12 May 2019: China’s Liu Yan overcame a seven-shot deficit to secure her maiden tour win in the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open on Sunday with a famous one-stroke victory at Hong Kong Golf Club.
The 21-year-old held her nerve on the Old Course to card four-under-par 68 and 7-under-par for the tournament.
“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 21-year-old Xiamen native said.
“I didn’t make any birdies at the final two holes even when I was within 10 feet. I definitely could have a better score but I will take this.”
Vani Kapoor finished in T34 after a final round 78 cost her space on the leaderboard. The Indian made 69 and 72 in the opening two rounds, for a three-over total of 219. At 8-over, Amandeep Drall ended the week in T55.
In a three-way tie for second place at six-under-par, were Renuka Suksukont from Thailand, Zhang Wei Wei and Du Mohan, both from China. For Du, it will be a bitter pill to swallow. The 17-year-old had led after the first two rounds and went into the last day with a five-shot lead but struggled to hold it together in the final round. She needed par on the 18th to force a playoff with Liu but her putt just rolled past, leaving her at four-over-par 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 fairy-tale finish at her home club that so many had hoped for. Despite carding three-under-par 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 did very well this week and I hope that one day we might be able to play on tour together.”
Hong Kong’s Isabella Leung finished tied in ninth place at two-under-par. 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.