Clearwater Bay Open

Hak is back: former Hong Kong prodigy Jason Hak puts name in lights at PGA Tour China event

The 22-year-old is in great position for breakthrough victory with joint lead at halfway mark of Yulongwan Yunnan Open

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 September, 2016, 3:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 September, 2017, 4:15pm

Hong Kong’s Jason Hak Shun-yat is back in the limelight – eight years after making a name for himself as a 14-year-old – as he emerged as joint leader after the second round of the Yulongwan Yunnan Open in China.

First-round leader Hak (63-65) finished at 14-under par at the Yulongwan Golf Club in Kunming on Friday in a tie with Paul Imondi (64-64), of the US. The tournament is the seventh event of this year’s Ping An Bank China Tour – PGA Tour China Series.

Stark reality of life as professional hits home for Jason Hak at Fanling

In 2008, Hak became the youngest player ever to make the cut on the European Tour at the UBS Hong Kong Open at Fanling.

At 14 years and 304 days, Hak was also the second youngest on the Asian Tour, missing out by 29 days.

In 2012-13, he played one year of collegiate golf at Georgia Tech in Atlanta before turning pro.

Hak has struggled since, but on Monday the now 22-year-old shot a four-under 67 to win the Yunnan Open qualifier and secure his fourth start on this year’s PGA Tour China Series. He made his circuit debut in June’s weather-shortened Lanhai Open, where he tied for 21st.

Teen Hak makes leap to stardom

On Thursday, Hak shot a career-best eight-under 63 – including a back nine of 29 – to become the first Monday qualifier to hold the lead at the end of any round on the PGA Tour China Series.

On Friday, two late eagles in a six-under-par 65 helped him set the early clubhouse lead, which he held until Imondi joined him late in the day. Charlie Saxon (66-63), of the US, was in third place, a stroke back.

“I gave myself a lot of chances. They just weren’t going in. I just had to accept that, knowing I had a lot of holes in front of me,” Hak said.

“Actually, good things happened to me on the back, I did finish strong today.

“There is great competition out here. Obviously, you can see I played two good rounds and I’m only joint leader.

“There are a lot of great players out here. We are playing some good golf courses, with good conditions,” he said.

In early November, the PGA Tour China Series will make its first appearance in Hong Kong at the Clearwater Bay Open, which will be held at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club and also mark the circuit’s first stop outside mainland China.