Hong Kong’s young golf stars look set to shine on home soil at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation Junior Championship – Mitsubishi Corporation Cup, which started today and runs until Friday at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.
The mixed-gender tournament is one of the largest youth golf competitions in Asia, and this year features a record 38 teams from 20 countries, including four players from the European Golf Association. Each team has one girl and one boy.
As the host city, Hong Kong will have three teams in the tournament, but none bigger than “super duo” Taichi Kho and Chloe Chan Cheu-yee, who are considered the city’s top golf prospects and are already looking ahead to professional careers. They spoke to Young Post following a press conference on Tuesday.
The pair like their chances of winning it all thanks in part to the “home-court advantage”.
“I’ve played all over the world, but I like playing in Hong Kong more than anywhere else,” said Chloe, a King George V student. “I’ve played this course so many times before, but right now, I feel comfortable playing in any tournament. I have been playing well in both Asia and the United States.”
Taichi, who said his teammate is “one of the best female players in Hong Kong”, even though she is just 13, shared this confidence. “The Hong Kong Golf Club is one of my favourite courses in Asia, and I always perform well here,” the 16-year-old Discovery College student explained.
“We know where to hit the ball and where not to, while some of the other teams never got a practice round in. So I think we have the advantage and we’re going to try and use it.”
While both Chloe and Taichi are both extremely accomplished for their age, winning this tournament would be their biggest victory to date.
On Friday, the teammates will split up and compete against their respective genders for the individual championship. It won’t be easy for either of them. Chloe will be competing against girls much older than her, while Taichi will face the likes of 17-year-old Australian superstar Jed Morgan, who won the tournament’s individual championship in Taiwan last year.
Although it is Jed’s first time in Hong Kong, he is no stranger to grainy Asian turfs having recently won the Singapore Junior Golf Championship.
“The course looks pretty tough; we haven’t played a practice round yet and we don’t really know how the ball is reacting,” Jed said.
“We have walked the course and will implement a game plan. I’ll be using a lot of irons off the tees to keep in play and avoid the trees.”
We'll be posting the results from the tournament, so stay tuned!