SCOTSMAN Sam Torrance hopes to add one more jewel to a brilliant season when he lines up for the US$300,000 Hong Kong Open at the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling on Thursday. The 42-year-old Torrance is about to close out his best season on the European Tour, finishing second on the Order of Merit behind compatriot Colin Montgomerie with GBP755,706 in winnings and helping Europe to a Ryder Cup victory over the United States. His form is also showing no signs of fading after he partnered Andrew Coltart to joint third place in last week's World Cup of Golf in Shenzhen. Torrance was also third in the individual competition, picking up a total of US$56,250. 'I've had a fantastic year,' Torrance said yesterday. 'My father was right when he told me that I would play my best golf when I am in my 40s. I guess he thought I was a slow learner.' Torrance picked out Europe's Ryder Cup win over the United States in New York as the peak of his year. 'Without a shadow of a doubt, the highlight of the year was the Ryder Cup. To beat America is great but to beat America in America is special.' Torrance's big-name rival, Payne Stewart, the 38-year-old former US Open champion, returns to the arena which helped launch his career. Stewart last played in Hong Kong in 1981, when he was one of several young Americans hoping to make it into the big-time. 'I played a skins game in Taiwan recently and it really brought back memories of being in Asia again. 'I learnt a lot from playing in Asia back then.' Also present at yesterday's press conference to launch the week of world-class golf were Chinese professionals Zhang Lianwei and Cheng Jun. It was announced yesterday that watchmakers Omega, who prominently supporter international golf, will sponsor the two Chinese players. The pair are the first golfers from the mainland to turn professional. Both Zhang and Cheng will be partnering officials from Omega at today's Pro-Am, the traditional pre-tournament tournament where the professionals team up with amateur players in a team event. Apart from the big-name players, the Pro-Am will feature a host of local celebrities over the Old, New and Eden courses at Fanling. Included in the 99-flight tournament is Andrew Ma, the Sports Development Board's new chief executive, who was officially appointed last night. He will be playing in a group headed by veteran Korean professional Choi Sang-ho. Lavender Patten, wife of Governor Chris Patten, is down to play in Argentinian professional Eduardo Romero's flight. Jockey Mick Kinane, who last week took Vintage Crop to third place in the Melbourne Cup, is scheduled to team up with trainer David Hill, Carlsberg PR man Derek Currie and American professional Craig McClennan, who finished second in the 1994 Hong Kong Open. Torrance is scheduled to tee-off at 10.02 am at the New Course alongside Jonathon Pendock, Roger Ellis and Michael Ko. Stewart also starts his round at 10.02 am on the Eden Course.