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OBGOLF

16 November 2018

Madappa Aims To Break Mental Barrier At Honma Hong Kong Open Presented By Amundi

Hong Kong, November 16: India’s Viraj Madappa is ready to show his mental toughness when he comes up against several of the world’s best players at the HONMA Hong Kong Open presented by Amundi next week.

Co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European and the Hong Kong Golf Association, the HONMA Hong Kong Open will welcome a stellar field that includes Masters champion, Patrick Reed, Ryder Cup stars Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia to the Hong Kong Golf Club from November 22-25.

The young Indian is relishing the opportunity to endure himself to the Hong Kong crowd, having made a similar impression on home soil when he became the youngest Indian, at the age of 20 years and nine months, to win on the Asian Tour in August.

“I’ve been getting into a lot more tournaments with better field. It has been exciting playing against some of these top professionals from Asia. It allows me to see where my game stands,” said Madappa.

A graduate from Qualifying school in January, Madappa is also the first rookie and youngest player to win on Tour this season.

While he may have missed three consecutive cuts since his maiden win, Madappa bounced back with a fourth-placed in Chinese Taipei followed by a tied-39th finish at home last month.

“I feel like my game is there physically but got to work on my mental strength which was lacking the last few weeks. If my mental strength is strong, I can work my way up the leaderboard.

Madappa may be the new kid on the block but he knows he has a close circle of good friends whom he can count on when the pressure builds up on Tour.

“I’m really close to a couple of guys like Rahil Gangjee and S.S.P. Chawrasia. I’ve got close to other Indians like Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar who have really helped me throughout the year.

“They have helped me with my mental state and they have played a big part in helping me feel comfortable on Tour,” said the Indian.

More than 30 Asian Tour champions from over 15 countries are also expected to tee up at the US$2 million event with the battle to top the Habitat for Humanity standings heating up.

India’s Shubhankar Sharma leads the Habitat for Humanity standings by slightly more than US$130,000 over second-placed Sanghyun Park of Korea and with the winner’s purse worth US$333,330, the claim for pole position is still wide open.

Tickets are available to purchase at https://www.ticketflap.com/honmahongkongopen2018

The tournament is free to attend on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 November for all. Under 21s go free and in a celebration of the tournament’s 60th anniversary, all visitors aged 60 years and over will be granted free access for all days of the tournament.

The HONMA Hong Kong Open is supported by the Hong Kong Tourism Board which is instrumental in enabling the tournament attract some of the world's best players.

The HONMA Hong Kong Open has also been recognized as an “M” Mark event to help enhance the image of Hong Kong as Asia’s sports event capital. “M” Mark is awarded by the Major Sports Events Committee, symbolizing an intense, spectacular and signature event in the territory’s sports calendar.

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