Singapore: Hong Kong’s Tiffany Chan and England’s Georgia Hall have been awarded sponsor invitations to compete in next month’s HSBC Women’s World Championship. The pair will join one of the most competitive fields on the LPGA Tour calendar when the newly named tournament tees off at Sentosa Golf Club from March 1 to 4.
Chan carved her name in the history books in 2016 when she represented Hong Kong at the Olympic Games in Rio – as one of only three amateur golfers – and again in December last year, when she became the first Hong Kong golfer to qualify for the LPGA Tour, finishing in second-place at LPGA Tour Q-school.
Her ascendency to the top of the game has been closely observed since her early days on the Hong Kong Golf Association’s junior development programme. In 2014 Chan broke into the top 10 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), and in 2015 she became first player from Hong Kong to win a professional golf tournament carrying women’s world ranking points, when she won the Taiwan LPGA Future Open. In 2016, while still an amateur, she won the Hong Kong Ladies Open before turning professional in 2017.
Chan made the cut in difficult conditions on debut at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, but will relish the opportunity to compete closer to home in what is widely recognised as one of the most prestigious tournaments on the LPGA calendar.
Reacting to the news of her sponsor invite, 24-year old Chan said: “This just keeps getting better and better. It was incredible to represent Hong Kong at the Olympic Games and then to qualify for the LPGA Tour really was a dream come true. Now I’m taking on the best of the best at the HSBC Women’s World Championship – I’m pinching myself a little bit but can’t wait to test myself against a world class field at one of Asia’s toughest courses. What a start to the year – bring it on!”
Joining Chan out on the New Tanjong course will be another LPGA Tour rookie, Georgia Hall. The 21-year old from Bournemouth caught the attention of the golfing world back in 2013 when she won the British Ladies Amateur Golf Championship, before turning professional the following year. In 2017, she finished tied third at the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open in a stellar year that saw her top the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit and feature in the European team in the Solheim Cup in Iowa. Hall rounded off the year finishing tied in seventh place in Q-School to secure her place on the LPGA Tour.
Said Hall: “I’m thrilled to be invited to play in next month’s HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me and I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to HSBC. The tournament is one of the most prestigious on the LPGA Tour. It looks fantastic and I’ve heard a lot about it, so I’m looking forward to coming over to Singapore and giving it my best shot.”
The third exemption spot will be awarded to the winner of the new Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship. Replacing the traditional national qualifying tournament for the HSBC Women’s World Championship, the new R&A initiative will see 84 amateur golfers from 17 different countries – including six Singaporeans – compete for the title and a berth in the tournament frequently referred to as ‘Asia’s Major’.
HSBC Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Asia-Pacific Peter Wong said: “Our sponsorship approach is intrinsically linked to our new brand promise – Together we thrive – which is built on the belief that through partnership we can achieve much more than we can on our own. Just as HSBC helps individuals and businesses around the world fulfil their ambitions, so we are committed to helping the game of golf reach new heights globally.
“Key to this growth is giving golfers the opportunity to perform on the world stage and that’s why we are delighted to extend the sponsor invitations to Tiffany and Georgia for the upcoming HSBC Women’s World Championship. We wish them both the very best of luck with the tournament.”