Tiffany Chan ready to mix it with LPGA Tour’s best as she plans a festive season fine-tuning her game in Hong Kong
Back on home soil just days after achieving her dream of making it to the highest level, the 24-year-old has high hopes for 2018
Christmas came early for Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching this week and the 24-year-old says she is planning on spending the festive season with family and friends – and plotting an early season assault on the LPGA Tour.
Back in Hong Kong just days after achieving her dream of qualifying for the Tour, Chan is confident she is “ready” to mix it with the world’s best come January.
While she knows maintaining her card is the first step, Chan is already targeting major appearances and the top 50 in the world.
“I think I’m quite ready, [but] everyone is so good so you just never know what is going to happen. I need to spend extra effort to try to perform better,” she said.
“I have to maintain a certain ranking to get in [to the majors] so the first few tournaments will be really important. My goal for next year is to try not to be overexcited on the first tee in my first event and try to keep my card, top 50 will be my new goal.
“I think I am quite comfortable, I just need to play [with the game] I have right now and my next goal is to improve one shot at a time. Maybe half a year later I might be ready to become a top-10 player in a tournament and not just making the cut.”
Chan has her sights set on the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic from January 26 and will have the best part of a month at home in Hong Kong beforehand.
She is looking forward to returning to the Hong Kong Golf Club and hopes its familiar surrounds will ensure she is a prepared as possible.
“I will definitely play a lot at Hong Kong Golf Club where I spent almost every day before I went to qualifying school,” she said.
“The thing I have to improve the most might be my short game, I need to still tighten it a little bit, as well as my mental game. People think physicality might be most important but I think the mental game is a big part of golf, too.”
Chan finished second in the final qualifying tournament at LPGA International in Daytona Beach last weekend to become the first Hong Kong golfer to make the LPGA Tour and she is eager to feed off the best in the game.
“I think it will help me grow because I always look up to the good players and try to learn from them,” she said. “Obviously, it’s very exciting to become the first Hong Kong player to get on the highest stage of female golf.
“I have a lot of old friends and teammates [on the Tour], I’m really looking forward to playing with all the great players, like Lydia Ko or Kim Sei-young, we all grew up together.”
Speaking at Clearwater Bay Golf Club as Swiss private bank EFG – which has supported Chan across the last decade – announced its Young Athletes Foundation is launching a new scholarship programme for up and coming sportspeople, Chan hopes her success will inspire more Hong Kong golfers to aim for the top.
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“I think it will be a big step for all the junior golfers in Hong Kong because we used to think that none of the Hong Kong players would make it to any of the tours,” she said.
And as keen as she is to start her new adventure, the prospect of Christmas at home seemed to excite the Tuen Mun native almost as much: “I can finally have a little off-season, Christmas is one of my favourite seasons.”