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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open Pre-Tournament Notes
Date:2018-05-09

 The competition is ready to roll on Friday at the Old Course of Fanling Hong Kong Golf Club for the 2018 EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open, title-sponsored by the Switzerland-based EFG Bank. The three-way co-sanctioned event by the TLPGA, China LPGA and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) will feature a purse up to US$150,000. A field of 120 professional ladies from 16 countries, led by 2017 winner Supamas Sangchan, will compete for three days, 54-holes to vie for a champion’s prize of US$22,500.

 
Arguably the most important women’s golf event in Hong Kong, the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open is the only official tournament with world ranking points on offer, and is now in its fourth-year partnership with the TLPGA.
 
Fanling this year will welcome 105 professional and 15 amateur players from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Swaziland, Thailand, and Taiwan.
 
Home favorite Tiffany Chan, the only LPGA Tour player from Hong Kong who conquered this event two years ago as an amateur, vows to fly Hong Kong’s flag high by taking the crown again.
 
Only days after qualifying for the US Women’s Open with a 13-shot victory in Hawaii, Chan said she is riding high in confidence as she took her first─actually Hong Kong’s first as well─strides onto LPGA Tour major stage.
 
Defending champion Supamas Sangchan finished her 2017 Ladies European Tour season with five consecutive top-30 showings. She’s played three China LPGA Tour events this season, and wrapped it up in the top-10 in all three, which puts her as high as No.2 on the CLPGA Tour money list.
 
Some of China’s best players are also in the field including CLPGA No.3 Zhang Weiwei (張維維), No.5 Li Jiayun (黎佳韵), No. 6 Yang Taoli (楊濤麗) and 19-year-old young star Sui Xiang (隋响), who has held 10 top-10 runs, including two runner-up finishes, in just 26 outings.
 
Brazilian Luiza Altmann will make her first appearance at Fanling. She became one of the youngest professional players in Brazil at the age of just 15. Now still just 20, Altmann has been making consistent progress on the Ladies European Tour and the Symetra Tour.
 
2015 runner-up, Taiwan’s Chen Yu-Ju (陳宇茹) is boasting a superior confidence after claiming her maiden professional victory last month at the CTBC Ladies Classic in Guangzhou. She is currently ranked No.4 on the TLPGA Tour money list, highest among the TLPGA campaigners joining the field at Fanling.
 
“We are very honored to partner with this wonderful ladies’ golf event for the second year in a row,” said Albert Chiu, chief executive for the Asia Pacific region at EFG Bank. “EFG has been actively supportive to golf in Hong Kong, especially at the fundamental level. We take pride in seeing a number of names in the field this week who have been under our development program. I wish them, as well as all the great golfers from around the globe, a positive week at Fanling.”
 
“We are delighted to play host to these top women coming to the EFG Hong Kong Open. We’re looking forward to some world-class golf this weekend,” added Martin Hadaway, Hong Kong Golf Club chairman.
 
“Hong Kong would be one of the most important events on the China LPGA Tour as it provides a pretty generous purse for players to boost their rankings on the money leaderboard," Jennifer Lee said. “We’ve reached a partnership agreement with the LPGA US Women’s Open that the top 3 CLPGA Tour members by then will earn wild cards into the major event.”
 
TLPGA chairwoman Cheng Mei-Chi said, “We’ve been committed to providing our players oversea opportunities to venture out of their comfort zone and play against world’s talents. I would like to thank the Hong Kong Golf Club, EFG Bank and all the course staff for putting together this beautiful event.”
 
The traditional Pro-Am tournament was scheduled today but due to bad weather conditions, the event was replaced by a gathering gala with a sponsor raffle.
 
The course for the 2018 EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open is set at 6,072 yards. There will be a cut after two rounds to send top-50 and ties into the final round on Sunday.
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