Tiffany Chan is a Trojan at heart.
She spent the first two years of her collegiate career at Daytona State College, but concluded her time as an undergraduate at the University of Southern California. Las Vegas may be where Chan is based now, but the greater Los Angeles area is home, especially Wilshire Country Club.
“We usually came out like once or twice a week [as a team], but then almost every day after school I just stayed out here like 3 p.m. until late at night,” said Chan, who hit 15 greens in round one. “Basically, I lived out here.
“Because it’s the closest [course] to campus and everyone here is really nice to USC. I think they like us better [than UCLA], so they always let me stay here, practice and go out on the course by myself.”
Despite her familiarity with Wilshire, Chan noticed several differences in how the course played when compared to her long days spent practicing with the Trojans.
“Before the round started, I told myself, ‘It’s not going to be easy because it is cold and windy.’ I kind of kept my composure out there,” Chan said. “I don’t remember playing Wilshire when it was this cold but maybe I stayed home. The conditions when I was in school were totally different. Greens are super soft, fairways soft, so we always played really low here because the green conditions were easy. When it is playing firmer like in the tournament [setting], it’s not easy. You really have to know where to land the ball.”
Chan has made the cut in two of her first three starts this season and is right on her way to a third. She mentioned that conversations with veteran male and female golf professionals have helped instill in her a mindset to “grind it out and play smart.”
“Since I live in Vegas, I talk to [PGA TOUR pro] Doug Ghim a lot; John Oda, who plays on the Korn Ferry Tour. They tell me Thursday, Friday, you have to play conservative, make the cut and ten go low, day by day. That’s how all the best players do it,” Chan said. “I’m going to keep my same goal tomorrow: middle of the green and then hopefully some putts will go in.
“Na Yeon Choi is a veteran out here. We both live in Vegas and she has stayed on top of me to practice and all that. Her past experiences have really helped me for how I played. She has been instrumental in helping my game and a great person to learn from.”