Irishman Shane Lowry and American Tony Finau are set to headline at the 61st Hong Kong Open when the rescheduled tournament gets underway at Hong Kong Golf Club from 9 – 12 January 2020.
The charismatic pair have made their mark on the game in recent years, not least at the 148th Open Championship in July this year, where Lowry claimed a famous six-stroke victory amid triumphant scenes at Royal Portrush Golf Club, while Finau took an impressive third place on the links course in Northern Ireland.
The duo will resume their rivalry as part of the 120-player field set to compete on Hong Kong Golf Club’s famously testing Composite Course in the new year.
Lowry last played the Hong Kong Open in 2009 and 2010. Speaking about his impending return, the Major champion and five-time European Tour winner, said: “I’m really excited about going back to play the Hong Kong Open again. I haven’t played in Hong Kong for a few years now, so it’s great to be going back.
“The Hong Kong Open will be my first event of 2020 and I’m hoping to use the tournament to kickstart what will be a very important year for me as I try to make the European Ryder Cup team next September and build on the success I enjoyed this year”.
Tony Finau will be looking to make sure Lowry doesn’t have it all his way at Fanling. The 30-year old from Salt Lake City has proven time and again that he has the talent to compete with the very best. A winner at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open and a runner up at the WGC HSBC Champions in Shanghai in 2018, Finau has seized the opportunity to make his tournament debut and get his year off to the best possible start.
“I’m looking forward to competing in my first Hong Kong Open,” said the World No. 16, who contributed valuable points to the victorious U.S. Team in last weekend’s Presidents Cup. “I’ve heard great things about the tournament and Hong Kong Golf Club, and I am excited to see it all first-hand to start the year.”
Teeing it up alongside Lowry and Finau in Fanling will be two of the most popular players on the Asian circuit, in 2019 Asian Tour Order of Merit winner ‘Jazz’ Janewattananond and fellow Thai, Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Jazz, as he is known in golfing circles, secured the Asian Tour’s 2019 Order of Merit earlier this month following an outstanding year on tour which has seen him break into the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, with wins at the SMBC Singapore Open, Kolon Korea Open and last weekend’s BNI Indonesian Masters. With valuable Order of Merit points on offer at Hong Kong Golf Club, he will be looking to pick up in 2020 where he left off this year.
Aphibarnrat also joins the line-up at Hong Kong Golf Club. With four European Tour wins to his name, the powerful Thai started his year well, with a third-place tie at the WGC Mexico Championship and will be looking to tee-off 2020 in a similar vein. With his best result at Hong Kong Golf Club coming in a seventh-place tie in 2011, he’ll be hoping to get his name to the top of the leader board come Sunday.
Fans will have plenty of local talent to support with the Hong Kong Golf Association awarding starting places to a further six players from the S.A.R. Matthew Cheung, Alan Gibson, Isaac Lam, Shinichi Mizuno, Terrence Ng and Chi Hin Lou Tan, who qualified for the original November date, will be joined by Jason Hak, Taichi Kho, Leon D’Souza, Ben Wong, Alexander Yang and Motin Yeung in their national Open.
Why not put the Hong Kong Open in the stocking this Christmas!
The 61st Hong Kong Open will continue to stage two key charitable initiatives in January, providing golf fans with the opportunity to compete on the Championship Course, while ensuring that the tournament continues to have the same positive impact on the local community. With all proceeds going to Operation Santa Claus, this is an opportunity for golf fans to put the Hong Kong Open on the list for Santa this Christmas!
Beat the Pro will see up to 20 amateur golfers go head-to-head with the pros on the par-3 12th hole of the Composite Course on Saturday 11 January, with prizes available to any golfer that is able to better the pros’ tee-shots. With places available to players from Hong Kong Golf Club and the Hong Kong Golf Association’s junior development programmes as well as the broader golfing community, members of the public are required to a make a charitable donation to participate, with places awarded to the highest bidders. For further information see https://thehongkongopen.com/beat-the-pro
Organisers have also announced that the tournament’s principal fundraising initiative, the Hong Kong Open Charity Cup, will return to Hong Kong Golf Club on Tuesday 14 January. With more than HK$ 6 million raised to-date, the Charity Cup enables members of the public to play on the tournament’s unique Composite Course in a Stableford Better Ball team format. For more information and to register, see https://thehongkongopen.com/hong-kong-open-charity-cup/
Hosted by Hong Kong Golf Club, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, the Hong Kong Open is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Hong Kong Golf Association and organised by the European Tour.
Tickets are available to purchase via Ticketflap – https://www.ticketflap.com/thehongkongopen
The tournament is free to attend on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 January for all. Under 21s go free for all four tournament days. For more information see www.thehongkongopen.com
The Hong Kong Open has also been recognized as an “M” Mark event to help enhance the image of Hong Kong. “M” Mark is awarded by the Major Sports Events Committee, symbolizing an intense, spectacular and signature event in the territory sports calendar.