HONGKONG favourite Michael Chang may be missing from the Marlboro Championships lineup in October but organisers are confident a record $5.44 million purse will attract a stellar field of players to Victoria Park. Prizemoney is up nine per cent with the winner guaranteed a whopping $1.7 million which organisers believe will off-set the loss of crowd-puller Chang whose Chinese background has elevated him to movie-star status during the past four years. Chang has opted to play in an official ranking event in Beijing scheduled for the same time. The Marlboro event has been a prime source of income for the Tennis Patrons Association (TPA), with surplus for 1992 being just under $2 million - the amount they donated to the Hongkong Tennis Foundation yesterday. Sir David Ford, president of the TPA, is hopeful they will continue to make a handsome profit from the tournament which will adopt a new format this year with the singles draw being reduced from 16 to 12 players and a doubles competition being introduced. ''Player negotiations are well advanced and when you see the list of players to be announced shortly, you will know we have an absolutely excellent field,'' said Sir David. ''I am sure the doubles event will increase the entertainment value of the tournament and this will be reflected in the quality of the players whom we hope will be coming.'' Sir David denied suggestions they had cut the field to 12 players in order to boost the winner's purse in order to attract the star players and make up for Chang's absence. ''The decision to cut the field from 16 to 12 players was made long before Chang said he wasn't coming,'' said Sir David. ''We had to reduce the field because unlike past tournaments it will not take place in other Asian cities and all the matches will be in Hongkong. ''Furthermore, we are introducing a doubles event and I'm sure it will be a more attractive tournament.''