Hong Kong golfing golden girl Tiffany Chan wins World University Championship in Switzerland
Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching pulled off one of the greatest results in the history of Hong Kong golf by winning the 15th edition of the World University Championship in Switzerland.
The 20-year-old from Tuen Mun, Hong Kong's outstanding female player over the past five years, staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Spain's Marta Sanz on the second hole of a sudden death play-off after the pair had tied at 10-under 278 through four rounds of regulation play.
Chan calmly holed a 10ft birdie putt on the 18th at the Crans-sur-Sierre course in the heart of the Swiss Alps to beat a strong field that included two members of this year's winning US Curtis Cup team.
"It was really exciting to come good at the end of the day, especially as I didn't start well," said the former Diocesan Girls' School student, who saw her overnight one-shot lead vanish after making a bogey at the fourth and a double bogey at the fifth.
"It's a big deal for me because of the strength of the players here. My goal was the top five, so to come away as the winner is very special."
Chan battled back to level with birdies at the seventh and eighth holes. But a Sanz birdie at the 13th saw Chan slip behind again. And when the Spaniard sank an 85ft putt for an eagle at the 14th, Chan was staring at defeat. But the student at Daytona State College in Florida rolled in her own lengthy eagle putt to remain in contention and then ensured her place in the play-off by holing a 12ft putt on the 18th.
"It's funny because I didn't hit the ball that well, but my putting and my short game generally has been really strong. It's been a great week," said Chan, who entered the event in good form having won the National Junior College Athletic Association women's title in May.
Chan now looks set to break into the top 50 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings this week and will be rewarded with "Sports Scholarship Athlete" status from the Hong Kong Sports Institute, receiving funding to take parts in events around the world.
"After this win I can aim higher," said Chan. "I'm going to spend the next couple of months working hard on my weaknesses and will try to do my best."