Girls get behind their compatriots

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 November, 2008, 12:00am

National pride is a funny thing in Hong Kong. People who normally wouldn't be overtly nationalistic take it up with gusto once they live off shore.

'I fall into this category,' says Patricia Rodriguez who hails from Madrid. 'I've never been to the golf in my life, and today I am following the Spanish players around the course with my friends and I am now a golf convert.' Oblivious to the likes of Bernard Langer and Colin Montgomerie, Rodriguez only had eyes for Pablo Larrazabal and Jose Manuel Lara. 'We've got to give our countrymen our support. I won these tickets at a Spanish Chamber function, and so I thought, 'why not'.'

When asked why she had joined her, Anne Hannon from Ireland said: 'My answer is summed up in two words. 'Free ticket'.

'I confess I was dreading the idea of coming out today and wondered what I had been thinking when I agreed to go - especially when I got home at two this morning. But actually, I now look at golf through entirely new eyes. It's actually very enthralling. It's made me want to try it myself and I've enjoyed the scenery at Fanling, as well as the excitement and atmosphere of the tournament.'

With the duo were mutual friends, Indonesian lawyer Linda Budi and Spaniard Victoria Baltotu, who, along with Rodriguez, works in trading.