Hong Kong: China’s Liu Yan overturned a seven-shot overnight deficit to secure her maiden Tour win in the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open with a famous one-stroke victory at Hong Kong Golf Club.
The 21-year-old held her nerve on the Old Course to card a closing four-under-par 68 and a seven-under tournament total. In a three-way tie for second place at six-under were Thai Renuka Suksukont and China duo Zhang Weiwei and Du Mohan.
“I am speechless now. I am so happy and over the moon. I expected that I can score a 68. I played well for the past two days after bad starts. I didn’t expect that Mohan would drop so many and opened the door for the other players,” said Xiamen native Liu.
For Du, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. The 17-year-old led after the first two rounds and went into the last day with a five-shot lead. But she struggled to hold her game together in the final round. She needed par on the 18th to force a play-off with Liu but her putt just rolled past, leaving her at four-over for the round and wondering what might have been.
Said Mohan: “I didn’t have a lot of luck but I did my best and have no regrets. I had some nerves but I controlled my emotions okay. I’m happy to get this far and I’ll come back next year.”
Local star Tiffany Chan wasn’t able to produce the magic needed to complete the fairytale finish at her home club that so many had hoped for. Despite carding a three-under 69 – her low-score of the tournament – she had to settle for tied fifth place.
Said Chan: “I played pretty well today despite some soreness in my back. I was a little disappointed with my second round but you can’t blame yourself when you’re not feeling the best. But I made a birdie on the last hole which was good for the spectators and for me.
“I’m pleased to be the best of the 12 Hong Kong players competing and hope it motivates the team to do better together. Isabella (Leung) did very well this week and I hope that one day we might be able to play on Tour together.”
Leung finished tied in ninth place at two-under. The prize for the top amateur went to Hou Yu-chiang of Chinese Taipei who finished with an even-par score of 216 after three rounds.
“This year’s EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open has really surpassed all expectations. We had a wonderful field of players, three days of magnificent weather and a record number of spectators visit Fanling,” said William Doo Jr, Captain of Hong Kong Golf Club, a Golf Course Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
He added: “It is really encouraging to have two Hong Kong players finish in the top-10, including our Club Ambassador Tiffany Chan and we’re thrilled to continue our partnership with our title sponsor EFG Bank.
“The Old Course provided a sensational test of golf and everyone was treated to a really exciting final day of action. Congratulations to Liu Yan on her performance and to all the players for making this week so special.”
The US$150,000 EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open was inaugurated by Hong Kong Golf Club in 2015 to create a pathway for leading local players to compete on the international stage. The tournament is tri-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, the LPGA Tour of Taiwan and Ladies Asian Golf Association, with support from the Hong Kong Golf Association and Hong Kong PGA.