News and Media

Date: 05/06/2015

Three Share HK Ladies Open Lead


Cheng Ssu-chia, Yeh Hsin-ning and Wichanee Meechai card matching 69s, while Hong Kong amateurs have a day to remember. 

Amateurs Kitty Tam Yik-ching and Mimi Ho Miu-yee flew the flag for Hong Kong on the opening day of the inaugural Hong Kong Ladies Open after carding steady one-over-par rounds at Fanling to find themselves in contention for the US$120,000 tournament.

Tam, 17, who represented Hong Kong at the Queen Sirikit Cup two weeks ago, overcame a double bogey at the par-5 17th with a closing birdie in an otherwise solid display, while 19-year-old Ho leapt out of the gates with birdies on her opening two holes before settling for her own 73. The duo ended the round in a share of 11th, just four shots off the lead. 

The Chinese Taipei pair of Cheng Ssu-chia and Yeh Hsin-ning top the leader board alongside Wichanee Meechai of Thailand after recording matching three-under 69s in sweltering – and at times rainy – conditions at The Hong Kong Golf Club's historic Old Course.

"It was nice to finish with a birdie after the mistake at 17," said Tam, the reigning Hong Kong Amateur Close champion. "I came into the tournament with the goal of making the cut, but maybe I can look higher than that after the start I've had."

Ho, who has just completed her first year of college at Fresno State in California, had a hot putter and plenty of practice to thank after her round.

"I'm very happy about the way I played – my putter was on fire," said Ho, who came unglued after a fine opening stretch with a double bogey at the eighth. "I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to practice at The Hong Kong Golf Club a lot over the past week and that certainly helped. I always feel nervous on the first tee but today I felt like I was playing another practice round. To birdie the first two holes was a very nice feeling."

At the head of affairs, 17-year-old Cheng, the highest ranked player in the field, made four birdies in seven holes around the turn to get her campaign off to an ideal start.

"The conditions weren't easy, so I'm happy with my round especially as I didn't make too many mistakes," said Cheng, who turned pro after her sensational win at November's Xiamen Open – a Ladies European Tour event –  when still an amateur. "My approach shots were good and it's a nice way to begin the tournament."

It wasn't such a good day for two of the tournament's drawcards, South Africa's Connie Chen and Sharmila Nicollet of India, however. Chen, a winner on the Ladies European Tour, battled flu-like symptoms on her way to a 76 while Nicollet played her opening four holes in five-over and ended with a 77.

Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching, the Hong Kong amateur who has enjoyed a stellar run of results in the United States over the past 18 months, started and ended her round with birdies but wound up with a 75 after some indifferent iron play in the middle of her round.

"I didn't give myself enough opportunities," lamented Chan, who has former Hong Kong international Steven Lam Tsz-fung on her bag. "But I've figured out what I was doing wrong so I'm looking forward to getting back out there for the second round."