Shattering start for HK's top amateur

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 April, 2001, 12:00am

The dream debut never materialised for the SAR's top golfer Sarah Henderson yesterday when she was disqualified at the end of the first round in the Queen Sirikit Cup Amateur Ladies Team Championships at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.

Henderson, playing under the Bauhinia flag for the first time, saw visions of a sparkling first appearance disappear when she was disqualified after returning an incorrect scorecard.

'She had been penalised for teeing off outside the markers on the 10th hole of the New Course, but mistakenly added only one penalty stroke instead of the two called for under the Rules of Golf,' said David Roberts, chief executive of the Hong Kong Golf Association.

The error, which was not noticed until she had signed her card, proved costly for Hong Kong as Henderson finished with a total of 81, matching teammate Eva Yoe's effort. Annie Lau, the third member of the SAR team, shot 88. With only the top two scores counting, Hong Kong finished with an aggregate of 169 and in 12th place, ahead of only Sri Lanka in the 13-team contest.

If Henderson had not been disqualified, Hong Kong would have had a net score of 162, moving them up a further two notches on the ladder.

Defending champions Australia led the field with a team total of 145.

Rebecca Stevenson spearheaded the assault with the day's best score of 71, thus taking the individual honours, while Helen Beatty scored 74 and Nadina Taylor shot 77.

Stevenson's round of 71 was the only sub-par round of the day (New Course par 72) and included four birdies and three bogeys in a steady display in the wet conditions.

The Australians enjoy a two-stroke advantage over joint-second placed finishers Japan and Taiwan. Ai Miyazato of Japan shot a one-over par 73 as did Taiwanese Hung Chin-huei, both of whom kept their countries within striking distance of the Aussies.

Lying four shots off the pace and in fourth slot were South Korea, on 149, with Kim Joo Mi leading the charge with 73, while Thailand finished on 151 and Indonesia with 155.

The tournament continues today and tomorrow.