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Teenager set for golfing history

Fanling (Hong Kong): A 13-year-old Taiwanese golfer could deny Nick Faldo a first victory in nearly six years when the English golfer tees off in the Hong Kong Open on Thursday.

The schoolboy will make golf history when he becomes the youngest-ever player to take part in a European Tour event.

Lo Shih-Kai qualified for the event, which is co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, by winning the recent Hong Kong amateur championship thanks to a closing round of 66.

The Tiger Woods fan came from eight shots behind to deny a sports psychologist the title.

A Tour spokesman confirmed that Lo is the youngest by two years to play on the 31-year-old Tour, overhauling the mark set by Sergio Garcia of Spain who played in the Mediterranean Open in 1995 aged 15.

Lo recorded the lowest score of his career by carding five birdies and just one bogey over the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club course to win the Hong Kong amateur title.

“I just tried to enjoy myself during the final round and I wasn’t expecting to win,” said Lo. “So I guess I didn’t really have any pressure on me.”

He competes in Fanling against six-times major winner Nick Faldo, who won the last tournament he played in Hong Kong in 1990 and is Lo’s senior by 33 years.

The Englishman had won his first major, the British Open, two years before Lo was born.

Faldo, who runs a junior talent development scheme, said he had not even taken up the game at 13.

“These young kids are getting good and I have two girls in my junior series, one 12 and the other aged 13, both of whom are on a two handicap,” he added.

“I was throwing cricket balls around when I was 13. But if this young fellow from Taiwan happens to make the cut and I find myself paired with him, then it should be good for the guy because it will be such great experience.”

Also competing in the field are Danish Ryder Cup player Thomas Bjorn, Spain’s Jose Maria Olazabal, Italian Costantino Rocca and American Chip Beck.

Lowest score

The teenager recorded the lowest score of his round career by carding five birdies and just one bogey over the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club course to win the coveted amateur title.

“I just tried to enjoy myself during the final round and I wasn’t expecting to win,” said Lo. “So I guess I didn’t really have any pressure on me.”

(Reuters)

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