As the newly elected president of the Hong Kong Golf Association I would first like to thank my predecessor David Hui, last year's Executive Committee and all the staff at the HKGA for their efforts during what was another successful year for golf in Hong Kong. The HKGA's core goal is to promote a high level of amateur golf and junior development – and to that end, the past 12 months have been a productive time in the city. I look forward to working with HKGA Chief Executive Iain Valentine, National Coach Brad Schadewitz, our international squads and all our sponsors – most significantly, EFG Bank, sponsors of the junior development programme – in continuing the good work.
The highlights of the 2011/2012 season have been many and varied. The UBS Hong Kong Open, which was played in early December at its traditional Fanling venue, proved to be another fantastic tournament and underpinned its reputation as one of the European and Asian Tour's most exciting. How thrilling it was to see Rory McIlroy finally come up trumps over a course he loves so much. His holed bunker shot on the final hole of the championship will live long in the memory.
The same can be said of Jason Hak's magnificent achievement in making his third straight cut at the tournament. Jason, who made headlines around the world when, aged 14, he first achieved the feat back in 2008, has blossomed into a truly world-class amateur and has enjoyed enormous success on the American Junior Golf Association circuit. We wish him the very best when he starts college at Georgia Tech later this year.
Another Hong Kong golfer heading to the States for college is Tiffany Chan, who has earned a scholarship to the revered Arizona State University. Tiffany, a product of the HKGA's junior development programme, has represented Hong Kong superbly over the years and her scholarship is a tremendous opportunity to further both her golf and her education.
In September, Hong Kong hosted the Southeast Asia Amateur Golf Team Championship, which incorporated the Putra, Santi and Lion City Cups. Held at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club, the event was a tremendous success, with Hong Kong – represented by Jason Hak, Shinichi Mizuno, Terrence Ng and Liu Lok-tin – coming very close to winning the Putra Cup only to be caught by Singapore in the closing stages. Nevertheless, the result was the best Hong Kong has had in a generation of team championships and represents how far we have come in recent times.
Shinichi is back in the news this issue after recording a fabulous win at the Mercedes-Benz Junior Golf Asian Masters Final in Thailand. Competing against some of the region's brightest talents, he held his nerve superbly to take home the trophy. Then just one week later Shinichi fired a brilliant 68 to win the Bushnell Mid Summer Classic at the Hong Kong Golf Club. The tournament, which was played over two days at the end of June, is the best attended of all HKGA events and this year saw over 320 participants take part.