Jimenez chasing 4th Hong Kong title
BY Bruce Young | Asian Tour | 2013 Hong Kong Open | Preview | 04 Dec 2013
The penultimate European Tour and Asian Tour events of the year 2013 is played this week at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Open has a weaker field than has been the case in past years, the fact that the event runs opposite the Northwestern Challenge in California and the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa playing a detrimental effect on the quality of the field, especially given the purses available in those events.
Also having its toll on the event is the lack of a naming rights sponsor meaning the hefty appearance fees are now, it would seem, a thing of the past.
As a consequence Miguel Angel Jimenez, the defending champion and three time winner, is also the highest ranked player in the field. Jimenez has not won since his victory in the event last year but he did finish runner-up at the KLM Open three months ago, was 8th two starts ago in Dubai and 20th at the World Cup. Given his love for the Fanling layout he deserves to be favourite this week.
Thorbjorn Olesen, playing the event for the very first occasion, has played well enough of late although not to the level that saw him as one of the most promising young players in the game in 2012. He finished 25th at the World Cup of Golf At Royal Melbourne and a satisfactory 17th at the DP Dubai World Championship.
Marcus Fraser was disappointing when missing the cut last week at the Australian Open but he has played the Hong Kong Open very well in previous years including when 3rd last year. Three top tens in five starts in the event make his a genuine chance.
Fredrik Andersson Hed finished runner-up to Jimenez last year and a 10th place finish in Perth recently and a 4th place finish in Italy soon before that suggest he is playing well enough to contend once again.
Australians in this week’s field in addition to Fraser include the number two placed player on the Asian Tour money list, Scott Hend, Wade Ormsby, Kieran Pratt, Marcus Both, Scott Barr, Andrew Dodt, David Gleeson, Daniel Gaunt and Unho Park.