Hong Kong Open 2012: Rory looks to repeat

Stuart Franklin

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy returns to the Hong Kong Open this week in an attempt to repeat as champion. Can he be the first golfer in 53 years to do so?

Rory McIlroy has had a pretty solid 2012 golf season. Not only has he recorded four wins, one major, helped the European Team win the biggest Ryder Cup comeback in history, been named the PGA of American Player of the Year and captured the Vardon trophy, McIlroy is trying to become the first repeat champion in Hong Kong in over 50 years.

Let's just say the odds are forever in his favor.

The 2012 Hong Kong Open is one of Asia's most prestigious events. In 1963 - 64, Taiwan's Hsieh Yung-yo became the first (and only) golfer to defend his championship from the year prior. Some 53 years later, McIlroy returns to defend his 2011 crown and looks to duplicate Hsieh's achievement.

Having played in the event since he was 16-years old, McIlroy has been a dominating force at the Open for years. Before winning in 2011, he also tied for runner-up in 2008 and 2009, according to the PGA of American website.

''It's here also that I have had some great experiences as a player, taking part in one of the best playoffs ever against Lin Wen-tang in 2009,'' McIlroy said. ''Then I was able to finally put my name on the Hong Kong Open trophy last year."

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