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Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching

Closing in: Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan makes the cut in China to move within touching distance of Olympic Games qualification

The 22-year-old finished at five-over-par after two rounds at the event in Shandong province to significantly boost her chances ahead of the cut-off for Rio de Janeiro later this month

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 July, 2016, 8:59pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 July, 2016, 4:07pm

Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching all but assured qualification for the golf event at the Olympic Games after making the cut at the Kumho Tyre Ladies Open in Shandong province.

The Hong Kong Ladies Open champion is currently 59th in the International Golf Federation rankings for the Olympics, with the top 60 assured of a ticket to Rio de Janeiro next month as golf makes a return to the Games for a first time in 112 years.

And with the qualification period ending on July 11, 22-year-old amateur Chan posted opening rounds of 75 and 74 at Weihai Point layout on Bohai Bay to finish at five-over-par which importantly meant the former Diocesan Girls’ School student beat the cut mark by two strokes.

The event, which is co-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour and Ladies PGA Tour of Korea, is Chan’s final outing before the end of the qualification period having missed the cut at the Korea Women’s Open Golf Championship in her previous outing last month.

Chan, who received All-American honours in May following a standout season playing US college golf for University of Southern California, opened with a three-over-par first round on Friday despite carding four birdies.

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And then Chan reached the turn of Saturday’s second round one-under-par with Hong Kong international Steven Lam Tsz-fung on caddying duties, only to start the back nine with a double bogey seven.

Two bogeys in the next five holes followed to push Chan down closer to the cut line, which eventually fell at seven-over-par.

But a birdie five at the 16th brought Chan back to two-over-par for the round and she made sure of her place in the final round on Sunday by completing the remaining two holes in level par.

Chan represented Hong Kong at the 2012 and 2014 World Amateur Championship, the 2014 and 2015 Asian Games and at the 2014 World University Golf Championship, which she won on the second hole of a sudden death play-off.

At the top of the leaderboard, South Korean world number 10 Jang Ha-na leads the way at 12-under-par with compatriot Bae Seon-woo and Feng Shanshan from China a shot off the pace.

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“I gave myself many, many birdie chances, but sometimes you couldn’t make them roll. Today was one of those days. The last six holes I was putting for birdie but didn’t make anything,” world number 12 Feng told the China LPGA Tour website. “But I was happy that I have been bogey free for two days.”