first three rounds, but I didn’t manage to win.

When I heard that the Volvo China Open would once again be held at Topwin Golf Club I was really excited, so I very much hope to do well this week and to get another chance to compete there, as I very much like the course.

I also like the courses at Hong Kong Golf Club – I love the tree-lined fairways. The courses always seem to be in good condition but the greens are always tricky. I’ve played here many times but mostly on the composite course.

Although the fairways are quite generous, the New Course is certainly not an easy course, particularly when it’s windy. I really hope we have some friendly pins!

In 2008, Hak became the youngest player at 14 to make the cut on the European Tour when he qualified for the weekend play at the Hong Kong Open.

Chinese Taipei amateur, Lawrence Ting, is also in the field this week, his fourth time to compete in Volvo China Open qualifying.

Ting won the qualifier two years ago and as a result he played in his first ever professional event.

Victory in the Volvo China Open International Qualifying at Guangzhou Nansha Golf Club gave me great confidence to play better golf and to continue to improve my game,” said Ting, 17.

I got the opportunity to play with experienced players in the Volvo China Open, and I’m playing better golf now for that experience,” added Ting. “My short game has really improved and my putting is pretty good.

I played the New Course two years ago in the Hong Kong Amateur so I’m reasonably familiar with the layout. The wind has been tricky in practice so I know I’m going to have to place my shots to score well, but I’m expecting to win again.

Hong Kong’s Leon D’Souza is also hoping to play well and is confident of qualification, as he is the New Course record holder.

D’Souza shot a nine under par 61 in the Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship three weeks ago and is still riding a wave from that experience.

I started my record-breaking round with a bogey on the first hole, but things got rapidly better after that,” commented D’Souza.

The conditions this week look likely to be more challenging with gusting winds so the key to scoring well will be to keep the ball in play.

It would be really good if I can win one of the three qualifying spots and compete in Beijing, as my win in the Hong Kong Close Amateur earned me a spot in the Hong Kong Open.

--ENDS--

2017-2-22 Hong Kong

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