Course, weather pose stiff test for golfers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2007, 12:00am

More than 100 golfers will battle it out under tough conditions at the MacGregor Hong Kong Junior Close Championship starting today.

The city's young, up-and-coming golfers will have to tackle the redesigned Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club course, one of the most difficult in Hong Kong.

The players, aged 7 to 17, face another hurdle this week - unpredictable weather.

'If the wind blows, the course is an awesome challenge for any golfer,' said national junior coach, Brad Schadewitz. 'It will certainly test the young players.'

Defending champion Steven Lam Tsz-fung is once again a strong contender for the title. But the 14-year-old will almost certainly be pushed hard by Nick Hioe Kwok-ho, 15, a club member who will be hoping to use his knowledge of the course to his advantage.

Andy Adler, 16, will also be vying for the overall boys' championship. The gifted player is flying in from his golf school in Australia where he moved last year to focus on his game.

In the girls' category, defending champion Lyra Yoe Hoi-yan - who represented Hong Kong at the Queen Sirikit Cup in the Philippines last month - will be among the favourites.

With the outstanding twins Ginger Mak jun-ki and Demi Mak Jun-wi skipping the tournament, Lyra, 15, will face strong competition from Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching, 13, the runner-up at last month's Ladies Close Amateur Championship, and Stephanie Ho Ngan-sze, 14, who finished third at the same event.

The tournament will provide good preparation for Asia's most prestigious junior competition, the 28th Asia Pacific Junior Golf Championship (APJGC), to be held at Fanling next month.

'This will be a great opportunity for our top players to show who is in form and ready to take on Asia's best at the APJGC,' said Schadewitz.

The final round of the MacGregor Hong Kong Junior Close Championship will take place tomorrow.