Amanda Tan qualifies for HSBC Women's World Championship for third time
When Amanda Tan first qualified for the annual HSBC Women’s Champions tournament in 2014, she was a 14-year-old amateur golfer still studying at the Singapore Sports School. When she qualified for the second time in 2017, she had just turned professional.
On Thursday (31 January), the 19-year-old qualified for a third time for the elite event, now rebranded as the HSBC Women’s World Championship, beating 17 other golfers from six countries in the 36-hole regional qualifying tournament at Sentosa Golf Club’s New Tanjong Course.
This time, with two years of professional golf under her belt, Amanda feels she is far better equipped to deal with the demands of the top-level LPGA competition than any of her two previous attempts.
“Having played in the LPGA China Tour for the past two years, I think I have a better understanding of how the professionals prepare for competitions,” she said.
“Of course I am still far from the level of the top players, so I feel that I have to be smarter in my practices and preparations. Target-wise, a top-10 finish would be nice.”
Winning from three strokes behind overnight
She had to earn her spot in the Championship the hard way, as she came from three strokes back to overtake the overnight leader, Thailand’s Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul.
After carding an even-par 72 on the first day, Amanda made three birdies (eighth, 10th and 13th holes) and a bogey (16th hole) to finish at two-under 142 on Thursday, clinching her qualifying spot by a single stroke on the final hole. Kanphanitnan struggled to a seven-over 79 to drop to fourth (148), behind compatriots Aprichaya Yubol (144) and Atthaya Thitkul (146).
Amanda said, “I was actually struggling with my swing during the first few holes, but still managed to save pars there. Then the birdies started coming in from the eighth hole, and then I made a long putt for birdie on the 10th hole, and that was when I thought, ‘A few more of these and it’ll be nice.’
“But it didn’t occur to me that I might win it until my very last putt.”
New regional qualifying format more competitive
The HSBC Women’s World Championship, held in Singapore since 2008, invites only the best female golfers – most of the 63-player field comprise of either the world’s top 20 golfers or those who have won at least one LPGA Tour tournament in the past year.
Until last year, the tournament saves a spot for a Singaporean qualifier, one that Amanda has earned twice before. This is the first year in which the qualifying tournament is open to the Asian region, with golfers from China, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore vying for that lone spot.
“Definitely, having the overseas players coming here to play, it has become a lot more competitive for us Singaporeans,” Amanda said. “It’s good to have them here, but at the same time, it would mean a lot to have a Singaporean in this tournament.”
The world’s top 20 players, including world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and defending champion Michelle Wie of the United States, have confirmed their participation in the Championship, which will be held on the same New Tanjong Course from 28 February to 3 March.
For more information, visit the tournament website at www.hsbcgolf.com/womens.
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