Amateur tourney sets the stage for battle of ages

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 February, 2007, 12:00am

The Delaney's Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship is shaping up to be a clash of the ages as the SAR's young guns look set to make a significant impact on the outcome of the tradition-rich event.

In recent years, the tournament, which gets under way at Fan Ling tomorrow, has been dominated by experienced expatriates, many of whom have had the advantage of golf club membership. But the rise of teenage talents such as Steven Lam Tsz-fung, Jimmy Ko Ming-chak and Martin Liu Wai-ho - all products of the Hong Kong Golf Association's successful junior golf programme - has had many predicting that the 72-hole championship will be one of the most closely fought in living memory.

'We've had more young players qualify [for the tournament] through handicap than ever before, which shows a higher standard of our youngsters,' said national junior coach Brad Schadewitz. 'Steven, Jimmy and Martin all have international experience so I expect them to do very well.'