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Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching

Stormy US Women’s Open build-up has Tiffany Chan channelling Hong Kong typhoons past

The 24-year-old is in solid form heading into her first major and is hoping to play alongside the game’s best come the weekend

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2018, 8:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2018, 8:00am

She’s had a few weeks to digest the enormity of her first appearance in a major and now Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching is out to use her experience growing up in Hong Kong’s volatile weather to her advantage.

A wet build-up to the US Women’s Open in Shoal Creek, Alabama, caused by subtropical storm Alberto has left the course soggy, but Chan feels the conditions could potentially give her an edge.

“I have to be mentally prepared but I think I have good experience because Hong Kong is quite stormy sometimes and we grew up in that weather, so I think I might have an advantage playing in the rain,” she said.

Chan is not satisfied by simply qualifying and is hoping to play alongside the best of the best at the pointy end of this week’s tournament.

That would first require making the cut and Chan comes in with good form after finishing last weekend’s Volvik Championship three under and in a tie for 54th

“I see these girls every week, most of them, but I still want to learn from the best of the best,” said Chan, the first Hongkonger to play on the LPGA Tour.

“If I could possibly play with Lexi Thompson or Brooke Henderson or any great player like them, I would love to. But I just want to get my first two days started well and then we will think about the weekend.”

Chan’s form is definitely building: after finishing in a tie for seventh in the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open earlier this month, she missed the cut in the Kingsmill Championship on her return to the LPGA Tour before her much-improved showing at the Volvik.

“It was a good weekend, I played quite well so I was very happy,” Chan said about her most recent tournament. “I just need to be calm and treat this week the same as every week.

“I think my game is getting better and better. It’s my first major and I think everyone is going to be excited for me, but I just want to treat this week as a normal week.”

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After her disappointing finish on home soil, Chan highlighted her short game as an area of improvement but she knows practice will only carry her so far amid the added pressure that comes with playing in a major.

“I’ve been spending more time on my putting, but at the end of the day it’s still golf and you just need to get something going and your week will be great,” she said. “I just need to get some little things sorted out on the course and I will be good this week.”

Chan, who is grouped with South African Paula Reto and South Korea’s Son Yu-Jeong, is expected to tee off at 9.41pm [Hong Kong time] on Thursday night.

She is preparing for a tough slog on what she described as a “tree-lined, hilly golf course”, with the weather expected to remain wet through at least the opening two days.

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“I will have to play everything longer and it will be a very hard golf course to walk because it’s wet and hilly,” said the 24-year-old.

South Korea’s Park Sung-hyun is the defending champion of a tournament that has had South Korean winners in seven of the past 10 years.