HONG KONG—As often happens, the final 9 holes of a Golf competition, are the most exciting. The leaders are trying to stay ahead of the pack, but get nervous as the players behind start to close the gap. As appeared the case at the UBS Hong Kong Open which finished at Fanling Golf Club last weekend, Sunday Nov 26.
The leader after round three, SSP Chawrasia of India had maintained that position from Day 1 and was at 10 under par, two players Rafa Cabrera Bello of Spain and Wade Ormsby of Australia were at -9, followed by three players Tommy Fleetwood of England, Thomas Detry of Belgium and Alexander Bjork of Sweden on 8 under. Paul Pererson of the USA was a shot further back on 7 under par and Julian Suri of USA was on -6. These were the main contenders in the final holes this year.
Angel Miguel Jimenez roared up the leaderboard from -1 at the beginning of day-4, with 7 birdies and no bogeys to finish 7th equal at 8 under par. At one stage it looked like he might eclipse all of the leaders but he eventually ran out of holes. It was a great effort by the 4 times Champion.
Leader Chawrasia was taking a conservative path, but had many ups and downs in his final round, he finished par on the front 9 after scoring 3 birdies and then cancelled them out with a triple bogey at the 9th. He went on to birdie the 10th and 16th but dropped shots at holes 11, 12, 14 and 15 to finish at 8 under par.
Paul Peterson also made good progress and at one stage was close to heading the field. He started the final day at 7 under and played a faultless round with birdies at the 5th, 10th and 13th to finish 10 under for the tournament, to give him a joint 2nd place.
Drama at the 18th
Suri started the last round at 6 under, had birdies at the 3rd, 4th, 8th, 12th and 13th, but a bogey the 17th. He still had a chance at the 18th but could only score par for -10. At one stage he was joint leader with Bjork and Chawrasia on 11 under. Bjork led the field with 12 under par at the 14th, dropped a shot at the 15th but was well in the mix at the 18, but his 2nd shot was short in the bunker, then 2-putted to finish on -10 with Suri and Peterson.
Cabrera Bello must be the most disappointed, as he was at 11 under standing on the 18th tee, one shot behind Ormsby who was on 12 under, playing ahead of him. But when he came to play his second shot, Ormsby had dropped a shot at the 18th – they were then standing level at -11. Cabrera Bello needed a par to force a playoff with Ormsby or a birdie to win outright. But Cabrero Bello decided to lay up in front of the water, hit his approach shot short into the front bunker and then downed in two for 5 dropping him down to -10 leaving Wade Ormsby as the clear winner. A great day for Ormsby earning him his first win on the European Tour.
Justin Rose finished at -7, Sergio Garcia concluded at -5 and Tommy Fleetwood of England finished in stand alone 6th place at 9 under par.
Hong Kong highlight
Hong Kong youngster Leon D’Souza won the cup for the best Hong Kong player and the Best Amateur at the 2017 Hong Kong Open carding 72, 70, 65 and 73 to finish on level par for the tournament. A really solid performance by the youngster, particularly his 65 in round 3.