Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan targets top-20 finish in history-making LPGA Tour debut in the Bahamas
The 24-year-old is eager to learn from the world’s best and has high hopes in season opener after honing her game at home
The dream becomes a reality for Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching at this week’s Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic and she is not shying away from the challenge, targeting a top-20 finish in her first LPGA Tour event.
The 24-year-old became the first Hongkonger to qualify for the LPGA Tour in December and enters the season opener full of confidence after honing her game at home in Hong Kong.
“I would like to aim for the top 20, that’s my goal for this week. I think it’s challenging and achievable, I just need to play my best and we will see how it goes,” Chan said.
“I’ve been practising in Hong Kong every day. I enjoyed the time off in Hong Kong, but I still had to work on my physical and mental training so the time passed fast.
“I feel excited, I’m just trying to prepare the best I can and want to play the first tournament like any other tournament.
“I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself and I’m really looking forward to my first LPGA event. I need to be calm and hopefully my putter will work as well as it was in Q school.”
Chan tees off alongside America’s Erynne Lee and South Korea’s Park Hee-young on Thursday night [Hong Kong time] and will be soaking up as much as she can of the experience throughout the week.
“I’m looking forward to everything: meeting new players, the players I have been watching on TV as well as the golf courses they have been playing on,” she said.
“I’m really looking forward to playing with the world’s top players this week. I’ve always liked [two-time major winner] Lydia Ko and want to see how I can learn from her.”
The tournament takes place at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, with Chan hoping her time at Florida’s Daytona State College will hold her in good stead.
“The course is very similar to Florida, it’s Bermuda grass and pretty wide open with the ocean along the side, so it’s pretty windy,” said Chan, whose Tour card was also secured in Florida with her second place in the final qualifying tournament at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.
“It has undulating greens so I will have to be pretty accurate on my iron shots and I’ll have to make it on the fairway because the rough is pretty long. You need to have a good driver and a good approach shot.”
Chan’s family won’t be on hand for her debut, something she is taking a positive view on as she narrows her focus: “I’m by myself, I prefer being by myself because I am treating this as my job. I’m trying to focus on my routine every day. I’m working on my short game mainly, putting and chipping.”
Chan plans to play as many tournaments as possible early in the season in the hope of giving herself the best chance of qualifying for the season’s first major, the ANA Inspiration starting in late March.
She also has her sights set on the Hong Kong Ladies Open in May and is not committing herself to a base in the US just yet.
“I’m just going to keep travelling, I don’t really need a base if I’m playing every week,” she said.