Yasin Ali is hoping history repeats itself as he bids to book a return ticket to the UBS Hong Kong Open.
The talented Briton will tee off in the international qualifying tournament on Tuesday (20 October) at the Palm Resort Golf and Country Club in Johor, Malaysia buoyed by the fact he won the corresponding event last year.
Yasin faces a tough task in the one-round shootout with dozens of seasoned professionals chasing three spots in the US$2.5 million Hong Kong showpiece.
The field includes two players – Scotland’s Simon Yates and Adam Groom of Australia – who have made an impact at previous Hong Kong Opens.
Yates shot a course-record 61 in the third round of the 2005 tournament on his way to finishing 10th.
A year earlier, Groom led after the first round – heading a stellar field that included Padraig Harrington, David Howell and eventual winner Miguel Angel Jiménez – before settling for joint 12th position.
Sattaya Supupramai of Thailand, who won a three-way playoff to grab the third qualifying slot a year ago, is in the Palm Resort line-up again.
Other notable names due to tee off include Malaysia’s Danny Chia, Thai veteran Boonchu Ruangkit and Martin Rominger of Switzerland.
Four Hong Kong professionals – William Fung, Lokky Lee, Chris Tang and Derek Fung – booked their UBS Hong Kong Open places at last week’s domestic qualifying tournament.
The 2009 UBS Hong Kong Open will be staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling from 12-15 November.
The world class field will be spearheaded by Korean ace Yang Yong Eun, who became Asia’s first Major winner when he triumphed at the US PGA Championship in August.
Also in the line-up will be defending champion Lin Wen Tang of Chinese Taipei and the man he beat in last year’s unforgettable playoff duel, brilliant Northern Irish youngster Rory McIlroy.
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.