HONG KONG LEGEND YAU MAKES TOUR DEBUT IN SHANGHAI
Veteran Hong Kong golfer Yau Sui Ming makes his debut on the Omega China Tour on Thursday in the Shanghai Leg at Grand Shanghai International Golf and Holiday Resort.
Yau along with compatriot Alexander Cheng and two leading Taiwanese players Wang Ter-chang and Tsai Chi-huang have been invited to play in order to open up the circuit.
The invitation is of special significance to Yau who has worked on the mainland for nearly a decade now. Aged 52 he is based at Pine Valley Golf Club in Zhuhai and one of the players he coaches is Huang Mingjie – an up and coming player on Tour.
Interestingly Yau’s first coach was compatriot Peter Tang, the very same person who taught China’s Zhang Lianwei.
Zhang is the current leader of the Omega Order of Merit having triumphed twice this season and is also the defending champion this week.
Yau has no illusions that he will be amongst the front runners but is thrilled to have been given an opportunity to compete at the top level once again.
The hugely experienced professional is perhaps best known for finishing second behind American Ken Green in the 1991 Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club.
He played for Hong Kong many times in the World Cup and Dunhill Cup and won the Hong Kong PGA Championship on seven occasions.
“I still love the game and love to compete. I am playing quite well but definitely lack length against the younger players. I am just going to focus on making the cut. I think it was about in 1973 when Peter Tang gave me my first lesson, while it was in 1991 that Peter started to teach Zhang,” said Yau.
Yau was instrumental in setting up the Hong Kong Seniors PGA at the end of last year and has won the only two events that have been played so far.
The former club professional at Hong Kong Golf Club has plenty of insight into the game of golf in China having watched its rapid development since the early 1990s.
“In all the areas of the sport such as golf clubs, golf equipment, tournaments and professionals we have seen a staggering growth. Over the next 10 years this will continue, really closing the gap between Chinese golf and the other main golfing nations in America and Europe,” added Yau.
Zhang impressively warmed up for this week’s tournament last Sunday by taking top spot in a rather unique event in Xinjiang, in the far North West of China.
A total of 20 top players from the country played 54 holes in one day -- without a break between rounds -- with Zhang finishing on eight under.
“I was exhausted. You should have seen my face, I was totally drained,” said the Chinese star.
He claimed back-to-back titles this year on Tour in Qingdao and then Guangzhou and as long as he has fully recovered from his marathon achievement in Xinjiang he will once again be the man to beat this week.