Greater China will be robustly represented at the forthcoming UBS Hong Kong Open by three of its most exciting young golfers.
CT Pan from Taiwan and Li Haotong from Hunan will join Hong Kong’s Jason Hak as they look to test themselves against many of the world’s leading players, including Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Patrick Reed as well as Asian Tour heavyweights Anirban Lahiri, Thongchai Jaidee and defending champion Scott Hend at the Hong Kong Golf Club from October 22-25.
Pan, who is 23, recently turned professional after graduating from the University of Washington as the most successful golf scholar in its history and the Number One player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
He made his professional debut at this year’s US Open at Chambers Bay (his fourth Major appearance) where he made the cut and finished the week in a tie for 64th position.
“I can’t wait to be a part of the UBS Hong Kong Open,” said Pan. “I have managed to play in some big events in America and in four Majors but it will be really special to go back to China and play as a professional on such a great event on both the Asian and European Tours.
“Hopefully I can play well and get into contention. I think we all want to play against the best players in the world and to be able to test myself against players like Justin, Dustin, Graeme and Patrick will be a great experience.”
Li is no stranger to The European Tour, having made an incredible impression earlier this year at the Shenzhen International when the then 19 year old narrowly missed out on becoming the first Chinese player to win a European Tour event on home soil.
After a brilliant performance at the Genzon Golf Club, Lilost a sudden-death play-off to Kiradech Aphibarnrat but that close call, coupled with a sixth place in the Volvo China Open the following week, has whet the appetite for more success on Chinese soil.
He said: “Having gone so close to winning a European Tour event in China at the start of the year, I think it is safe to say I would love to go one better at the Hong Kong Open. I have heard so much about the event and its great champions and I would love to add my name to that list.”
Hak, of course, already has considerable history at the UBS Hong Kong Open. It was at the Hong Kong Golf Club in November 2008 when Hak became the youngest player to make the cut in a European Tour event, at 14 years and 304 days, eclipsing the record set by Sergio García at the Turespana Open Mediterrania in 1995.
The Hong Kong native said: “I am always so grateful to get an opportunity to play at the UBS Hong Kong Open and this year is no different.
“I absolutely love the Hong Kong Golf Club and it is fantastic to see UBS returning as our title sponsor – they have managed to put together an incredible field with some of the most exciting players in the game coming to Hong Kong this year so I am sure it will be a brilliant event once again.”
UBS Group AG
UBS draws on its over 150-year heritage to serve private, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Its business strategy is centered on its pre-eminent global wealth management businesses and its leading universal bank in Switzerland, complemented by its Global Asset Management business and its Investment Bank, with a focus on capital efficiency and businesses that offer a superior structural growth and profitability outlook.
UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in more than 50 countries, with about 35% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 17% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 12% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs about 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Mega Events Fund
This year, the “UBS Hong Kong Open”is sponsored by the Mega Events Fund (MEF) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. The Fundwas set up in 2009 to support mega arts, cultural, sports and entertainment events to be staged in Hong Kong. With the approval from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, the operation of the Fund has been extended for five years till end March 2017 with a view to attracting more internationally acclaimed mega events to Hong Kong and reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as the events capital of Asia.