Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching

Home advantage: Tiffany Chan is seeking double delight at Hong Kong Ladies Open

The 21-year-old golden girl is not only keen to clinch a win at second edition of tournament but also world rankings points

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 June, 2016, 7:52pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 June, 2016, 10:31am

Local golfing golden girl Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching hopes home course advantage will reap rewards this week as she hunts not only victory at the second edition of the Hong Kong Ladies Open but also all-important world ranking points, which would help keep her Olympic ambitions alive.

The 21-year-old amateur, who joined the Hong Kong Golf Club earlier this year, has enjoyed a successful first season representing the University of Southern California on the US college circuit, earning All-American honours last month.

Watch: Tiffany Chan talks about her ambitions

But the former World University champion’s focus is now on the US$150,000 Fanling event, which gets under way on Friday on the Old Course, a layout that she knows intimately.

“I have been playing at the Hong Kong Golf Club since I was eight years old, so to compete in this event means a lot to me and all the Hong Kong players,” said Chan, who finished in a share of fourth at a China LPGA event in Jiangsu last week.

“My form dipped at the beginning of the year, but I’ve been playing a lot better recently, so hopefully I can continue it into the event.

“I’m very thankful to the club for giving us all such a great opportunity.”

Chan faces a strong international field, which is comprised mostly of LPGA of Taiwan and Ladies Asian Golf Tour members, and will be joined by five fellow local amateurs, including 12-year-old Chloe Chan Cheuk-yee, who was Hong Kong’s best performer at April’s Queen Sirikit Cup in Jeju, South Korea.

Tuen Mun-raised Tiffany Chan, who beat a field of professionals to claim the Future Open in Taipei last year, is currently an alternate for the 60-woman field for the Rio Games, which sees golf return to the Olympics for the first time in over a century.

Five minutes with Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching

But a strong performance this week and at the two other professional tournaments she plans to play – in South Korea and Taiwan – before the qualifying cut-off on July 11 could see her vault up into the reckoning.

“Everyone is putting their hopes on me fighting for a spot in Rio, but the rankings are always fluctuating – I likely won’t know if I make it until the last minute,” said Chan, who finished in a share of 13th at the inaugural Hong Kong Ladies Open in 2015.

“But whether I do or not, playing in professional events is a great experience for me.”