Tiffany Chan eyes elusive Hong Kong Ladies Open title after honing her game against best amateur golfers in US
She is one of the most promising young amateurs on the college circuit in the United States, but has never won her home championship
A semester spent competing with the best college players in the United States has boosted the confidence of Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching as she goes in search of the Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur Championship at Fanling today.
Chan, 22, has been part of the University of Southern California (USC) women’s golf team since enrolling as a junior last September and has enjoyed an electric start to her college career.
The former Diocesan Girls School student joined USC after two years at Daytona State College, where she won back-to-back NJCAA national titles, and has underlined her reputation as one of the most promising young amateurs in the game.
In November, Chan won both her matches at the inaugural East Lake Cup to guide USC to a convincing victory and top spot in the NCAA rankings.
The win came on the back of the team’s triumph at the season-opening Annika Intercollegiate, where Chan fired a second-round 65 to finish fourth in the individual standings.
“Playing division one golf is a big change – you really have to play your best golf to have a chance to win,” said Chan.
“I’ve been pretty happy with the way I have performed but taking the step up to this level has changed the way I think, the way I practice and the way I manage my time.
Chan has formed a close friendship with rising star Annie Park, who recently earned her LPGA Tour card after three wins on the second-tier Symetra circuit.
Professional golf has its attractions but Tuen Mun-raised Chan is committed to finishing her degree and winning more amateur events before joining the paid ranks.
“I still have a year and-a-half at USC and I am hoping to use that time to win more events said Chan. “But I feel like I’m not that far away from the other players and I feel like I’m improving.
“Nowadays my practice is less about working on my swing; it’s about focusing on distance control and hitting it closer to the hole to give myself more chances.”
Amazingly, Chan, who swept all before her on the Hong Kong golfing scene as a junior before moving to the US in 2012, has never won the Hong Kong Ladies Open Amateur – something she is keen to put right before heading back to California next week.
“I didn’t play much over Christmas but the game is still there,” said Chan.
“The Hong Kong Ladies Open is the one title I’m missing so it would be nice to go out and win it this week. I’ll be trying my best to get it done.”