After what can only be described as a tumultuous time across the globe, billions of people have been affected by all that has gone on. I consider myself fortunate enough to say that it is only missing golf tournaments that has affected me during 2020 when so many others have lost so much more. Let’s all hope that this is a once in a lifetime experience and that this year takes us closer to normalcy in a safe and healthy way.
After a short trip from Macau to Manilla and then the subsequent transfer up to Tarlac, it was time to reset for another week after a bit of an anti-climactic week in Macau. This week would be another iteration of the Central Azucarera de Tarlac Open (CAT Open) played once again at the Luisita Golf and Country Club just south of Tarlac City.
Flying straight in from Atlanta, following the 7 hour drive back after the last round of Q-School, I eventually arrived into Macau on Monday Morning for the Macau Championship, the next stop on the PGA Tour China. This event would end up being the season ending tournament for the tour due to the political unrest in Hong Kong forced the cancellation of the Clearwater Championship.
Following yet another trans-pacific long haul flight, the week following the Zhuzhou classic saw me in Lakeland Florida for the First stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying.
A simple breakdown of the qualifying series is that there are 3 stages, each stage is 4 rounds and roughly the top 25 at each stage advance to the next stage. Once in the Final stage, the top 50 scores will receive tour cards for the Korn Ferry Tour for the following year. Now that the Korn Ferry Tour is the best path to the PGA Tour, it is ideal to bring the best form possible to these qualifying events, not to mention the hefty entry fee that makes most people gawk. Such is the beauty of professional golf and one of the reasons it brings all of us such a rush.
The next stop on the PGA Tour China was in the city of Zhuzhou, Hunan Province for the Zhuzhou classic at the lovely Xiang Shui Bay Golf Club, an IMG prestige property.
The golf course was fantastic and presented in excellent condition, it was a true pleasure to play an event at such a nice facility. Even better than that was the proximity of the tournament hotel to the golf course, in that we were able to walk to the course each day. It is definitely the case that when you are travelling week in and week out, being able to have ‘easy-logistical’ weeks takes a lot of stress off the table.
My next event is the Haikou Classic on the PGA Tour China Series which was play at the Mission Hills Haikou Resort on the Sandbelt Trails course on the resort.
After a recent run of poor weather affecting events in China, we were fortunate enough to have better weather for this week. I had a really solid start, shooting a nice 3 under par 69 putting me in a nice position.
After several weeks back in Atlanta, it was time for a very business end of 2019 to begin.
This would begin back on the PGT-Asia Tour in Manilla, Philippines with the Aboitiz Invitational which was held at the iconic Wack Wack Country Club in Central Manila.
The next July stop was a short drive to Dongguan and the Mission Hills resort for the Dongguan Open, which was played on the Norman Course at the famed Mission Hills Resort which is home to 12 championship golf courses.
The Norman course is one of the tougher layouts on the property with some fairly testing walks between greens and tees. Unfortunately for the event, there was significant weather during the practice days which meant I was only able to see 15 holes of the course between Monday and Wednesday. The huge volume of water that inundated the course also left it in an unplayable state, which meant we did not begin the first round until Friday.
After a brief summer break, the PGA Tour China was back rolling again into the southern area of Guangzhou nearby the port called Nansha. The Guangzhou Open was played at the Nansha Golf Club.
For this event, the layout of the course was adjusted so that 3 of the par 5’s were converted to long par 4’s which certainly made for a good test amidst the extremely hot and humid conditions. The golf course was presented in great condition despite the challenging walk of the hilly layout, cut into the mountains.
This week’s event saw the 2nd event of the PGT-Asia 18/19 season at the exclusive Manila Southwoods Country Club just south of Manilla in the Philippines. We played our tournament on the Legends course which was presented in excellent condition despite some heavy rain over the past month in the region.