Shane Lowry 6
Shane Lowry. Image Credit: AP

Hong Kong: Open champion Shane Lowry and US big hitter Tony Finau are the headline acts as the Hong Kong Open finally goes ahead on Thursday, six weeks after it was postponed over the pro-democracy protests gripping the city.

Organisers hope a successful staging of the $1 million golf tournament will show that normality is returning to the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, which has seen months of unrest and demonstrations.

“Hopefully, the tournament this week shows everyone that things are starting to get back to normal… that it’s safe to come back here and stage your event,” Asian Tour commissioner and CEO Cho Minn Thant said.

The tournament at the historic Fanling course — whose previous winners include Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose — was originally slated for November, but was postponed as the finance hub wrestled with the often-violent protests.