Teenagers sizzle to win Hong Kong leg of Faldo Series
Kitty Tam, 17, retains her crown, as Lam scoops the boys' title in hot conditions at Kau Sai Chau
Kitty Tam Yik-ching and Isaac Lam Yat-hei beat the heat to win the Faldo Series Hong Kong Championship yesterday.
The 34 degree Celsius heat made the two-day tournament much more challenging for the more than 50 teenage participants on the course.
They had to complete 18 holes each day at the demanding North Course of the Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course.
Despite the hot weather, 17-year-old Tam, the defending champion, still performed well, shooting a five-under 141 to win the girls' and overall titles.
Her Hong Kong squad teammate Lam, 14, outplayed older rivals to scoop the boys' title with seven-over 151.
Tam said she was confident of performing well, but the hot and humid weather made it tough.
"I am exhausted. It's as hot as the day when I played in the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing last year, so it should be a nice warm-up for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games in the same city," said Tam, who aims to finish in the top five at the multisport event.
Both winners were just back from their 20-day training and competition trip in the United States.
Lam said he was still suffering from jet lag.
"I just arrived in Hong Kong two days ago. It's surprising that I could keep my form up in such hot conditions. I was tired during the last nine holes today [the second day] and only maintained my form by consuming bananas, energy drinks and bars," said Lam. "This is my second title in a local major tournament and I hope I can continue to do well in the Hong Kong Junior Open next month."
The victory will help Lam and Tam qualify for the Faldo Series Asia Grand Final.
They will be joined by Ng Hon-lam and Michelle Liu Lok-in, the two other age group winners and Michelle Cheung, who was given a wild card, to Shenzhen next March.
Lam said he would practise more at the Mission Hills course in Shenzhen, the venue for the Faldo Series Asia grand final tournament.
However, even though Tam has qualified, she is not sure if she can participate in the continental final of the series as her examinations for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education may clash with the competition.