Written by
Joy Chakravarty, LIV Golf Correspondent
Mar 07 2024
- 4 MIN
Poulter Hong Kong preview

Majesticks Golf Club is keen to grab what seems like a custom-built opportunity for the team at LIV Golf Hong Kong this week.

Hong Kong Golf Club is a course renowned for the premium it puts on hitting fairways and greens, and where length off the tee is not an advantage. Also, the greens are smaller and grainy.

All this should play to Majesticks’ advantage – they have been fantastic from tee-to-green from from the beginning of last season, but have bled a lot of shots on the greens.

This is also a golf course where Co-Captain Ian Poulter has won before (2010 UBS Hong Kong Open) and enjoyed playing it every time he teed up for the championship when it used to be part of the DP World Tour.

“I’ve played here quite a lot. For us, it was kind of a normal stop in the back end of the year and I played quite nicely here through the years,” said Poulter.

“It’s a course which sets up for us as oldies that don’t hit it 350 yards. It’s quite refreshing to come to a course where for the most part we won’t really be using driver. There’s only a couple of holes probably on the course that lends itself to hitting driver.

“Accuracy is something hopefully Team Majesticks can lean on this week and Henrik (Stenson) wearing his 3-wood out. I’m not even sure if Sam (Horsfield) is going to take driver this week.”

While Poulter has the winning feeling at HKGC, Co-Captain Lee Westwood has been so good while playing in Asia, he was actually nicknamed ‘Asian King’ in his early years when he won several titles in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and Indonesia.

“Asia is a place I’ve always loved coming, and I’ve been successful here. Hopefully, that’ll continue,” said the three-time European No. 1.

“But I don’t think it really matters what kind of golf course it is; if you don’t putt well in a tournament, you don’t do any good. It gets even more exaggerated in this format where it’s only three rounds because there is no easy way into the tournament… you haven’t got much time. So, you have to come out fast and almost be a streaky kind of player and get on a roll on the greens.”

When pointed out that the Majesticks putting stats have been disappointing, Stenson said: “You’re not the only one that’s been disappointed in that stat. For myself, I haven’t been putting well, and I think as a team we haven’t been putting particularly well, either.

“As soon as we’re done here, you’ll see us on the putting green. But obviously, it’s going to be an important week to hit fairways and greens. There are some narrow tee shots and small greens. If we can keep that up and roll a few in, hopefully we can be in with a better chance of a result than we have been in the first couple of events.”

Horsfield was confident the Majesticks were in for a much better week with the putter.

“I think the greens here, they’re quite grainy, which should definitely help me, Ian and Henrik. I grew up in Florida and these boys live there,” he said. “I think we’ve got a good chance this week.”