Competitive golf returns to Hong Kong on Wednesday when more than 70 male and female professionals, amateurs and talented juniors take to the fairways of Hong Kong Golf Club for the inaugural Fanling Trophy. The Hong Kong Golf Club will stage the event on the New Course, with one overall winner determined over 36 holes. A prize fund of HK$100,000 will also be up for grabs for the 20 professionals. The event brings a playing opportunity for Hong Kong’s best after a year severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has also forced the closure of Hong Kong’s courses and clubs for two extended periods. Hong Kong Professional Golfers’ Association chairman Dominique Boulet said: “Professional golf has suffered due to many HKPGA tournaments being cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so this is a wonderful gesture by the Hong Kong Golf Club and greatly appreciated by all the pros. “The event format – mixing amateurs with the professionals, men with women, juniors with seniors – will make for a really fun and unique tournament.” The event fills the void left by the postponement of the 2020 Hong Kong Open, said club captain Clarence Leung. “We certainly feel it’s our duty to continue to develop golf in Hong Kong amid such challenging times. With the postponement of this year’s Hong Kong Open, which was originally scheduled to be played this week, the opportunity was there for us to host a new and inclusive event for the players, who have been without competitive golf for much of 2020.” The 2019 Hong Kong Open had been postponed from its December date because of social unrest in Hong Kong but took place in January at Fanling – without European Tour sanction – and was won for the second time by Australia’s Wade Ormsby. The 2020 Hong Kong Open has been postponed until the new year with organisers reviewing suitable options for staging the event. Favourites for this week’s Fanling event include professionals Matthew Cheung, the HKPGA Order of Merit leader; Terrence Ng, who joined the paid ranks at the beginning of 2020 after successfully making the cut at the Hong Kong Open; and Isabella Leung, who had been playing on the China LPGA Tour before the pandemic struck earlier this year. Among the amateurs, Hong Kong Golf Club champion Jeffrey Wang, reigning Hong Kong Ladies Close amateur champion Kitty Tam, and rising junior stars Markus Lam and Arianna Lau are expected to feature prominently.