Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching

Tiffany Chan storms into US Women’s Open, qualifying for her first major with emphatic 13-shot victory

The 24-year-old is ‘buzzing’ after securing the sole spot on offer at the Royal Ka’anapali Course in Hawaii

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 3:33pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 10:47pm

Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching is “buzzing” after qualifying for the US Women’s Open in her first season on the LPGA Tour.

The first Hongkonger to play on the top women’s tour continued her history-making season at the Royal Ka’anapali Course in Hawaii, blowing away the field to win the 36-hole qualifier by 13 shots.

The 24-year-old opened with a one-under par 70 and followed it up with a 71 to comfortably secure the sole US Open spot on offer and entry into her first major tournament, which kicks off later this month.

“My head is still buzzing,” she said. “I knew what I had to do and kept concentrating hard to make sure I didn’t get distracted by the reward on offer at the end of it.

“I managed to put in two solid rounds and am completely over the moon to have made it. My first major.

“The last two years, which started at the 2016 Hong Kong Ladies Open, have been a bit of a dream journey for me and I don’t wish for it to ever end.”

Her victory adds flavour to this week’s Hong Kong Ladies Open, which kicks off on Friday and will see Chan go in as favourite to add more silverware to her 2016 victory.

Chan has gradually grown in stature during her maiden LPGA season, improving her consistency but failing to crack the top 50 on tour.

She finished in a tie for 53rd in her last LPGA outing at the Mediheal Championship, her best result to date.

“I am really enjoying my season so far – I don’t feel like my scores have really reflected how I am playing, but the pressure for me being the first from Hong Kong is really big and I am learning a lot from the other Tour players,” she said.

“I know I just need more time for experience and [I’ll] grow from there – so far I have made the cut five out of eight times.”

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After an early bogey in the first round of the qualifier, Chan made birdies at three and four to set the wheels in motion and was a little shaky on the back nine of the second round, bogeying 11, 13 and 14 before recovering with a hat-trick of birdies.

“It was windy out there and I just needed to stay calm and keep focused, even on my short putts,” she said.

“The course conditions were perfect, the greens were rolling really good so I had some opportunities for birdies.”

Albert Chiu, chief executive, Asia Pacific of Chan’s sponsor EFG said he was delighted by her performances on the circuit.

‘We are absolutely thrilled with Tiffany’s qualification at the 2018 US Open. She is scaling new heights every single day with her dedication, determination, and professionalism, which makes us all so very proud,” said Chiu.

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“As her trusted partner for a major part of the past decade, we will continue to support Tiffany on her remarkable journey and ensure she has every opportunity to reach the very top of her chosen profession. Tiffany is an inspiration to us all, and a true role model for youngsters everywhere.’

Chan is playing in the Ladies Open pro-am at Fanling on Wednesday morning before turning her attention to dismantling a field that includes her good friend and well-known singer-actress Stephanie Ho Ngan-si.

“I am looking forward to competing at the Hong Kong Ladies Open this week and catching up with everyone,” she said.