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PGA European - UBS Hong Kong Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, November 20th through Sunday, November 23rd
SITE: Hong Kong Golf Club (Eden and New Courses), Hong Kong, China
COURSE ARCHITECT: Unknown - New Course (1931), Eden Course (1970)
PAR: 70
YARDAGE: 6,749
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 4 468 Yds10 - Par 4 367 Yds
2 - Par 3 149 Yds11 - Par 4 466 Yds
3 - Par 5 551 Yds12 - Par 5 529 Yds
4 - Par 4 288 Yds13 - Par 4 395 Yds
5 - Par 3 214 Yds14 - Par 4 426 Yds
6 - Par 4 436 Yds15 - Par 3 190 Yds
7 - Par 4 381 Yds16 - Par 4 411 Yds
8 - Par 3 188 Yds17 - Par 4 406 Yds
9 - Par 4 474 Yds18 - Par 4 410 Yds
--------------------------
34 3,149 Yds36 3,600 Yds
 
Annual:  50th (10th as a co-sanctioned event)
Television:  Golf Channel - Thursday/Sunday -- 1-4 a.m. (et)
Defending Champion:  Miguel Angel Jimenez
Runner-Up:  K.J. Choi, Robert Karlsson, Thongchai Jaidee
Tournament Record:  260 (Fredrik Jacobson, 2003)
54-Hole Record:  194 (Robert Karlsson, 2008)
36-Hole Record:  128 (Robert Karlsson, 2008)
Course Record:  61 (Henrik Bjornstad, 2002; Simon Yates, 2006)
Total Purse:  $2,500,000
Shares:  1st Place - $423,966; 2nd Place - $282,644; 3rd Place - $159,243
 
2008 Finish
PlayerScorePlayerScore
Miguel Angel Jimenez265Graeme McDowell269
K.J. Choi266Trevor Immelman270
Robert Karlsson266Jarmo Sandelin270
Thongchai Jaidee266Daniel Chopra270
Peter Hanson267Gary Simpson270
Marcus Fraser270
 
Past UBS Hong Kong Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2008Miguel Angel Jimenez (265) -- K.J. Choi, Robert Karlsson,
Thongchai Jaidee
2007Jose Manuel Lara (265) -- Juvic Pagunsan
2006Colin Montgomerie (271) -- K.J. Choi, James Kingston, Keng-Chi Lin,
Edward Loar, Thammanoon Srirot
2005Miguel Angel Jimenez (266) -- Padraig Harrington, James Kingston
2004Padraig Harrington (269) -- Hennie Otto
2003Fredrik Jacobson (260) -- Jorge Berendt, Henrik Nystrom
2002Jose Maria Olazabal (262) -- Henrik Bjornstad
2000Simon Dyson (263) -- Kim Felton, John Kernohan, Charlie Wi
1999Patrik Sjoland (273) -- Ian Woosnam
1998Kang Wook-soon
1997Frank Nobilo
1996Rodrigo Cuello
1995Gary Webb
1994David Frost
1993Brian Watts
1992Tom Watson
1991Bernhard Langer
1990Ken Green
1989Brian Claar
1988Hsieh Chin-sheng
1987Ian Woosnam
1986Seichi Kanai
1985Mark Aebli
1984Bill Brask
1983Greg Norman
1982Kurt Cox
1981Chen Tse-ming
1980Kuo Chie-hsiung
1979Greg Norman
1978Hsieh Min-nan
1977Hsieh Yung-yo
1976Ho Ming-chung
1975Hsieh Yung-yo
1974Lu Liang-huan
1973Frank Phillips
1972Walter Godfrey
1971Orville Moody
1970Isao Katsumata
1969Teruo Sugihara
1968Randall Vines
1967Peter Thomson
1966Frank Phillips
1965Peter Thomson
1964Hsieh Yung-yo
1963Hsieh Yung-yo
1962Len Woodward
1961Kel Nagle
1960Peter Thomson
1959Lu Liang Huan
Note:Formerly called Perrier Hong Kong Open (1999), Omega Hong Kong Open
(2000-05).

Top Contenders in the Field
Player2002200320042005200620072008
Miguel A. Jimenez---------WonT-38T-6Won
Thongchai JaideeT-13T-48---T-39T-7T-3T-2
Peter Hanson------T-53mc------5th
Graeme McDowell------------------6th
Simon DysonT-9---T-48mcT-25mcT-15
Anders Hansen---T-26------T-30---T-20
Soren KjeldsenwdT-4------T-18T-6T-29
Juvic Pagunsan---------------2ndT-50
Paul McGinleyT-26------------mcT-50
Nick Faldo---T-11T-15T-6------T-60
Jose Manuel Lara---T-66------T-18Wonmc
Jean Van de VeldeT-41---mc---T-38T-8mc
Simon KhanT-59------------T-13mc
Thammanoon SrirotT-26T-48mcT-4T-2T-25mc
Colin Montgomerie------------WonT-19---
Oliver Wilson---------mcT-25mc---
Jose M. OlazabalWonT-56T-10T-8---------
John Daly---------------------
Rory Sabbatini---------------------
Jeev Milkha Singh---------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Oliver Wilson
Darkhorse - Louis Oosthuizen
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Anthony Kim) - Disqualified after second round
Last Week's Darkhorse (Peter Hanson) - Finished tied for 3rd
 
NOTES:
Miguel Angel Jimenez will attempt to do something at this event that no one has done in 44 years, win back-to-back titles. Jimenez, who also won the 2005 tournament, will try to join Hsieh Yung-yo as the only consecutive winners of this event. Yung-yo, a four-time champion of this event, posted back-to-back wins in 1963-64. Seven of the top-50 players in the world are in the field this week. Jimenez is the highest-ranked player at No. 20.

Former major winners Michael Campbell, John Daly, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Paul Lawrie and Jose Maria Olazabal are also playing this week. This event was the only tournament that Faldo played in last year, finishing tied for 60th. Langer finished first on the 2008 Champions Tour money list, winning three times and earning over $2 million. This is the second event of the 2009 season, following the HSBC Champions two weeks ago, won by Sergio Garcia.

Last year, Jimenez fired rounds of 65-67-66-67 to win this event for the second time. Jimenez came out on top despite a three-putt bogey at the last. He finished the event at 15-under-par 265. At the par-four closing hole, Robert Karlsson and Jimenez were tied for the lead on the tee. Jimenez found the right rough with his tee shot before Karlsson's tee ball split the fairway. Jimenez played first and his second stopped some 30 left of the pin. Karlsson then came up short with his approach. Karlsson went right under his first chip and it stopped about five feet from where he was standing. He pitched his fourth to five feet. Jimenez had a delicate downhill putt. He left his first putt some seven feet short, then missed his par-saving putt on the left edge. Karlsson pushed his bogey putt right and tapped in for double- bogey. Karlsson, who led after the second and third rounds, finished one shot back at minus-14 after his closing double-bogey. He posted a two-over 72 to drop into a share of second with local favorites Thongchai Jaidee and K.J. Choi.

The final round saw Karlsson push his lead to as many as four shots before Choi caught him with an eagle on 13. Karlsson sank a six-foot birdie putt on the same hole to claim the lead at 17-under. Choi stumbled to bogeys on 16 and 18 to drop back to minus-14. After a par on 14, Karlsson three-putted for bogey at 15 to slip to 16-under. Jimenez birdied the 16th from 12 feet out to grab a share of the lead. Both players parred the 17th to set up the dramatic conclusion on 18.

In 2007, Jose Manuel Lara and Juvic Pagunsan battled throughout the final round. The turning point came at the par-four 16th, where Lara made birdie and Pagunsan faltered to a bogey. Lara went on to par the final two holes for a one-under 69 to claim his first European Tour title at 15-under-par 265. He became the first player in tournament history to go wire-to-wire for the victory. Lara's final-round 69 was his worst of the week, as he fired 64-66-66 in the first three rounds.

Co-sanctioned between the European Tour and the Asian PGA Tour, the field will comprise a split of players from each, as well as players from the Hong Kong Golf Association with a starting field of 144. This event is the longest running sports event in Hong Kong, dating back to 1959. Past champions of this event reads like a who's who of superstars, as Greg Norman, Peter Thomson, Ian Woosnam, Tom Watson, Langer, Olazabal, Padraig Harrington, Jimenez and 2006 winner Colin Montgomerie are some of the past winners.

A fixture on the Asian golfing circuit, the tournament will be staged at the Hong Kong Golf Club for the eighth straight year on its Composite Course, a combination of the best holes from the club's Eden and New Courses. The highly-rated layout has some memorable holes, best of which is the par-four 18th that shoots over a hill off the tee and runs down to the green which is guarded by a lake. The tree-lined course is a traditional and very established layout that is enjoyable to both play and walk.

The European Tour International Schedule moves to Australia next week for the Australian Masters, where native son Aaron Baddeley captured last year's event.

11/18 14:32:32 ET

As of November 18, 2008, at 02:32 PM ET

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