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Markus Lam, 15, leads the Fanling Trophy at the halfway mark at Fanling. Photo: Handout

‘It’s just nice to be out playing’ – Markus Lam, 15, upstages the pros to take halfway lead at the Fanling Trophy

  • Teenager fires four birdies in five holes for an opening 68 to take a one-shot lead in the inaugural local tournament
  • Hong Kong junior squad member compliments the course, calling it in ‘pristine condition’

Fifteen-year-old Markus Lam upstaged the professionals and his more experienced amateur peers to take the halfway lead at the Fanling Trophy at Hong Kong Golf Club on Wednesday.

The national junior squad member fired four birdies in five holes for an opening 68, one shot ahead of professional Terrence Ng and amateurs Isaac Lam and Alex Zhuo who lie in a share of second.

The 36-hole tournament, which features the top male and female players from the Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association (HKPGA) and the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA), is hosted by the Hong Kong Golf Club and marks the return of competitive golf locally after a year severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hong Kong golfers finally get taste of competition with special event at Fanling

“It was exciting to make a few birdies on the back nine after having a bad hole early on,” said Lam, whose last tournament outing came at the Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship at Fanling back in January. “The golf course is in pristine condition – it’s really as good as I’ve ever seen it – so I’ve got no complaints about my day.

Isabella Leung is leading the women at the Fanling Trophy. Photo: Handout

“It’s just nice to be out playing in a competition again,” continued the talented Lam, who finished tied-7th at the Asia-Pacific Junior Amateur Championship in 2019. “I’m going to try and not get ahead of myself [in the final round], just try to keep focused and hopefully if I play well I can come out on top!”

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By his own admission, Ng, who joined the paid ranks after successfully making the cut at the Hong Kong Open in January, had a frustrating day on the greens. But with HK$100,000 up for grabs among the 20 professionals in the field, the 26-year-old remains on course to claim the biggest cheque of his career to date after establishing a two-shot advantage over fellow pro Ducky Tang.

“I missed a few putts but it’s great to be back playing competitively,” said Ng, whose debut season as a pro ground to halt shortly after playing in the first stage of Asian Tour qualifying school. “I’m hoping for a fun final round.”

Professional Isabella Leung is the top-ranked female player after carding a 73 for tied-10th.

Round 1 Scores

68 – Markus Lam

69 – Issac Lam, Alex Zhuo, Terrence Ng (Professional)

70 – Ryan Leung

71 – Ducky Tang (Professional)

72 – Isaac Lee, Ryan Hood (Professional), Sam Maltby (Professional)

73 – Matthew Cheung (Professional), Isabella Leung (Professional)