The Top Champions

Australian Sam Brazel defeated Ryder Cup star Rafa Cabrera Bello by just one shot in the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open. The Hong Kong’s oldest professional sporting event has a habit of producing more than its fair share of memorable moments. With Masters champion Sergio Garcia making his debut in Hong Kong, the 2017 version will just get ever better


Five-time Open champion Peter Thomson bagged his third Hong Kong Open title of the decade with his 1967 victory at Fanling. Thomson, who is credited with kick-starting the first series of professional events in Asia, was 38 when he completed his hat-trick and, with his enviably orthodox and rhythmical swing, invariably dominated proceedings at the Hong Kong Golf Club. The Australian, who favoured discussions on politics and listening to classical music to drinking beer and talking about sport, now runs a flourishing course design business.


Thirty-eight years ago, a young Australian pitched up at Fanling and wowed the galleries with his untamed blonde hair, good looks and aggressive golf game. Greg Norman had only turned pro two years previously but played like a seasoned veteran in winning the 1979 title. He would later add the 1983 Hong Kong Open to his impressive list of achievements. Despite only winning two majors - the 1986 and 1993 Open Championships - the “Shark” is considered a legend in his home country, inspiring tens of thousands of children - including current superstars Jason Day and Adam Scott - to start playing the game.


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