Ginger ready to defend her crown

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 March, 2007, 12:00am

All eyes will be on Ginger Mak Jun-ki as she gets ready to defend her Hong Kong Ladies Closed Amateur Championship at Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club this week.

But Ginger, a member of the club, said she will not be feeling the pressure as the competition gets underway today.

'I really just play for myself. I don't worry about what anyone else is doing and my goal is to play to my handicap,' said the 16-year-old, who currently plays off 0.6 handicap.

The Canadian International School student outplayed the field at last year's event in Fanling, where she romped to an 18-shot victory over her closest challenger, Raniasih Pomareda. And with her equally talented twin sister, Demi Mak Jun-wi, not taking part this year, Ginger could face a stern test from Pomareda once again.

'Since being a club member, I have only played the course two or maybe three times. I practise at the driving range every day after school, but apart from that, I just don't have the time to play over the weekend. I'm too busy with schoolwork,' said Ginger, who will represent Hong Kong at the Queen Sirikit Cup in the Philippines later this month.

Although the battle for top honours will likely come down to Ginger and Pomareda, four fellow junior squad members will be teeing up alongside Ginger at the three-day event. They include talented 13-year-old, Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching, who is also expected to be a contender this week.

Iain Valentine, chief executive of the Hong Kong Golf Association, said the 5,376-yard course has undergone major renovations over the past few years and would be a good test for the players.

'This is one of the most prestigious ladies' golf tournaments in Hong Kong and it returns to Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club which has undergone many changes since the tournament was last played there in 2003,' he said.

'It will be a very good challenge for the players. I am also delighted to see that a number of junior golfers are competing this year which is fantastic for the development of golf in Hong Kong.'