Taichi Kho creates golfing history in capturing Hong Kong Asian Tour title

Fatiha Betscher

Taichi Kho pictured with the winner’s trophy on Sunday. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Asian Tour

Taichi Kho – write down his name as here is rising star in golf

Kho, who only turned professional in January, created history by becoming the first player from Hong Kong to win an Asian Tour event in capturing the rain-shortened inaugural World City Championship presented by the Hong Kong Golf Club.

There were wild scenes when the 22-year-old, who had earned his first victory on the same suburban Fanling course as a then amateur at the 2016 Hong Kong Junior Open, closed out the event on his home course by two shots from New Zealand’s Michael Hendry.


Kho had earlier celebrated the week being announced as an ambassador for the club and on the occasion international tournament golf was returning to the Special Administrative Region of China for the first time in 38 months.

Play had been halted near noon on Saturday due to heavy rain and then later suspended, forcing officials into reducing the event to 54-holes given the Sunday forecast was again for more rain.

Kho, who had only played two holes on Saturday returned to close with an even-par 70 for a 12 under winning tally, and in the process also secured one of the four spots up for grabs in this year’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in July.

Hendry posted a closing 68 while Australian Travis Smyth returned a 66 to finish third, three behind Kho. Korean Bio Kim (65) and Miguel Tabuena (72) from the Philippines tied for fourth, a shot further back.

Joining Kho now heading to the 151st Open is Hendry, Smyth and Kim.

Kho’s appearance in golf’s oldest major will also become the first occasion a Hong Kong Chinese player will compete in the game’s oldest and most prestigious Major.

“Being at home, in front of everyone, having my parents here, it just means the world to me. I want to say thank you to everyone,” said Kho.

“I can’t put into words how grateful I am to have this opportunity. To play on the Asian Tour and represent Hong Kong Golf Club, to play well with both those things is very special. The fans gave me a lot of momentum, thank you to Hong Kong.”

This World City Championship was only Kho’s third event as a professional on the Asian Tour as he made it through the Tour’s Qualifying School in January. He is the third fastest graduate from the school to win on tour.

Kho’s name may not be known on the professional circuit but he enjoyed a healthy amateur career, including attending college at Notre Dame. Hereunder is some of his achievements;

  • Earned his first victory at the 2016 Hong Kong Junior Open, then later secured his first professional win at the Hong Kong PGA Order of Merit Leg 1, becoming the first amateur to win the event
  • Also picked up tournament championships over the past year at the Hong Kong Junior Close, Truevisions International, the Jack Nicklaus Junior and the ISSFHK.
  • Qualified for the 2017 UBS Hong Kong Open
  • Competed at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships in New Zealand & Malaysia
  • Won the Mason Hills Jack Nicklaus Junior Championship
  • In his Notre Dame sophomore year (2019-20) he helped pave the way for a record-breaking four tournament title wins in five events and a top-10 national ranking.
  • Then in his junior season (2020-21) at Notre Dame he earned 2021 Ping DI All-Region Team selection and 2020-21 All-ACC Academic Team
  • Kho was 1-of-5 lineup regulars who spearheaded Notre Dame’s first team NCAA Regional appearance since 2012.

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