Promising young golfer Leon D’Souza wins spot at Hong Kong Open

Victory at Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship at Fanling earns date with big boys at the open in December

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 11:07am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 January, 2017, 10:55pm

Hong Kong teenager Leon D’Souza will rub shoulders with the big boys at the UBS Hong Kong Open this year after winning the Hong Kong Close Amateur Championship at Fanling yesterday.

D’Souza set up the victory with a blazing course record nine-under-par 61 in the first round and closed out a four-shot victory after a gruelling day at Hong Kong Golf Club.

The victory won the 18-year-old a spot at the Open in December and he is determined to seize the chance after also qualifying in 2015 but being unable to play because he was committed to the Nomura Cup in Abu Dhabi.

D’Souza (61-73-69-67) played like a seasoned pro to come from behind and beat experienced Max Wong Chen-kun (66-66-69-73) yesterday.

“It was a long, tough day playing 36 holes” D’Souza said. “The weather was on and off. It was rainy, it was sunny, then it was humid.

“Max was playing so well. You have to give your best for 36 holes. I knew one mistake could cost me the tournament so I had to focus. I am really proud of myself for doing that.

“I struggled in the second round. I was hitting it good but was just a little bit off with each part of my game and I still shot 73.

“I stuck to my game plan and played the same shots – don’t be too aggressive and at same time don’t be too defensive.

“I finished 10-under this week. That’s my lowest ever 72-hole score so it gives me a lot of confidence going forward.

“I have 11 months until the Hong Kong Open to work on my game,” he said. “In the meantime I want to improve my amateur ranking and contend in overseas tournaments.”

Wong ended up winning the Mid Amateur Championship.