Hectic spell for top HK woman

JET-SETTING Joann Hardwick departs for Manila today on the first stop of a two-month schedule which will test not only her golfing skills, but also her stamina.

In the next eight weeks Hongkong's top female golfer will contest eight tournaments in eight countries.

''It's certainly going to be a hectic time for me,'' said the 27-year-old, who by the end of 1993 hopes to be playing as a professional on the lucrative Japanese LPGA Tour.

In preparation, Hardwick has spent almost as much time building up her fitness levels as she has on the practice range at Fanling.

''I've been jogging regularly and have been going to the gym four times a week,'' she said.

Hardwick's playing campaign begins this week at Manila, in the Philippines Open amateur championship along with fellow Hongkong international Bronwen Morrow and Hilary Whittle and Gill Smith.

After a week's break, Hardwick will head for Thailand and the first of the five events on the Kosaido Asahi women's Asian Circuit which also includes tournaments in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

In addition to pitting her skills against the best Asian female professionals, Hardwick will be competing alongside leading European and American women golfers.

''Playing in that type of company will give me a chance to gauge my progress over the past year,'' said Hardwick, whose main aim is to make the cut in all the events.

Two days after returning to the territory at the end of the circuit, Hardwick will line up in the familiar surroundings of Fanling in the Hongkong Open women's amateur championship, a tournament in which she finished third last year.