Taichi Kho’s bid to become the first player from Hong Kong to win an Asian Tour event and qualify for The Open has been temporarily put on hold after organisers announced today that the World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club will be reduced to 54 holes.
Lightning and rain stopped today’s third round at 11.48 local time in the morning at the Hong Kong Golf Club and play was unable to restart again as the inclement weather persisted.
Tournament leader Kho was playing the third when the siren halted play. He has a four-shot lead over playing-partner Miguel Tabuena from the Philippines. Kho had started the day with a two-shot advantage but that became five when he made birdie on the first against Tabuena’s double. The Filipino bounced back with a birdie on the following hole.
Only three groups were able to complete their third rounds today, meaning 63 players will recommence tomorrow at 8.05am.
“After careful consideration we have decided to reduce the World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club to 54 holes, because of the inclement weather today and the forecast for it to continue tomorrow,” said Chokchai Boonprasert, Tournament Director, Asian Tour.
“The course, including the bunkers and approach areas, were waterlogged, after the heavy downpour. This is obviously unfortunate, and we feel very sorry for all the fans who made the trip here today, but it was the only sensible course of action.
“We are confident we will be able to complete the tournament tomorrow, with the four places in The Open remaining up for grabs.”
Kho only turned professional this year and as well as being a member at the HKGC he is also the venue’s Ambassador.
A gripping final day is expected tomorrow as he attempts to produce one of the greatest performances by a Hong Kong sports person.
Said the 22-year-old rising star: “At the end of the day good golf is good golf. I understand that it’s 18 holes closer to the finish now, but good golf takes care of anything. It’s almost useless to think about the result, or how many holes are left, how many shots I’m ahead, it’s only just a distraction. All I’m focused on is myself, the golf ball and the golf course.”
Korean Yoseop Seo, Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond and Suradit Yongcharoenchai and New Zealander Michael Hendy are next best placed, six behind Kho having played the opening few holes.
The World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club is the first international golf tournament in the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, China for 38 months.
The tournament also has the honour of being part of The Open Qualifying Series, with the leading four players not otherwise exempt earning a place in The Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in July.
Scores after round 3 of the The World City Championship being played at the par 70, 6710 Yards Hong Kong GC course (am – denotes amateur):
205 – Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 71-69-65.
206 – Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 73-67-66.
209 – Hanmil Jung (KOR) 67-73-69, Ian Poulter (ENG) 68-72-69, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 71-69-69.
210 – Danthai Boonma (THA) 76-64-70.
211 – Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 75-65-71.
215 – Terrence Ng (HKG) 70-70-75.