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2014 Taiwan LPGA Tour TAIFONG Ladies Open 24–26 Jan First Round Recap
Date:2014-01-24

While tournament headline Yani Tseng (曾雅妮) struggled to hold a low scoring round, “Baby Yani” Lee Min (李旻) stepped up with a 3-under 69 to surge atop the leaderboard of the TAIFONG Ladies Open after the first round of play.

The teenager, whose appearance and playing style come across similar to Tseng and given the nickname “Baby Yani,” got off to a solid start, as she fired three birdies in her first four holes. Although having two bogeys, Lee could always react with a birdie right in the next hole to quickly get out of trouble.

Lee credited a strong putting day with five birdies and just two bogeys with her aggressive approaches, “it was way better than in the previous weeks,” said Lee. “Actually the greens were pretty hard to read with the ups and downs, but I felt extremely focused and confident and I think I rolled it great today.”

The challenging greens at the Taifong Golf Course made it a tough scoring day. Only five players pulled off an under par round. Lee finished day one at 69, one shot ahead of Thai Saraporn Chamchoi, who was a model of consistency with three birdies and one bogey.

The only other three who also carded at under par are TLPGA no.1 Lu Ya-Huei (呂雅惠), veteran Tseng Hsiu-Feng (曾秀鳳), and TLPGA titlist Titiya Plucksataporn of Thailand, all tied for third at 71.

Tseng Hsiu-Feng, who was crowned multiple times on the JLPGA and TLPGA Tours, is turning 46 next month, and her experience helped her deal with the difficult conditions with great poise. A late charge with four birdies on the back nine put her back in position to win her first title after two years.

All eyes were on LPGA star Yani Tseng and she didn’t let down the big crowd of local fans in the first half of the day; she held a share of the lead after ten holes, before she was fazed by the fact that no caddie was by her side and finished at 73 in an eight-way tie for tenth.

“It was a rough day. I was a bit distracted with all the stuffs that normally my caddie would have taken care of,” said Tseng, who couldn’t find her range with her irons. “I’m now just four shots off, so anything is still possible, I’ll have to just leave what happened today today and look for a better tomorrow.” Tseng had a 1-under par front nine (35), followed by a 2-over back nine (38).

Hsu Wei-Ling (徐薇淩), Hae-Ra Park, Bo-Mi Suh, and last week’s TLPGA & Royal Open winner Nontaya Srisawang finished in a tie for sixth at 72.

The leading group of Lee, Chamchoi, and Tseng Hsiu-Feng will tee off at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow; Yani Tseng to start off at 9:40 a.m..

The sixth TAIFONG Ladies Open boasts a total of NT$6,800,000 prize money, awarding the winner with a lucrative NT$2 million check.

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