| EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open

Thai­land’s Su­pa­mas Sangchan won the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open by one shot, and de­nied Tiffany Chan’s fairy tale ti­tle de­fence af­ter last year’s play­off suc­cess as an ama­teur, writes Louie Chan.

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Louie Chan

Thai­land’s Su­pa­mas Sangchan won the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open by one shot, and de­nied Tiffany Chan’s fairy tale ti­tle de­fence af­ter last year’s play­off suc­cess as an ama­teur.

21-year-old Su­pa­mas started the fi­nal day tied at the top with Yu Pei-lin but the player from Chi­nese Taipei faded to a three­over-par for the day to ex­tin­guish her chances of win­ning. Su­pa­mas never lost her lead, and de­spite a nervy fin­ish with at both the 16th and 18th, she still fin­ished with a 10-un­der-par to­tal 206 to claim the HK$175,500 first prize.

Su­pa­mas’ fel­low coun­try­woman Renuka Suk­sukont and Hsieh Yu-ling of Chi­nese Taipei both carded solid rounds of five and four-un­der-par to end their cam­paigns at nine-un­der, a shot off the pace to take the run­ner-up spots.

The Bangkok based cham­pion was flaw­less in the first two days, card­ing a to­tal of nine birdies with­out a sin­gle blem­ish in 36 holes. Her ri­vals might have thought they had a chance when she dropped a shot for the first time in the 4th but the Thai player quickly dashed any hopes that she might fade with birdies at the 6th, 9th, and 10th.

“This is my third year as a pro­fes­sional and my se­cond time com­pet­ing at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. I feel like I am fa­mil­iar with the course, and as I ap­proached the 18th green I saw such a big crowd, which made me a bit ner­vous but at the same time very ex­cited. I even­tu­ally bo­geyed it but so glad it was enough to give me win,” said the 2017

EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open cham­pion.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Tiffany Chan started the fi­nal round at tied-15th but a ten­ta­tive start with three bo­geys in the first four holes put paid to her chances of re­tain­ing the ti­tle. How­ever, the 23-year-old showed her grit as she did all week and re­fused to fade away, claw­ing back mag­nif­i­cently with birdies at the 5th, 6th, 9th, 11th and 12th.

Hong Kong’s first golf­ing Olympian com­mented: “To have three bo­geys in the first four holes is a lit­tle un­usual for me on this course. I think I put a lit­tle bit of pres­sure on my­self try­ing to gain some ground early on. Luck­ily, I scored well when I needed to get back on par, which helped a lot. I def­i­nitely have a lot to work on but over­all, I am pleased with my per­for­mance this week, and the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open pro­vided a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence for me as I be­gin my pro­fes­sional ca­reer. I am a lit­tle bit dis­ap­pointed but I did the best I could. I hope golf fans en­joyed my per­for­mance this week, and I would like to thank them for sup­port­ing me all the way through un­der such hot and hu­mid con­di­tions.”

Tiffany turned pro­fes­sional in May af­ter round­ing out her ama­teur ca­reer play­ing for the Univer­sity of South­ern California and signed a three-year spon­sor­ship deal with Swiss pri­vate bank EFG be­fore the tour­na­ment started.

EFG is no stranger to the world of golf in Hong Kong, hav­ing been the prin­ci­pal part­ner of the Hong Kong Golf As­so­ci­a­tion’s elite ju­nior de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme be­tween 2009 and 2014. It was also dur­ing the pro­gramme in 2009 when EFG met Hong Kong’s first golf­ing Olympian and the win­ner of the golf tour­na­ment at the 2014 World Univer­sity Cham­pi­onships.

EFG’s sup­port of Tiffany is a long-term one and it ex­tends beyond the elite ju­nior de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme in which Chan was a par­tic­i­pant through­out her teenage years. When the Tuen Mun-na­tive made the de­ci­sion to pur­sue her univer­sity ca­reer and im­prove her golf game in the U.S. in 2013, EFG of­fered her fi­nan­cial sup­port in the form of a schol­ar­ship. The part­ner­ship af­firms the Swiss bank’s com­mit­ment to sup­port one of Hong Kong’s best, to help kick­start her ca­reer as a pro­fes­sional golfer.

An avid golf fan, EFG In­ter­na­tional Head of Asia Re­gion Al­bert Chiu said: “We are de­lighted to have Tiffany on­board as EFG Global Sport Am­bas­sador for the next three years. She was al­ready a stand­out when I first met her at the Hong Kong Golf As­so­ci­a­tion elite ju­nior pro­gramme back in 2009. Ev­ery­one at EFG was very im­pressed by her ded­i­ca­tion, com­mit­ment, and de­ter­mi­na­tion to suc­ceed, and over the years she has proven to ev­ery­one time and again that she is a real deal. We look for­ward to work­ing with Tiffany, and we will do what we can to en­sure she ex­pe­ri­ences a smooth and suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion from ama­teur to pro­fes­sional.”

“I am very thank­ful for EFG’s sup­port over the past 10 years. I knew very early on I wanted to make golf my ca­reer, and EFG has al­ways been by my side, sup­port­ing me. I will never for­get when they jumped in to help me kick­start my col­lege ca­reer with a schol­ar­ship, and with­out a doubt, that op­por­tu­nity pro­pelled me onto the most ef­fi­cient and ef­fec­tive track to achiev­ing my dreams. I am hon­ored to be EFG’s Global Sport Am­bas­sador and will do ev­ery­thing I can to make EFG and Hong Kong proud,” added HK’s golf­ing golden girl.

Now that the lo­cal star has turned pro­fes­sional, she has ex­pressed her de­sire to do more to give back to the lo­cal com­mu­nity so those who look up to her can have ev­ery chance to use sport as a means to im­prove so­cial mo­bil­ity and carve out their own paths to suc­cess. To achieve her goal, Tiffany has an­nounced that she will team up with the off icial char­ity part­ner of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open, Friends of Asia Hong Kong, to em­bark on a Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity course to em­power and bet­ter the lives of dis­ad­van­taged young­sters through sports.

Tiffany Chan re­ceives the Hong Kong Golf Club Cup as the top Hong Kong fin­isher (tied-13th) at the 2017 EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open from Mr. Al­bert Chiu, Head of Asia Re­gion, EFG In­ter­na­tional (Left) and Mr. Arnold Wong, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club

Pho­tog­ra­phy by Daniel Wong

Su­pa­mas Sangchan of Thai­land has claimed her third pro­fes­sional tour ti­tle af­ter eas­ing to vic­tory at the 2017 EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open

Tiffany Chan showed her grit as she did all week and re­fused to fade away

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