Clearwater Bay Open

Hong Kong amateurs Matthew Cheung and Terrence Ng join the pros at Clearwater Bay Open

The pair finish joint runners-up in qualifier and will join 120-player field for HK2.2 million for the PGA Tour Series-China season-ending event

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 October, 2018, 5:58pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2018, 2:26pm

Hong Kong amateurs Matthew Cheung Hung-hai and Terrence Ng Shing-fung, both fresh from the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship in Singapore, finished joint runners-up at the Monday qualifier for this week’s Clearwater Bay Open to join the 120-player field for the PGA Tour Series-China season-ending event.

The two amateurs were among five Hong Kong players to finish in the top 10 of the qualifier at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, and are among 17 local players who will compete in the 72-hole event, which offers a Tour-record purse of 2 million yuan (HK$2,280,000).

Motin Yeung – seventh on the PGA Tour Series-China Order of Merit – and Jason Hak Shun-yat, Hong Kong Nos 1 and 2 respectively, are both Tour members, while James Stewart, Steven Lam, Wilson Choy, Derek Cheung and Chau Pui are also in the field through Hong Kong PGA exemptions.

Cheung, 23, and Ng, 24, both shot one-over 71 on Monday to finish three behind New Zealand’s Shane Kuiti, a Guangzhou-based teaching pro.

Australia-based Cheung – who played for Hong Kong with Yeung and Hak in last year’s National Games of China – teed off on 10 and suffered double bogeys on two of his first three holes. However, he responded with birdies at Nos 15, 1, 2 and 6 before bogeying his last hole to join a stellar field including 2017 champion James Marchesani of Australia, his former roommate at Oklahoma City University.

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“I played really well on my second nine to scrape in. I didn’t start off very well, so I’m very happy I was able to get in with one-over today,” said Cheung, who was born in Hong Kong and has been based in Australia since he was eight.

“I’ve probably played Clearwater Bay about 20-25 times, but there’s some new tees out there that make the course a little bit different, so I’ll play a couple more practice rounds the next couple of days. This year, I’m just going to go out there and stick to my game plan, which is to play it aggressive but execute well.”

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Ng, who teed off on the first, also carded a 71 a day after finishing 37th at the Asia-Pacific Amateur in Singapore, where Cheung tied for 54th.

“I’m pretty happy with my round because I just got in this morning and I’m pretty tired. It was pretty tough out there. The front nine was pretty windy down by the ocean, while the back nine was a little bit better, so actually I’m very happy about it. I played this course before I went to Singapore, so that helped me a little bit,” said Ng.

“Hopefully I can play a little bit better on Thursday. I’m going to rest a bit, which is important because I’ve been playing quite a lot the past few weeks. I’m going to rest and then try to sharpen up my game before the event.”

The top-five on the PGA Tour Series-China Order of Merit will automatically earn status on next year’s Tour, the top-10 will be eligible for the final stage of the Tour Qualifying Tournament from December 6-9 and players 11-25 will be exempt to the second qualifying stage.