Birthday boy Matthew Cheung joins teenager Taichi Kho as qualifiers for Hong Kong Open
Amateur duo to make tournament debuts at Fanling in November following success in qualifying tournament
Matthew Cheung Hung-hai gave himself the perfect birthday present on Friday when he joined winner Taichi Kho as the two qualifiers for the UBS Hong Kong Open in November.
Cheung, who turned 22, finished four shots behind Kho in the qualifying tournament at Hong Kong Golf Club, but did enough to fulfil his goal of playing in his national open.
Kho, 16, extended his two-shot overnight lead to finish with a nine-under par score after 36 holes on the New Course at Fanling.
Looking ahead to November, Cheung (68-67) said: “I’m super excited. It has always been a goal to play in the Hong Kong Open. I’ve got a lot of tournaments to play in the next six weeks so hopefully I will just keep improving.
“I hit a lot of good shots and had a really good day. I had a great caddie in Michelle [Cheung] who was really good at keeping me in the moment.
“We laughed a lot and just had a good time. It was also great to have my dad out there supporting me,” said Cheung.
With his father once again on his bag, Kho (65-66) only dropped one shot and was always in control
“It’s always been one of my goals to qualify for the Open. It hasn’t really sunk in yet but it feels great.
“I was pretty nervous coming into today, but I managed to stick with the plan and stayed focused,” Kho said.
“I haven’t really thought about the Hong Kong Open just yet – my first target will be to make the cut and take it from there.”
Terrence Ng (68-69) finished third, two stokes behind Cheung, with Yue Yin-ho (68-70) a shot further back in fourth.
The Hong Kong Open will be played from November 23-26 and feature Masters champion Sergio Garcia among others.