The stars of golf have once-again aligned for the Hong Kong Open as the city’s most illustrious golf event makes its much-anticipated return to the Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC) in Fanling from 9-12 November 2023.
Almost four years on from the last staging, HKGC – the tournament’s traditional home since its inception in 1959 – will once again welcome some of the elite names in golf as the Hong Kong Open joins the burgeoning International Series for the very first time.
The 62nd edition of the Hong Kong Open, one of only two events in the sport’s history to be hosted at the same venue for over six decades – alongside the famed Masters at Augusta – has already drawn some heavy hitters with organisers confirming today the appearance of reigning Hong Kong Open champion Wade Ormsby, last year’s Open winner Cameron Smith, and local hero Taichi Kho, helping to ensure a stellar edition of the city’s oldest professional sporting event.
With International Series status, a US$2 million purse, and a chance to etch one’s name in golf history on the line, those three stars promise to be the tip of the iceberg with Hong Kong fans set to witness what could be the most competitive field in the tournament’s history.
Smith, who finished joint ninth at Fanling in his sole Asian Tour season in 2014, looked forward to facing Fanling again, saying: “I’m excited to be returning to Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Open. I really enjoyed my time in the city and playing the course as a young pro, and I look forward to coming back now to take care of some unfinished business,” said the Australian.
Andy Kwok, Captain of the HKGC said: “We really can’t wait to welcome back world-class golfers and fans from the Greater Bay Area and beyond for the 62nd edition of the Hong Kong Open at Fanling. This historic championship, the oldest professional sporting event in Hong Kong, always captures the imagination and we are delighted to say that the 2023 edition is going to be bigger and better than ever before.”
“The Asian Tour is pleased to welcome the return of the Hong Kong Open to our growing championship calendar. We are especially excited to feature this historic championship as one of the events on our ground-breaking International Series,” said Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO, Asian Tour.
“With last year’s Open Championship winner Cam Smith, prolific Fanling champion Wade Ormsby and Hong Kong’s first-ever Asian Tour winner Taichi Kho already signed on for November, it is exciting to see the Hong Kong Open returning bigger and better than ever before,” he added.
Australia’s Ormsby, currently fourth in the International Series Order of Merit, will return to the scene of his triumph in January 2020 when he became the last player to lift the Hong Kong Open trophy before the global pandemic altered plans everywhere.
The 43-year-old won the International Series Thailand back in March and continues to be among the Asian Tour’s most consistent stars as he prepares for a crack at his third Hong Kong Open crown, to go with that win in 2020 and his victory at Fanling in 2017.
Aussies of course have a unique rich history at the Hong Kong Open, with compatriots that have conquered Fanling including legends Peter Thomson (1960, 1965, 1967), Greg Norman (1979, 1983), and Kel Nagle (1961). Scott Hend, the man tied third for the most Asian Tour wins of all time with 10 victories, has also won here in 2014.
There is no doubt that Smith knows that history – and wants a slice of it himself. He has been in red-hot form on the LIV Golf League, winning three individual titles.
Coming off the course after his most recent win – at LIV Golf-Bedminster – Smith confirmed what the result revealed. “I feel like I‘m playing the most consistent golf and the best golf that I’ve played,” said Smith.
This year’s Hong Kong Open also promises to be a celebration of the rise of golf in the city as Hong Kong’s emerging generation of stars continue to make their mark on the global game. Leading the way is Kho, whose history-making victory at the World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club back in March made him the first player from the city to win on the Asian Tour.
The Fanling fairways still echo from fans cheering his victory and the 22-year-old of course still has cherished memories of that day: “It was just a magical week and it gave me a lot of confidence to start the year on a strong note,” the HKGC ambassador recalled recently.
“The focus since then has been trying to build off that. Looking back on that week, just to be able to use the opportunity that I had, to be able to really put all my practice and training to good use, and to be able to focus on the things that are important to me, that was really good. To share that with my friends and family made sure it was even more special.”
In addition to the world-class golf on offer, the Hong Kong Open’s Fan Village will once again entertain tens of thousands of visitors across the event week. The Fan Village is the place to enjoy all the sun and fun off the course at the beautiful HKGC with a host of activities and entertainment, with DJ performances, walking bands, golf simulators and other sport games, premier food and beverage offerings, shopping, face painting and more.
Tickets for the Hong Kong Open 2023 are now available via Ticketflap at www.ticketflap.com/
For more information please visit: www.thehongkongopen.com.