Fung gives HK a big chance of making the field for World Cup

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 September, 2008, 12:00am

Hong Hong's Derek Fung believes he and teammate David Freeman stand 'a really good chance' of qualifying for November's Omega-Mission Hills World Cup.

The Hong Kong duo need to finish third or better at the Fortis International Challenge, which starts today at Kota Permai Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, to get a start, and Fung reckons Freeman's length off the tee and his renowned short game will see them through.

'David hits the ball as far as Tiger Woods, that's for sure,' said Fung, who played with the American champion at the Tiger Woods Challenge at Mission Hills in 2001.

'Our games are a contrast of styles, but in team events that should work well.'

Fung, 39, who represented Hong Kong at the World Cup in 1996 and 2003, hasn't experienced much tournament golf of late, but claims the touch that earned him last year's HKPGA order of merit title hasn't deserted him.

'I've been off the Asian Tour this year due to personal reasons, but I've practiced hard leading up to this event and the game is still there,' Fung said.

'There are some good teams - including the likes of Italy, the Philippines and Singapore - but I've been in this situation [trying to qualify] many times before. I know what it's all about.'

Freeman, a teaching professional at Hong Kong Golf Club who earned his Asian Tour card last year, was also confident after a six-under-par 66 in yesterday's pro-am.

'Derek and I haven't really played that much together before,' he said. 'But our practice has been good - we're striking it well - and Derek's experience could prove invaluable.'

With a purse of US$5.5 million, the World Cup is, outside the major championships, one of the richest tournaments in golf.

'Money isn't a motivator,' insisted Fung. 'Representing your country, particularly in golf, is a rare and special thing. I've played at the World Cup before, and I want to get back there. It'll be a great boost for Hong Kong golf if we do.'

Hitting it well

David Freeman is in good form for the World Cup qualifier in Kuala Lumpur after a pro-am round of: 66