Teenage tigers hit Clearwater club
Teen golfer Nick Hioe Kwok-ho clinched his biggest victory to date at the MacGregor Hong Kong Junior Close Golf Championship at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club on Thursday.
The 15-year-old said he felt enormous pressure going into the final round but, using knowledge of his home course, the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) elite squad member held off his biggest challenger Steven Lam Tsz-fung to win by three shots.
Nick finished the two-day event two-under-par for a total of 142 following rounds of 69 and 73.
'I was really quite nervous when I teed off this morning,' said the Hong Kong International School student.
'Steven has been in such good form lately that I wasn't sure I was going to be able to hold him off. I just kept telling myself to calm down and not be nervous.'
Nick had a shaky start at first and by the fourth hole, the four-shot margin between the two had reduced to just one stroke.
From the fifth hole onwards, however, he began to find his rhythm and managed to maintain his lead for the remainder of the round.
'My game was not nearly as good as the opening round but I'm so pleased to have won. This is definitely the biggest win I've ever had,' said Nick, who also won last year's Clearwater Bay Golf Club Championship aged 14.
In the girls' division, Sally Ho Nga-yin, who was in the lead on the first day of the tournament, was unable to hold on and slipped down to finish in fourth place, following a disappointing final round of 91.
That gave Stephanie Ho Ngan-sze the chance to climb her way up the leader board with a score of 78 to finish nine shots ahead of runner-up Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching for a two-round total of 163.
The in-form teenager was delighted with her win and said the key to victory was her mother's putter.
'I borrowed mum's putter for the final round and my putting was just so much better today,' said the 14-year-old HKGA elite squad member. 'I can't say I am overly thrilled with my actual scores but the course was playing long today and pin positions were quite tough. Still I am so happy to be the overall girls' champion.'
142 Nick Hioe (69-73)
145 Steven Lam (73-72)
148 Andy Adler (73-75)
152 Jeremy Wong (75-77)
155 Charles-Henri Gaudeau (78-77)
159 Lawrence Hui (77-82)
159 Tom Scott (76-83)
165 Buddie Lam (80-85)
166 Jimmy Lai (85-81)
163 Stephanie Ho (85-78)
172 Tiffany Chan (89-83)
174 Kelly Kung (87-87)
175 Sally Ho (84-91)
177 Lyra Yoe (92-85)
178 Sharon Lam (87-91)
185 Phenie Lai (91-94)
189 Terri Chong (90-99)
202 Jolia Lo (103-99)