Golf: Local teen Sarah Tan holds two-shot lead at HSBC Women's Champions qualifier

Singapore teenager Sarah Tan took the lead after the first round of the 2015 HSBC Women's Champions Host Country Qualifying Tournament on Wednesday, shooting a five-over 77 at the Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong course.

Backed by birdies on holes 12 and 18, Tan's score puts her two shots ahead of second-placed Jen Goh (79) and three clear of last year's qualifier, Amanda Tan, who is tied for third alongside 2013 qualifier Christabel Goh on 80.

Speaking after her round, 16-year-old Sarah said: "I enjoyed my round, it was really nice and the course conditions were really good; it was a fun and enjoyable round - quite challenging, and quite long for some of the holes, especially with the wind. The greens are pretty tough, and they can be quite tricky as well."

On her gameplan for the second and final round, the scratch golfer quipped: "To keep the ball in play, get it in the hole as quickly as possible and make more putts!"

Amanda, who, at 15, is the youngest in the 10-player field, was disappointed with her iron play and putting.

She said: "I don't think I had a really good round today. I struggled a little out there today. I was actually also missing some of the holes on the wrong side. My plan tomorrow would be to enjoy myself and play the best I can. I will just try my best."

To be held from March 5 to 8, the eighth edition of the HSBC Women's Champions features 63 of the world's elite female golfers, including defending champion Paula Creamer, world No. 1 Park Inbee and rising star Lydia Ko.

Previous winners of the Host Country Qualifying Tournament are: 2008 - Amelia Yong; 2009 and 2010 - Joey Poh; 2011 - Christabel Goh; 2012 - Koh Sock Hwee; 2013 - Christabel Goh; 2014 - Amanda Tan.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.