Lam to take on veterans

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 March, 2009, 12:00am

Sixteen-year-old Steven Lam Tze-fung is one of 24 Hong Kong players in the draw for today's opening round of Volvo China Open international qualifying at Discovery Bay Golf Club.

St Joseph's College student Lam (pictured) is confident of claiming one of the spots awarded to the top-four players, but confessed he had played the challenging Lantau layout 'only a handful of times'.

'My best score on this course in competition was level par a couple of years ago, but I doubt I'll qualify with that score, given the quality of the field,' Lam said.

Lam won last month's Hong Kong Closed Amateur Championship at Fanling, shooting two under par over the final 36 holes to claim the title.

'I think I'll need to shoot four under to qualify, but the course is in great condition and the greens are perfect,' he said.

Other Hong Kong hopefuls in the field include Jimmy Ko Ming-chak, Ducky Tang Wu-chun, Wong Woon-man and James Stewart.

Overseas players include Taiwan's Tsai Chi-huang and Asian Tour veteran Chang Tse-peng. In all 80 players will compete over 36 holes for the four spots on offer in next month's Volvo China Open in Beijing.

Tsai, 40, is looking for a third successful qualifying spot in the China Open after heading the field at Shanghai Silport Golf Club in 2006, and last year earning his place with a birdie at the first extra hole in a four-way play-off at Discovery Bay.

'It's never easy over 36 holes, as there can be some really good scores after the first round,' Tsai said. 'In a 72-hole tournament you have three more rounds to catch up.'