Leon D'Souza and Estee Leung staged remarkable comebacks to win their respective divisions at last month’s Hong Kong Junior Close Championship, which was held at Discovery Bay Golf Club.
In the boys' division, 16-year-old D'Souza frittered away a five-shot lead heading into the final round after an erratic performance on the front nine before finding his form down the closing stretch to claim a two-shot margin of victory over Michael Regan Wong in second place. Yue Yin-ho claimed third, a further six shots adrift.
"I've won overseas but to win at home after many years is very special," said the in-form D'Souza, who finished with a three-round total of 216 (three-over-par). "I felt OK but I just wasn't swinging well on the front nine, so to come back after being down is a very good feeling."
It was much the same for 15-year-old Leung, who carded a fine 69 in the penultimate round to open up a big advantage before toiling to a lacklustre 87 to fall into a play-off with the fast-finishing Queenie Lai. A par on the first extra hole - after Lai missed a four-foot putt - was enough to give the Yew Chung International School student her maiden Close title.
Leung's elder sister Emily finished one shot back in solo third.
"It's a big relief," admitted Leung. "I didn't play well but I'm pleased with the way I coped with the situation mentally. It was my first play-off so to win feels great."
216 – Leon D'Souza (72 68 76)
218 – Michael Regan Wong (76 69 73)
224 – Yue Yin-ho (76 73 75); Taiga Iwasa (75 71 78)
226 – Humphrey Wong (75 72 79)
232 – Estee Leung*(76 69 87); Queenie Lai (78 79 75)
233 – Emily Leung (74 76 83)
243 – Virginie Ding (83 80 80)
246 – Hu Jing (85 75 86)
*Won on first play-off hole
Click here to see the published article.