Ormsby Wins Second Hong Kong Open Crown But Denied Two-Year European Tour Exemption

Wade Ormsby joined legendary Australian greats Peter Thomson and Greg Norman in leading from start-to-finish to capture a second Hong Kong Open victory crown.

Ormsby, 39 posted a closing round 66 for a 17-under par tally and win just a third pro career title by four shots on the suburban Fanling course.

The close friend to fellow Adelaide-born Adam Scott earned a first prize cheque of $US 180,000 that has seen Ormsby go to the top of the Asian Tour money list.

And while Ormsby is naturally celebrating he could also have been sitting back comfortable knowing he had also earned two-year exemption on the European Tour had the event been co-sanctioned by the European Tour when it was initially scheduled for earlier last month.

The 2019 event, and set down for early December, was postponed over fears for player safety resulting from the on-going demonstrations in Hong Kong but was then rescheduled for this past week but with the European Tour electing not to go ahead with joining the Asian Tour in sanctioning the event as it clashed with the co-sanctioning of the South African Open.

Aussie Wade Orsmby collects his second Hong Kong OPen title to now join Peter Thomson and Greg Norman as a double Hong Kong Open champion.

Had the European Tour co-sanctioned the Hong Kong Open it would see Ormsby, and a full 2020 European Tour member, handed a virtual three-year exemption given he would be exempt on the European Tour to the end of the 2022 season.

As well, a European Tour exemption would ensure Ormsby continues to build on the work he’s put into his game since losing his Tour card at the end of 2005 and being without a full European Tour until regaining full Tour status for the 2014 season.

Ormsby’s victory also comes after his bitter disappointment in letting slip victory last month in the co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship in Queensland.

“I’ve been working my guts out the last 14 to 15 months trying to take my game to the next level,” he said.

“Losing the Australian PGA three weeks ago was one that one really hurt me so I’ll put a few changes in place. I worked out over the break and to come back here and get the win so soon, can’t put it into words really.

“It’s still nerve-racking coming down the stretch you know, like that 18th hole, it can do anything to you but I got the tee-shot in play and hit a weak iron shot into it but anyway. Four on the card and won by four, so I’m very happy. I was playing great, you always got to play the Hong Kong Golf Club the same way. The wind obviously changes but you still try and fly it to the same spot. Obviously didn’t get off to a great start, made a huge putt one and that kind of set the tone. After that, I felt good out there I just had to keep doing my thing because I knew I was playing really good.

“So yeah, I think the game plan was the same. When you get in front there’s no point in changing that, no point trying to play defensive. The guys had to come and catch me basically. I was hoping to win this season but to do it in week two of the year in my first event is special and it will be one I’ll remember forever.”

Ormsby broke through for broke through for a maiden pro career victory at the 2013 India Open and four years later he won the UBS Hong Kong Open by a stroke from four players.

Now the very affable Aussie has denied a very fast-finishing Shane Lowry to win a second Hong Kong Open crown by four shots and in the process join Thomson (1960, 1965 & 1967) and also Norman (1979 & 1983) as a double ‘Down Under’ winner in Hong Kong.

“I have three wins on the main tours in my career and this is my first wire-to-wire,” said Ormsby.

“I’m very proud of my play this week. Going through what I went through three weeks ago, that kind of hit me pretty hard. I didn’t even want to know the game for three or four days, but to come back and do what I’ve done this week, like I said, proud of myself and proud of my team.”

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