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

1994

American journeyman pro Craig McClellan stood in the middle of the 18th fairway of the final round needing an eagle two to force a play-off with South African stalwart David Frost. Incredibly, McClellan did exactly that by holing his seven-iron from 160 yards away, but succumbed to the pressure in extra time as Frost walked away with the title. Nevertheless, McClellan’s shot ranks alongside that of Lin Wen-tang’s [see 2008] as the finest (or luckiest) in the history of the event.

2001

Voted as one of the best shots ever at a European Tour event, José Maria Olazábal raked a five-iron from the trees on the last hole to set up an easy tap-in birdie, provided one of the most exciting climaxes at a Hong Kong Open in living memory. Having trailed Adam Scott and Norway’s Henrik Bjornstad for much of the final round, the Spaniard paved the way for victory following a spectacular birdie-birdie-birdie finish. Speaking afterwards, Olazábal said: “You don’t finish with three birdies knowing you have to do it. I pulled it off with a bit of luck and one well executed shot.”

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