Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching's quest for the world junior title faltered but Hong Kong head coach Brad Schadewitz called her fifth place 'awesome'.
The 17-year-old Diocesan Girls' School student shot a two-over-par 76 to finish 11 shots behind South Korean winner Kim Hyo-joo after playing in the final group in the girls' 15-17 age group at the world junior championships at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, California.
Chan started the final round tied for second, but her challenge petered out as she shot her worst round of the tournament.
'It's a marathon out there and stamina is a factor. Tiffany missed a couple of shots, but for the most part she played well. She just didn't make as many putts. She had a couple of unfortunate breaks but I'm extremely proud of her,' Schadewitz said. 'Any time you can play in the last group in a tournament as prestigious as this and have a chance to win it, for a Hong Kong player it's an awesome achievement.
'It's great to see the Hong Kong flag at the prize-giving with US, Japanese, Colombian, Korean flags.'
Chan was up against many full-time players, not least the winner.
'Tiffany has been studying and doing her exams all the way up until we left to come over here a couple of weeks ago,' Schadewitz said.
Other Hong Kong players also fared well, with Kitty Tam Yik-ching finishing tied for sixth in the girls' 13-14 age group. Tam and Chan are part of a 13-strong Hong Kong junior squad who are on their summer tour to the US. Tam finished second the week before at the San Diego Junior Masters on the same course.
Schadewitz said Chan had another chance to shine in the Yorba Linda Invitational Championships near Los Angeles next week as a two-time champion (2008 and 2009) in her age group. The Hong Kong juniors then head to Bangkok for the Asia-Pacific Championships.