Hong Kong’s number one golfer Taichi Kho has admitted that it has been a lifelong dream to play at the Hong Kong Open as a professional, with the tournament set to return for the first time since early 2020 when it gets underway on November 9 at Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.
Kho is one of three big-name announcements to have been confirmed at the 62nd edition of Hong Kong’s longest-running sporting event, alongside 2022 Open Championship winner Cameron Smith and two-time Hong Kong Open winner and defending champion Wade Ormsby.
And Kho will go into the tournament with form on his side, having won the 2023 World City Championship – also at Hong Kong Golf Club – in March in what was his first title on the Asian Tour.
“As a professional golfer, all you want is an opportunity to play against the best in the world, so to be able to compete against them in Hong Kong is going to be great and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from them and hopefully beat them,” said Kho, who competed as an amateur at the tournament in January 2020.
“I’ve played a lot with Wade this year which is really nice. I’ve grown close to him and taken a lot of his advice that he’s given me, so it’ll be great to be able to play with him again.
“Cam Smith is one of the best golfers on the planet right now. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from him, as will the other golfers out there, and I’m sure he’ll play great.”
Kho returns to play a professional tournament in Hong Kong for the first time since winning the inaugural World City Championship just over five months ago when he finished two shots ahead of New Zealander Michael Hendry to claim home-club success.
And that win elevated the 22-year-old even further as it gained him entry into his first major, the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
“Life has changed for the better [since winning the World City Championship]; playing at Hong Kong Golf Club made it even more special because it’s so close to home, so it will be my longest-lasting memory in golf,” admitted Kho, who turned professional in February this year.
“But since then, I feel my game’s moved on, so I’m looking forward to playing in front of my friends and family again. To have everyone here supporting me last time was really special, and I’m sure it’ll be even more so in November.
“Other than the history of the golf club and the golf tournament, it’s an event I followed when I was growing up, so to be able to compete in it as a professional is a real dream come true.
“A successful tournament for me would be to play my best golf and learn a lot from the week. Last time I did that, I won the tournament, but I’m just looking forward to having a good week.”
Tickets for the Hong Kong Open 2023 are now available via Ticketflap at www.ticketflap.com/hongkongopen2023. Admission on Thursday and Friday, 9-10 November is free while daily prices for Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November are $200 per day or $300 for a weekend pass.