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Hong Kong Open Invites Golfers to Beat the Pro in New Charity Drive

November 7, 2019
Francesco Molinari is among the main drawcards for the Hong Kong Open. Picture by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images.

Hong Kong: Members of the Hong Kong golfing public will have the opportunity to tee up alongside Major champions Francesco Molinari, Patrick Reed and Henrik Stenson at this month’s 61st edition of the Hong Kong Open.

In a first for Hong Kong’s longest-running professional sporting event, golfers will be able to compete inside the ropes at Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC) against some of the biggest names in the game as part of a new initiative for 2019, designed to raise funds for local charities.

Beat the Pro will see 20 amateur golfers go head-to-head with the pros on the par-three 12th hole of the Championship Course on Saturday, November 30, with prizes available to any golfer that is able to better the tee-shots of the pros.

With places available to players from HKGC, the Hong Kong Golf Association (HKGA) junior development programmes and the broader golfing community, members of the public are required to a make a charitable donation to participate, with places awarded to the highest bidders.

All proceeds will be donated to the tournament’s charitable partner, Operation Santa Claus, with local beneficiaries set to include the Hong Kong Paediatric Rheumatism Association, Project Space and Home of Loving Faithfulness. For further information and to bid to participate in Beat the Pro see https://thehongkongopen.com/beat-the-pro

Organisers have also announced that the tournament’s principal fund-raising initiative, the Hong Kong Open Charity Cup on December 3, will be held at HKGC, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

With more than HK$6 million raised to-date, the Charity Cup enables members of the public to play on the tournament’s unique Composite Course in a Stableford Better Ball team format. Breakfast or lunch are included along with a host of on-course prizes. All proceeds go to Operation Santa Claus.

Entry for a team of two in the Hong Kong Open Charity Cup costs HK$10,000. For more information and to register, see https://thehongkongopen.com/hong-kong-open-charity-cup/

The tournament will also once more provide free access and coaching clinics to a number of local schools and organisations, ensuring the annual showpiece continues to leave a lasting legacy among all sections of the community.

HKGC will make entry free of charge for the first two days of play. And with a host of activities for families to enjoy, including golf coaching, bouncy castles, face-painting, magicians, interactive games and the opportunity to participate in live Question & Answer sessions with players in the Spectator Village, the tournament promises a great day out.

Participants at last year’s Charity Cup Golf at Fanling.

Speaking about the tournament’s community focus in 2019, William Doo, Jr, Captain of Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “The Club is very proud to have supported a great number of charities over the years and we’re pleased to have been able to extend this to the Hong Kong Open through the Charity Cup and, now ‘Beat the Pro’. The funds raised for Operation Santa Claus through these initiatives and others will go to extremely worthy causes in Hong Kong, which is very important to us.

“With spectators under the age of 21 getting free entry on all tournament days, we hope to see many youngsters and their families at Fanling for a fun and entertaining week.”

In a further boost to this year’s event, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and Kiradech Aphibarnrat have added their names to the stellar field.

Spaniard Jiménez is a four-time winner on the Championship Course (2005, 2008, 2012 and 2014), putting him on level pegging with Taiwan’s Hsieh Yung-yo as the tournament’s most prolific champion.

Meanwhile, Kiradech, a four-time European Tour winner, will tee-off his 2020 European Tour Race to Dubai at Fanling.

Kenneth Lam, President of the HKGA, said: “We welcome the inclusion of these charitable initiatives in this year’s tournament. In addition to providing a number of the Hong Kong Golf Association’s elite junior golfers with inside-the-ropes experience in one of Asia’s leading golf tournaments, Beat the Pro is a fantastic way to promote the game in a way that few other sports can offer.”

Hosted by HKGC, which is celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, the Hong Kong Open kicks off the European Tour’s 2020 Race to Dubai and continues to play a decisive role in shaping the Asian Tour’s Habitat for Humanity Standings as it is one of the last events on the Tour’s 2019 schedule.

The Hong Kong Open has been recognised as an ‘M’ Mark event to help enhance the image of Hong Kong. ‘M’ Mark is awarded by the Major Sports Events Committee, symbolising an intense, spectacular and signature event in the territory’s sports calendar.

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