Dyson Hoovers Up
To say that Simon Dyson enjoyed his rookie season on the Asian Tour would be something of an understatement. The 22-year-old Yorkshireman, who only joined the professional ranks a few months previously, travelled East in order to gain tournament experience before trying his luck at the European Tour's Q School the following year. But after victories at the Macau and China Opens, the blond-haired former Walker Cup player entered the Hong Kong Open with a very real chance of claiming the Order of Merit title if he could manage a good finish at Fanling.
Opening up with rounds of 64, 67 and 68, Dyson found himself only a shot behind 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie and Kim Felton going into the final day. Felton, who now plies his trade on the OneAsia Tour, made headlines around the region on the Friday thanks to a remarkable round of 60. But unfortunately for the Australian, the round didn't count as the lowest in the championship's history because the course was wet and the preferred lies rule was in force.
Known as a solid ballstriker but a streaky putter, Dyson showed no sign of nerves as he reeled in the competition with a stunning performance on the notoriously tricky greens at the Hong Kong Golf Club. Playing with a confidence that belied his years, Dyson's putter was red hot, as he notched up a slew of birdies and an eagle to win the championship by three.