Hong Kong: Major winner Cameron Smith will take inspiration from Australian golfing greats including Peter Thomson when he tees off at the Hong Kong Open on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Australian is the headline act at Fanling as Asia’s oldest professional golf tournament returns for the first time since a long break for the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wade Ormsby is the defending champion, albeit dating back to 2020, and is among a number of Australians who have triumphed in the southern Chinese city down the decades.
Smith, last year’s British Open champion, is hoping to add his name to the list of victorious Australians that also includes Greg Norman.
Thomson three-time winner
Thomson won the Hong Kong Open three times in the 1960s.
“I was actually looking at how many times Peter Thomson won because I feel like he’s on every trophy around the world, and has travelled so much, I adore him,” Smith said.
“It is a really good list of players and lots of Aussies have been successful around here too, so it would be nice to go on that list.”
Other former winners include Tom Watson, Colin Montgomerie, Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.
The $2 million Hong Kong Open is now on the Asian Tour’s International Series, which is supported by LIV Golf.
Smith was among the most high-profile players to jump ship to the upstart Saudi-backed LIV circuit.
Ormsby will defend his Hong Kong title while LIV rebels Patrick Reed, Talor Gooch and Graeme McDowell are also in action at the 62nd edition of the tournament.
Ormsby, who also triumphed at the Hong Kong Open in 2017, will be driven on by the memory of his father Pete, who died two weeks ago and had been a big influence on his career.
The 43-year-old Ormsby was asked on Wednesday at a news conference about the moustache he was sporting.
“My father always had one,” he replied.