Hong Kong golfer Tiffany Chan ‘back meditating’ and ready for last chance to retain LPGA card
Life on the tour is harder than expected for Hong Kong star, but she is confident of keeping her place among the world’s elite
The 25-year-old, back home in Hong Kong training, is gearing up for the LPGA Q-Series at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.
Chan, who is ranked 140th on the tour with US$34,500 in prize money, will be one of 108 golfers vying to finish 45th or better for one of the final remaining 2019 LPGA Tour cards, playing 144 holes over two weeks (October 22-25 & October 31-November 3).
She finished second at last year’s Q-Series to 19-year-old Japanese Nasa Hataoka (ranked sixth with US$1.09 million), and said she liked her chances going into this year’s tournament. “Last year I came second, so this year I want to win it.”
Chan said her rookie season had been filled with “ups and downs” and the LPGA lifestyle had been “harder than expected”.
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In an interview with the South China Morning Post in December of 2017, Chan said she hoped to finish 2018 in the top 50.
“I did well in the last few tournaments though,” she said, “so I feel pretty good going into the Q-Series and moving forward. Hopefully I can get my card and look forward to next year.”
Chan finished tied for 52nd at the Cambia Portland Classic in August, and tied for 41st in the CP Women’s Open, also in August in Regina, Saskatchewan. Before that, she missed seven consecutive cuts from May to August.
She said during this time she got away from her usual routine, and stopped doing the one thing that has helped her mental game immensely while on tour.
“I stopped meditating. I started to get really worried about missing cuts and my mental side was not where it was supposed to be,” she said.
Chan said she was back meditating, usually before she goes to bed, and also making sure her routine is organised. She said the constant travelling during her rookie season may have caught up with her.
“You have to play every tournament so it’s a lot of golf,” said Chan, who has competed in 19 tournaments this season.
“Each week it feels like the same routine. You travel on Sunday, you have to rent a car and drive, and get into a hotel and get set up by Monday. It’s a lot of work. And when you’re not playing well it’s definitely not something you want to do every week and deal with.”
Chan’s best finish this year was at the CP Women’s Open and one area where she has shone is in driving accuracy, being ranked 33rd.
She said getting off the tee and onto the fairway was not a problem, it is after that where she has trouble. “I’ve been really happy with my driving this year. I’ve been hitting a lot of fairways, but it’s my approach shots that need the most work. That is where I’ve been struggling, getting onto greens.”
Playing on the tour also means Chan is lining up against a lot of stars she grew up watching on TV. She said she already felt like friends with most of the players, as they have all been very welcoming to her as a newcomer.
“That part has been awesome. That has been one of the happiest parts, getting to meet people like [two-time major winner] Cristie Kerr, and just spending time with them on and off the course.”
Chan, who attended Daytona State College, said she was thinking about finding a permanent place to live in Florida. But first, she needs to zero in on North Carolina and secure her card for next year.
“The only thing I need to focus on is the mental side,” she said when asked what she needs to do to win the Q-Series. “Everything else is good, that is my only focus right now.”