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Wade Ormsby chasing successful defence in Hong Kong

Is Ormsby playing well enough to repeat his 2017 win? (Photo: Getty Images )
South Australian golfer, Wade Ormsby, will this week get the opportunity to defend his one and only European Tour title when he plays the Honma Hong Kong Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club beginning Thursday.

Despite a bogey at his final hole last year, Ormsby held on to win by one over a group of four players, securing not only his first European Tour title and his second title in professional golf but a launching pad to his best ever season on the European Tour.

Ormsby finished up the 2018 season in 48th place in the Race to Dubai standings, surpassing his previous best of 51st in 2014.

The 38-year-old’s earnings of nearly €900,000 were substantially boosted by his win in Hong Kong with only one other top ten in his season overall but there was an improved level of consistency, securing a cheque in 18 of his 26 starts.

It could be argued that Ormsby is in better form leading into this year’s event than was the case prior to his surprise win 12 months ago and his performance this week on a golf course which no doubt offers such great memories will be watched with interest.

Ormsby first gained his card for the European Tour in 2004 and for all but four of the seasons since he has been able to retain his card.

“It's a bit weird walking into a golf tournament and seeing a picture of my ugly head on the walls," said Ormsby on the eve of the tournament. “No, I'm really looking forward to it. It's a golf course I love and a course that suits my game, so, it's nice to come back and come to a place where you feel like you can contend. 

“You've got to hit fairways, but you've got to basically keep the ball in play and scramble hard. It's not just putting and it's not just chipping. It's basically keep the ball in play and don't make those mistakes around the greens.

“There's a lot of great players here but obviously go out there and play my game and do my thing and hopefully I'm around the front come Sunday.”

Such is the standing that Ormsby holds in this week’s event that he has been grouped with two of the pre-tournament favourites Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood in the opening two rounds.

Whatever the outcome this week, Ormsby will get to play the Australian PGA Championship next week on the Gold Coast where in 2014 he lost a three-way playoff between winner Greg Chalmers, Adam Scott and himself.

Other Australians in this week’s event in Hong Kong are 2016 winner, Sam Brazel, 2014 winner, Scott Hend, New Zealand Open winner, Daniel Nisbet, who is here courtesy of his Asian Tour ranking, Jason Norris, Marcus Fraser, Terry Pilkadaris, Jake Higginbottom, Jason Scrivener, and European Tour cardholding debutant Deyen Lawson.  

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