First Amongst Equals

As Mike Wilson writes, the luck of the draw or the bounce of the ball can turn tournaments on their heads and previously sane golfers into nervous wrecks

Wade Ormsby won US$355,000 by claiming UBS Hong Kong Open title

While in any 156-man field each week, there can only ever be one winner – ergo 155 ‘Losers’. Surely that fortunate fellow with the lowest number of strokes, brought about by a combination of fine shots, holed putts, fewer and less unfortunate mistakes and a slice or two of good fortune thrown into the mix must walk away on Sunday night. Winner’s speech delivered, photographs posted for, press questions answered, champagne coiffed, champion’s commitments fulfilled as the most highly-financially-rewarded player of the week, first amongst equals.

Except, no, not necessarily so, as with Australian winner of the 2018 season-opening UBS Hong Kong Open, Wade Ormsby. The leaderboard shows that the 27-year-old from Adelaide won €281,786, around US$355,000 in the lovely greenback lucre worshipped by pro golfers everywhere, by far the biggest pay-day of his career to date, hardly surprising for a maiden victory on the second most valuable circuit on earth.

That’s almost US$200,000 more than each of the four men who finished in a tie for second and shared the second, third, fourth and fifth-place purses. Three, like Ormsby, relatively unknown wannabees, the other, the high-flying young Spanish matador Rafa Cabrera-Bello, 20th on the Official World Golf Ranking, already a member of global golf’s elite club.

But, whilst the man for whom the epitaph 'Journeyman pro,' might well have been coined may have recorded the fewest shots over Fanling for four days late last year, it may come as something of a surprise that he would probably not have been the highest-paid.


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