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Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching

Still in the hunt as Tiffany Chan starts final round of Hong Kong Ladies Open three shots behind leaders

Hong Kong’s No 1 is in with every chance of reclaiming the title she won in 2016 as Taiwan’s Lee Hsin leads the field at Fanling

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 May, 2018, 8:16pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 May, 2018, 11:14pm

Hong Kong star Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching will tee off at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open on Sunday three shots adrift of the lead after her second straight round of three-under-par 69 at Fanling.

The 24-year-old Chan carded a calm and bogey-free second round that included a back-to-back eagle and birdie on the 9th and 10th to give herself every chance to regain the title she won in 2016.

Lee Hsin, of Taiwan, shot six-under 66 for a total of nine-under 135 to lead with one round left in the three-round tournament with teammate Chen Szu-han one stroke behind after her 69 on Saturday.

China’s Li Jiayun is tied for third with Chan, while EFG sponsor invite Winnie Ng Yu-xuan did not let her flawless 67 from Friday get to her head to put together a steady 72 to share fifth after two rounds with Hsieh Yu-ling, of Taiwan, and one of the day one leaders, South Africa’s Connie Chen.

“It was a little breezy on the front nine, which actually felt very nice, so I was able to settle into my rhythm fairly early on,” said Chan. “With the experience of yesterday, I knew what I had to do this morning. I had a strategy.

“However, it got so hot by the time I started the back nine I felt I struggled a little bit to stay concentrated, and as a result let birdie opportunities slip through. My long game is fine, and I think my short game is improving every day, but I still want to practise so I can do even better.”

Like Chan, 21-year-old Lee enjoyed a clean round that included six birdies to follow up on her three-under par 69 to lead the field going into round three.

“I felt very relaxed today as my coach was caddying for me. His support and guidance made the course easier,” said Lee. “I felt I played better than I expected, especially as I am not usually the most confident person, so this is a breakthrough for me. If I win tomorrow, it will definitely be a huge turning point in my career.”

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Sixteen-year-old Ng, one of the top Malaysian juniors, continues to impress with a mature display to keep herself in contention and become the second amateur to win the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open after Chan.

The Kuala Lumpur native said: “I feel good, I didn’t expect a lot. I wanted to just enjoy my game, but I was a bit nervous and was over thinking a little bit. The conditions right now are so good for me, and I am glad it isn’t like the practice rounds any more. I am a little sad I failed to make some birdie opportunities today, but I will carry on learning, and improve.”

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Local amateurs Isabella Leung and Michelle Cheung have also made the cut to give fans three Hong Kong players to cheer for Sunday.

With a total prize fund of US$150,000, the fourth edition of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open will host a top qualify field of 120 players from 16 nations and territories across the globe.