The 2009 tournament boasted one of the strongest fields ever assembled in Hong Kong Open history, but it was a little-known Frenchman who walked away with the silverware.
While tournament drawcards Lee Westwood, YE Yang, Asia’s first major champion, Mark O’Meara and Rory Sabbatini failed to mount a serious challenge during the event, 2008 runners-up Rory McIlroy and Francesco Molinari showed their love of Fanling with another brilliant weekend charge.
Opening with rounds of 66 and 68, McIlroy went 65-64 over the final two days, but still ended two shots shy of Gregory Bourdy, whose composure down the closing stretch was simply magnificent. Although much was made of a missed three-footer by McIlroy on the 17th green in the final round, Bordeaux-born Bourdy was unflappable throughout, and with a four-round total of 261 (19-under-par) was a worthy champion.
McIlroy, who finished second, one shot ahead of Molinari in third, said, "My goal this week was to win the UBS Hong Kong Open and I've just come up short again, for the second year in a row. But I gave it my best shot and that is all I can do."
Bourdy by contrast was delighted and after being showered with champagne on the final green by his compatriots Raphael Jacquelin and Jean-Francois Lucquin, said, "It's great. I had a fantastic week. It's my best golf week, best golf today. I played very consistent, missed a few putts at the start of the round but I stayed confident. Simply amazing."
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