The Champion – photo Asian Tour
South Australian Wade Ormsby has begun 2020 in perfect style with a wire to wire victory at the Hong Kong Open, sharing the lead after day one and then extending it to two on days two and three and eventually winning by four over Ireland’s Open Champion, Shane Lowry, with Thailand’s Gun Charoenkul another shot back in 3rd place, another Thailand golfer Jazz Janewattananond 4th and American Tony Finau 5th.
The four most favoured players heading into the week, therefore, finished inside the top 5 at week’s end.
For Ormsby it was his second Hong Kong title in the last three years having also won in 2017 and his third Asian Tour victory. It also was just his third victory as a professional on a recognised tour, the other two coming at the 2013 Panasonic Open India Indian Open and his earlier win in Hong Kong.
The victory was worth US$180,000 to Ormsby and continues a lucrative stretch having finished 3rd at the recent Australian PGA Championship.
Despite the apparent ease of the win, it was a shaky start for Ormsby in today’s final round, a bogey at the first hole providing an element of doubt to the final result although three consecutive birdies followed and by the turn his lead was extended to five.
Ormsby was understandably proud of what he had achieved, especially given the work he has put in in recent times to take his game to another level.
“I’ve been working my guts out the last 14 to 15 months trying to take my game to the next level,” said the 39-year old, University of Houston graduate.
“At the Australian PGA three weeks ago, losing that one really hurt me so I put a few changes in place. I worked out over the break and to come back here and to get the win so soon, I can’t put it into words really.
“It’s still nerve-racking coming down the stretch you know, like that 18th hole, it can do anything to you but I got the tee-shot in play and hit a weak iron shot into it but anyway. Four on the card and won by four, so I’m very happy. I was playing great, you always got to play the Hong Kong Golf Club the same way.
“I think the game plan was the same. When you get in front there’s no point in changing that, no point trying to play defensive. The guys had to come and catch me basically. I was hoping to win this season but to do it in week two of the year in my first event is special and it will be one I’ll remember forever.
“I have three wins on the main tours in my career and this is my first wire-to-wire. I’m very proud of my play this week. Going through what I went through three weeks ago, that kind of hit me pretty hard. I didn’t even want to know the game for three or four days, but to come back and do what I’ve done this week, like I said, proud of myself and proud of my team.”
David Gleeson and Terry Pilkadaris both had good weeks, finishing the next best of the Australians when they tied for 7th and earned US$21,000 each.
The Asian Tour now moves south to Singapore for the Singapore Open, an event jointly sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour.