It's not only in the Ryder Cup where youth is having its fling. Taking a leaf out of the book of European skipper Mark James, Hong Kong's non-playing amateur captain Alec Pettigrew last week announced a fresh, new-look team for demanding overseas assignments. 'The priority has to be on youth,' said Pettigrew, who will mastermind the SAR's assault on next month's 13-nation Asia-Pacific men's amateur team championship for the Nomura Cup in Pakistan and November's Southeast Asian amateur championships in Singapore. Refreshingly, the core of Hong Kong's four-man teams for these two important regional gatherings will be rising local stars, upon whose shoulders much burden will rest. Historically, Hong Kong's golfing teams at regional and international tournaments have been dominated by expatriates. Hardly surprising when you consider that until the 1990s, golf was, to a large degree, not regarded as a sport for the indigenous population. Primarily, of course, this was due to the paucity of facilities which prevented the game from expanding its player base. With that scenario now changing, not only has Hong Kong's golfing population swelled, but also there has been a marked improvement in the quality of some of the younger players who have been exposed to better standard coaching within properly organised junior development programmes. Take Wong Woon-man, for example, a product of a junior scheme put in place by the Hong Kong Golf Association five years ago. Still in his teens, Wong will make his senior international debut in Pakistan alongside Chris Tang Shing-chi, Wilson Choy and the experienced Stuart Murray. Murray was not among the originally named team, but has been called into action because of the unavailability of Roderick Staunton and Eric Saxvik through college exams and work commitments respectively. Pettigrew is confident that if Wong, Tang and Choy maintain their appetite for the game they have the ability to go on representing Hong Kong with distinction for the foreseeable future. With an eye on next year's World Amateur team championships for the Eisenhower Trophy in Germany, Pettigrew said: 'We have been conscious of trying to build up a young group of players. If they really commit themselves, I think they can form the nucleus of the Hong Kong team into the new millennium.' Bouquets to Hong Kong's CABLE TV. Just when it seemed all hope was lost that the SAR's golfing fraternity would be able to witness the century's final staging of the Ryder Cup, they came up with the goods. Pre-empting their regular movies and children's programming, CABLE set aside channel number 11 for full, live coverage of the event at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. 'As the number one sports television station with the most comprehensive and diversified sports programmes, CABLE TV is dedicated to bringing the widest possible sports and high quality programmes to local viewers,' stated a press release issued by the company less than 48 hours before the big tee-off. The surprise late reprieve for Hong Kong viewers who stayed up into the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings was matched only by the remarkable, uplifting exploits of the much-maligned European underdogs. Brickbats to a portion of the thronging American galleries at The Country Club. The uncouth and unruly behaviour of a handful of individuals brought back unpleasant memories of the 1991 contest at Kiawah Island, dubbed 'The War on the Shore'. Within reason, it's all very well to offer vocal encouragement to the team you are backing. However, particularly unpalatable at Brookline was the heckling and goading of certain European players. While there is no magic formula for stamping out this growing evil, perhaps the time has come for marshals at major tournaments to be given greater authority. Where necessary, they should be permitted to summarily eject from the premises those whose sole objective seems to be to disrupt proceedings and upset the vast majority of true fans.