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Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching

In good spirits: Hot spring eases back pain for Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching in Japan

The 22-year-old fired a three-over-par 75 in the first round of the Japan LPGA Tour’s Nippon Ham Ladies Classic in Hokkaido on Friday

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 July, 2016, 7:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 08 July, 2016, 9:03pm

Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching, who is on the verge of qualifying for the Olympic Games, admitted to feeling the nerves early on in the first round of the Japan LPGA Tour’s Nippon Ham Ladies Classic in Hokkaido on Friday.

But while her three-over 75 left her 10 shots off the pace set by fellow amateur Sakura Koiwai, the reigning Hong Kong Ladies Open champion was in good spirits having recovered from a back strain which had put her participation in doubt.

“My back is fine – the onsen [hot spring] at the hotel has helped a lot,” quipped the 22-year-old Chan, who looks set to become one of only three amateurs to make the elite field in Rio de Janeiro when the Olympic qualifying period ends on Monday.

“I was in one of the feature groups, and I was a little nervous in front of the big crowds. I didn’t play great but I worked on the range afterwards and I figured out what was wrong – especially with my driver. I’m looking forward to the second round.”

Chan is currently 55th in the Olympic ranking, with the top 60 players earning their places in Brazil, which will mark golf’s return to the Games for the first time since 1904.

“It’s 99 per cent now that I’ll make it, so it’s great, but I will have to wait a few more days for confirmation,” Chan added.