Major targets

Sports | 7 Dec 2018

Hong Kong golf star Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching set herself two goals as she prepares for her second season on the LPGA Tour: keep her Tour card and make the weekend cut of a Major.

Chan needed to go through the Q-series in North Carolina to secure her Tour card after a tough rookie season that proved an eye-opening experience for the 25-year-old.

"I am thrilled to have secured my Tour card for the second successive year," said Chan, the first player from Hong Kong to qualify for an elite golf tour.

"My rookie season was very tough but I am proud of myself to have been able to come through it, and have the opportunity to compete on it once again.

"The LPGA Tour is nothing like anything I have experienced in my career, I learned a lot this year, especially in areas I need to improve to achieve my 2019 target, making the cut in Majors, and to retain my tour card, without having to go through the Q-series again."

Chan has already had a taste of a Major tournament. She competed in the US Women's Open at Shoal Creek, in Alabama, in May but failed to make it to the weekend after shooting a nine - over-par 81 in the second round. That has been pretty much the story of her rookie Tour season after a hopeful start to the campaign. Chan missed the cut 11 times - including seven in a row - in the 19 tournaments she competed in.

But Chan, supported by global private banking group EFG International, is confident she is better equipped to cope with the demands on a professional golfer now. She has spent time with a sports psychologist to improve her mindset and mental approach to adversity and pressure.

"I believed my technical game is there but one thing I noticed on the LPGA Tour is that the girls are just so, so tough mentally," she said.

"They never seemed to lose concentration, and they almost never allow the negative feeling of a bad shot or a missed opportunity to get down to them.

"In my second season, I plan to use a significant part of my sponsorship to improve the mental side of my game, learning to keep a clear head, stay focus for a longer period, and block out distractions.

"Hopefully, with these adjustments, it will have a noticeable positive impact on my overall game."

Albert Chiu, executive chairman for Asia Pacific of EFG Bank, promised that the company "will do whatever we can" to help Chan realize her full potential.

"We are all very proud of Tiffany," he said. "We met her when she was just a cheerful 14-year-old who had big dreams. She was hardworking and passionate about her game and very quickly, we saw her potential, her passion and decided to embark on this exciting journey with her. Since then, we never looked back."

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