Taichi Kho Wins Mission Hills Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship 2017

Taichi Kho Kong continued his stellar season with victory in the 10th Mission Hills Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship on the tropical Chinese island of Hainan.

16-year-old Taichi Kho is no stranger to play-offs

HAIKOU, 5 June 2017, (HK Golfer News Wire) - Kho won the boys’ title in thrilling style with a final round of 69 before eagling the second play-off hole while New Zealand’s Rose Zheng also came through a tight battle to win the girls.

16-year-old Kho, who holds the Hong Kong Junior Open and Close titles and also won his first professional tournament as an amateur in the HKPGA Order of Merit last January, continued that form to win with a 54-hole total of 225 on the par-72 Sandbelt Trails Course at the Mission Hills Haikou resort.

Having opened with rounds of 79 and 77, the Hong Kong national team member, who also won the HKGA Winter Junior Championship in December, carded a brilliant three-under-par final round – the lowest of the tournament – to catch Thailand’s Supawitch Songklod and then claim the sudden-death playoff with a 15-foot eagle putt.  China’s Ma Bing-Wen finished one shot behind to take third overall and win the Boys’ 11-14 division.

In the girls’ category, Zheng impressed with rounds of 72, 74 and 72 to finish on two over par, only one ahead of overnight leader, Sun Jia-Ze of China on 219.  Another Hong Kong player, Iris Wang Xin-Yi won the Girls’ 11-14 division with a score of 241, beating Jenny Chang Chih-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei on count-back.     

The overall champions, Kho and Zheng were among a total of 18 players who were rewarded with an invitation to the Nicklaus Junior Championship in the USA this summer.  The top three players in each age group now have the opportunity to compete in the event, which is held on June 20-21 in Palm Beach County, Florida.

More than 110 junior golfers, boys and girls, from 10 different countries competed over 54 holes on the Sandbelt Trails Course at Mission Hills Haikou, as the championship moved to Hainan Island for the first time.

Leading final scores:

Boys’ 15-17: 225 – Taichi Kho (HKG) 79 77 69, Supawitch Songklod (THA) 74 76 75; 227 – Chou Po-Yueh (TPE) 72 80 75. 

Boys’ 11-14: 226 – Ma Bing-Wen (CHN) 73 79 74; 228 – Lu Yong-Hao (CHN) 83 72 73; 230 – Xiong Tian-Yi (CHN) 76 83 71. 

Girls’ 15-17: 218 – Rose Zheng (NZL) 72 74 72; 219 – Sun Jia-Ze (CHN) 75 70 74; 223 – Panchalika Arphamongkol (THA) 73 77 73. 

Girls’ 11-14: 241 – Iris Wang Xin-Yi (HKG) 86 79 76, Jenny Chang Chih-Hsuan (TPE) 79, 78, 84; 245 – Pemika Arphamongkol (THA) 84 84 77. 

Boys’ 9-10: 220 – Li Jia-Wei (CHN) 73 76 71. 

Girls’ 9-10: 237 – Zhang Jun-Yuan (CHN) 77 79 81.