Inaugural PGA Tour China Event at Clearwater Bay, the First Outside China
HONG KONG—The first PGA Tour China Series event to be organised outside mainland China will be run at the Clearwater Bay Golf Club from Nov 3-6.
This RMB1.2 million event, the Clearwater Bay Open, will be for 120 players, 10 of whom will progress from a qualifying competition to be held on Monday Oct 31. The course will a par 70 layout comprising the Ocean Nine (1-9) and the Highland Nine (10-18).
The Club has committed to staging a PGA Tour China Series event for 3 years through to 2018.
It was announced today that 22-year-old pro Jason Hak Shun-yat, will participate in the event after receiving a sponsors invite from The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club.
Hak, a Hong Kong local is noted for becoming the youngest player to make the cut at a European Tour event at the Hong Kong Open in 2008, aged 14 years and 304 days, a record later broken at the 2013 Masters Tournament by China’s Guan Tianlang.
Hak went on to make the cut at his home Open in 2009 and 2011, and topped the American Junior Golf Association’s rankings before joining Georgia Tech in 2012. As an amateur, he represented Hong Kong in various international events including the 2011 Putra Cup at Clearwater Bay.
Turning pro at 19, after a year of college golf, he won an NGA Pro Tour event in Florida in Feb 2014, but it proved a brief highlight in an otherwise frustrating first couple of years in the Pro ranks.
Hak is not a member of the PGA Tour China Series, but has competed in 6 successive events starting from June’s Lanhai Open in Shanghai, where he won the Monday qualifier before finishing 21st. Since playing the PGA Tour China Series events he has been in the lead at the half way stage twice and then finished runner-up at this month’s Chongqing Jiangnan Open. On Sunday Sept 18 he finished 4th at the Ping An Bank Open in Beijing, after leading for the first 3 rounds.
“I’m really looking forward to playing the Clearwater Bay Open as I’ve played the course in the past, so hopefully that gives me a little advantage over some of the other players on the Tour. It’s really challenging, especially when the wind picks up. I remember some of the great hole designs, so I think the other players will love it, too. I’m really, really looking forward to it” said Hak.
Charlie Saxon from USA lying 2nd in the Order of Merit was also at the media day on Sept 20. Other key players will be announced next week.
The PGA Tour China Series is in its third season as a home Tour for elite players from both China and other countries. The series also offers players the opportunity to advance to higher levels of the world stage and provides a pathway to the PGA Tour, for the season’s top players. The series also awards ranking points, used as the eligibility mechanism to participate in golf at the Olympic Games.
PGA Tour China Series will run 16 events this year finishing at the end of November. Several events have been held in Kunming, plus competitions in Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Chengdu, Shanghai, Nanjing, Baishan, ChongQing and Beijing. There will be 3 further events after the Clearwater Bay Open, one in Putian, one venue still to be arranged and a final event in Guangzhou.
The Order of Merit after 12 events is headed by Dou Zecheng, a 22 year old from Henan, Charlie Saxon from USA is lying 2nd, Gunn Charoenkul from Bangkok is 3rd, Alexander Kang, from San Francisco is 4rd and Zhang Xinjun is in 5th place. These are followed by Kim Taewoo, Maxwell McCardle, Jarin Todd and Rohan Blizzard
There are 160 members of the China Tour overall.