HONG KONG – After narrowly losing out in a playoff in March, China’s Sui Xiang is looking to go one better this week when the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open tees off on Friday.
Speaking at the Hong Kong Golf Club after her practice round on Thursday, the 19-year-old Guangdong native said she would need to have her game firing on all cylinders at Fanling if she was to be in contention among the top field of 120 players from 16 countries and regions.
The US$150,000 tournament is co-sanctioned by the China LPGA Tour, Ladies Asian Golf Tour and the Taiwan LPGA Tour.
Sui, equal runner-up at the Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Orient Golf Challenge in Zhuhai where she lost in a first hole playoff to Thailand’s Chonlada Chayanun, said she was delighted to be playing in the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open for the first time considering the history of the club that dates back to 1889.
“Although the distance is not too far (on the 6,246, par-72 Old Course) the greens are small and the grass is difficult because it’s TifEagle Bermuda grass. To be stable and precise is the key to getting a low score here,” said Sui who predicted a winning score of eight-under or better this week.
“There are five par fives and five par three in this course, so there are lots of chances to get birdies.”
With 10 top-10 finishes in 27 CLPGA Tour events played dating back to 2014, Sui, who turned pro last year, said her goal this season was to continue learning what it takes to be a pro and hopefully get her first win.
“After the rookie year I have a lot improvement to do in mental managing. But I am still lacking for distance. I need to do more physical training. This week I want to be stable, that’s my plan.”
Others in the field this week include defending champion Supamas Sangchan, the CLPGA Tour Order of Merit leader who was equal runner-up at the CTBC Ladies Classic in March, and fellow Thai Saranporn Langkulgasettrin, winner of last month’s Sun Car Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Classic in Jiangsu province.
Hong Kong native Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching, the 2016 tournament winner who is now playing full-time on the US LPGA Tour, leads the local charge.
Source: Al Campbell