Honma Hong Kong Open

Young guns Fitzpatrick, Dunne and Li join already sparkling field for UBS Hong Kong Open

Outstanding prospects join impressive list of starters at upcoming Fanling tournament

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 November, 2017, 12:55pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 November, 2017, 10:50pm

European Masters champion Matt Fitzpatrick, British Masters winner Paul Dunne and 2016 Volvo China Open winner Li Haotong are the latest names to be added to the already stellar field for the forthcoming UBS Hong Kong Open.

The trio will join Masters champion Sergio Garcia, World Golf Champion Justin Rose, Race to Dubai number one Tommy Fleetwood and Rafa Cabrera Bello at the Hong Kong Golf Club between 23 and 26 November.

Aged 22, 23 and 24 respectively, Li, Fitzpatrick and Dunne are from golf’s fearless new generation and have tasted success early in their careers.

Fitzpatrick, currently 33rd in the world rankings, has been identified as one of Europe’s finest young prospects since his 2013 US Amateur victory.

The Englishman has not disappointed since winning the British Masters in 2015, the Nordea Masters and DP World Tour Championship in 2016, before securing his fourth career victory at the Omega European Masters in September. He also made his Ryder Cup debut at Hazeltine last year.

“I’m delighted to be adding the UBS Hong Kong Open to my schedule,” said Fitzpatrick. “I absolutely love the golf course at Fanling – it really suits my game and is one of those courses that always produces drama and excitement for the fans.

“I finished third at the tournament in 2015 so I am hoping to do a little better this year. I have been playing well recently and winning in Switzerland last month was a huge confidence boost too, so I am looking to keep that momentum going into Hong Kong.”

Dunne, meanwhile, led the 2015 Open Championship after three rounds while still an amateur. He turned professional soon after and made rapid progress, rising to 80 in the world rankings.

The Irishman lost in a play-off to Edoardo Molinari at the Trophée Hassan II in April this year, before a stunning breakthrough at the British Masters in October, where he held off the final round charge of Rory McIlroy.

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“It’s been a great year for me, winning my first tournament on the European Tour,” said Dunne. “To win a high-profile event like the British Masters was amazing, but to shoot 61 in the final round to beat Rory by three shots is getting into dreamland territory. I just want to keep trying to progress and get better.

“I can’t wait to get back to Hong Kong. The UBS Hong Kong Open is one of those special tournaments with a unique and very special golf course against the backdrop of one of the great cities of the world. It’s a truly great event.”

After making his Hong Kong Open debut in 2015, Li will return to compete at Fanling again this year.

He claimed his maiden European Tour win at the China Open in 2016, but it was his third-place finish in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale earlier this year that caught the attention of the golfing world.

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Originally from Hunan province, he will be one to watch at the Hong Kong Golf Club.

“I’m really looking forward to competing in the UBS Hong Kong Open later this month. It’s a great event with a lot of history. I’ll be more familiar with the course layout having played the tournament two years ago and will be looking to put in a strong performance and hopefully get a good first result on next year’s tour schedule,” Li said.