Golden oldie William Fung will make his UBS Hong Kong Open debut at the age of 52 after winning the domestic qualifying tournament today (16 October).
The veteran teaching pro finished two shots clear of the field at the Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course to book his place in next month’s US$2.5 million showpiece.
“It’s a dream come true,” said an emotional Fung. “I can’t believe it. I thought this was my last chance to qualify and now I’ve done it. I’m very happy.”
Fung can look forward to teeing it up with some of the world’s best players at the UBS Hong Kong Open, including Asia’s first Major winner Yang Yong Eun, defending champion Lin Wen Tang and current European Tour Race To Dubai leader Rory McIlroy.
With four places in the main draw up for grabs in the two-day qualifying tournament, Fung carded a one-over-par 73 to finish on one-over 145, two strokes clear of fellow pro Lokky Lee (74).
A three-way playoff decided the remaining two places, with Chris Tang (76) and Derek Fung (73) beating Roderick Staunton (71) at the first extra hole after the trio had finished on 148.
The 2009 UBS Hong Kong Open will be staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling from 12-15 November.
The tournament – Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event, having started in 1959 – will once again be co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.
The qualifying tournament was held in conjunction with the Hong Kong leg of the UBS-supported Faldo Series Asia.
Talented 16-year-old Steven Lam blitzed the field with an 11-under total of 133 and was followed home by Liu Lok Tin as both players booked their places in the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final at Mission Hills Golf Club, hosted by six-time Major winner Nick Faldo, next March.
Lam has already qualified for the UBS Hong Kong Open as winner of the Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship last January.
An exemption will also be granted to the winner of the Hong Kong Open Amateur Championship at Discovery Bay Golf Club on 3-6 November.
The UBS Hong Kong Open International Qualifier will be held at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, on 20 October.