News and Media

Date: 03/06/2015

Teenage Ace Targeting Hong Kong Ladies Open Glory

At the Hong Kong Ladies Open Press Conference held on 3 June, representatives officiated the cheque presentation for a good cause: Right to left: Mr. Arnold  Wong, Vice Captain of Hong Kong Golf Club Dr Ava Kwong , Chairlady of The Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry Mr. Caleb Chan, Founder & Chairman of Friends of Asia HK

Chinese Taipei's Cheng Ssu-chia is seeking her first victory as a professional since bursting onto the scene in late 2014.

Chinese Taipei sensation Cheng Ssu-chia says her game is peaking at just the right time for the inaugural Hong Kong Ladies Open, which gets underway at The Hong Kong Golf Club on Friday.

The 17-year-old made headlines last November when she beat a high-calibre field to win the Xiamen Open, a Ladies European Tour event, while still an amateur. Those memories will stand her in good stead as she goes in search of a maiden professional win at the US$120,000 Fanling showpiece.

"This is my first time playing in Hong Kong – this is a brand-new event – so it's going to be a very exciting week," said Taipei-based Cheng, whose best result since joining the paid ranks came in February when she finished sixth at the RACV Ladies Masters on Australia's Gold Coast. "After I turned pro I felt quite rushed and I haven't yet been able to win for a second time. But I'm feeling good about my game and mentally I feel very well prepared. I'm ready for a good tournament."

At 118 in the Rolex Women's World Rankings, Cheng is the highest ranked player in the field. But two experienced international stars who are sure to be in the frame on Sunday – Connie Chen of South Africa and India's Sharmila Nicollet – also have their eyes firmly on the silverware and are hoping for big weeks.

"I've been working really hard trying to get back to winning ways," said Guangzhou-based Chen, who claimed victory at last year's Ladies Spanish Open in Tenerife. "It's great to be here. The course is really nice – it has a lot of history – and it makes you think a lot off the tee. 

"Hong Kong is a great place to play golf, so hopefully we can have this event every year. I've heard a lot of good things about Hong Kong's junior development programme, and having this tournament can only help push things along further," added the 22-year-old.

For Nicollet, the Hong Kong Ladies Open will be her first tournament outing in Asia after spending the first part of the season participating in Europe and her native India.

"It's great to be back playing in Asia and it's really nice to have a tournament in Hong Kong, which is such an amazing city," said the 24-year-old. "I've had a niggling injury but hopefully things can come together and I'm looking forward to a good week."

Like Chen, Nicollet believes the key to scoring over the Old Course will be finding the fairway off the tee.

"It's a very interesting course and you really need to be in the fairway because the rough is going to present a few problems," said the Bangalore-based Nicollet. "But the condition of the course is very good and it's not overly long, so hopefully we're going to see some birdies out there."