120 golfers representing 16 nations and territories ready to shine at the Hong Kong Golf Club
The stage is set for the fourth edition of the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open to tee off on Friday with defending champion Thailand’s Supamas Sangchan and local star LPGA rookie Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching leading the charge for glory.
With a start list of 120 players representing 16 nations and territories, the three-day event will see a cut after two rounds, with the top half remaining for a one-day shoot-out for a share of the US$150,000 prize purse.
The Thai star followed up on her EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open win last year with five consecutive top-30 finishes on the Ladies European Tour. A regular on the China LPGA, Supamas is the current leader of its Order of Merit with after recording top-10 places in all three events she has entered this season.
The reigning champion said:
“I am very excited to be back in Hong Kong. 2017 was a great season for me, with two wins, and it kicked started a solid 12 months for me. I am coming into the Open full of confidence but I am aware the standard of the field has gone up a level. I do love this course though and I hope my experience here can help me do well again this time round.”
Thousands of fans are expected through the gates of the Hong Kong Golf Club this weekend to follow the progress of Tiffany Chan as the pride of Hong Kong looks to regain the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open title she won in 2016 as an amateur. The 24-year-old’s progress since has been nothing short of stunning with a 37th place finish at the Rio Olympic Games, semi-final and quarter-final appearances at the 2017 NCAA team and individual championships, and top it all, a second-place finish at the final round of LPGA qualifying school that propelled her to the biggest stage of ladies’ golf. What’s more, she has earned herself a place at the US Women’s Open after securing the one spot that was on offer at the 36-hole qualifying tournament at the Royal Ka’anapali Course in Hawaii.
“Competing at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open has always been an amazing experience for me. With home support, surrounded by friends and family, it gives me a great deal of confidence and encouragement to perform better. While I am learning everyday on the LPGA Tour, nothing compares to playing the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. I am looking forward to competing well, and giving the local fans something to cheer about.”
All the way from Brazil, Luiza Altmann will make her debut this week at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. A member of the Ladies European Tour and Symetra Tour, Altmann has been her country’s top woman golfer since the age of 15.
The 19-year-old added:
“The EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open presents a very interesting opportunity for me. I don’t compete in Asia very often, and it will be very interesting for me to see how I react to the challenges of the new surroundings, and compete against players I am not as familiar with. I am inspired by Tiffany Chan who successfully navigated the Symetra Tour and Q-school to make LPGA. I am sure we can look forward to a lot of home support for her, and the energetic around the course will no doubt be buzzing.”
Chinese player Sui Xiang will be join Altmann as a debutant of the Open. The 19-year-old has enjoyed a rapid rise on the China LPGA since turning professional last year, and in a matter of months, managed to amass 10 top-10, including two runner-up, finishes in 26 starts.
Hsinning YEH of Chinese Taipei represents the best hope for Taiwan LPGA. The 30-year-old has one professional title to her belt and recorded six top 20 finishes last year.
Taking place one 11-13 May at the Old Course of the Hong Kong Golf Club, Lee Jeong-hwa of South Korea was the inaugural champion in 2015, while there was a home win for Chan the following year. In winning last year’s event, Supamas was flawless in the first two days, carding a total of nine birdies without a single blemish. She followed up with a strong finish on the final day with birdies on the 6th, 9th, and 10th. The total prize fund of this year’s championship is US$150,000.