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