Australian Wade Ormsby says he will ‘put his best foot forward’ this week as he attempts to complete his hat-trick of Hong Kong Open titles, having arrived here riding a tidal wave of emotions after his father Pete passed away just two weeks ago.
Off the back of one the most challenging periods in his life, the 43-year-old is clearly here to try and win the tournament he first won in 2017 and then in 2020 – when the tournament was last played before the COVID-19 interlude.
“Played this morning in the Pro-Am and was really happy with the way I played,” said Ormsby – whose father was a huge influence on his career and a well-known figure in Australian golf. A highly respected professional golfer he was the founder of Pete’s Golf Superstore.
“Obviously I have had a few things going on over past few weeks, so I am a bit under done but I want to go out there and play well and win. I will put my best foot forward. I’d love to win another golf tournament.”
Only three players have claimed the Hong Kong Open, which is part of The International Series this year for the first time, on more than two occasions: Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez and Chinese-Taipei’s Hsieh Yung-yo, who have both won a record four times, and Australian Peter Thomson, who has lifted the trophy three times.
Ormsby is in exalted company with those who have triumphed twice, his illustrious compatriot Greg Norman, Chinese-Taipei legend Lu Liang-huan, aka ‘Mr Lu’, and Frank Phillips, also from Australia.
He added: “It’s always difficult to do it again. I have just got to settle back into it. Play it one shot at the time, all the cliches in golf …”
The Australian feels that both his wins here have been very different but equally significant.
“I had been on the European Tour for quite some time but hadn’t won before. After 350 odd tournaments on that Tour you’re not sure if you are going to win or if your game is good enough,” said Ormsby.
“I had already won in Asia, but Europe was the big one for me. So, to win here in 2017 was amazing, very special. And the second one in 2020, I probably played the best golf of my career. I went wire to wire. Every win is very different.”
The 43-year-old is four-time winner on the Asian Tour, with the most recent coming in March when he overcame Thailand’s Chonlatit Chuenboonngam on the first hole of a sudden-death play-off to win the International Series Thailand after an exciting finish at Black Mountain Golf Club, in Hua Hin. His maiden victory came at the Panasonic Open India in 2013.
And while he is somewhat tournament rusty coming into this week he is in prime shape and prepared.
Said the golfer from Adelaide: “My game has been good this year. My coach is the same as Cameron Smith’s. As I have been a reserve for LIV Golf I have been able to get access to Grant Field our coach quite a bit on the road. Even though I have not been competing I have been warming up every day and working a lot with Grant. I want to put it all to the test now. No better place to do it than this week.”
And when asked at a press conference today why he has regularly sported a moustache he was quick to reply: “My father always had one.”