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ICTSI Champion Tour at Splendido Taal download
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2016 Taiwan LPGA Tour ICTSI Champion Tour First-Round Recap
Date:2016-03-09

Two Thai women, Mookharin Ladgratok and Kanphanitnan Muangkhumaskul top the first-round leaderboard at the 2016 ICTSI Champion Tour after rounds of 3-under 69 and 2-under 70 respectively. Taiwan’s Chen Yu-Ju (陳宇茹) sits just one shot behind at solo third.

The ICTSI Champion Tour marks the second year the TLPGA Tour returns to the Philippines. The co-sanctioned tournament with the LPGT (Ladies Philippine Golf Tour) will serve as the season starter on the Filipino circuit, providing a purse of US$75,000 with US$15,000 going to the winner.

Ladgratok, although just 21, has been on her fourth year as a professional golfer. She had six birdies and three bogeys, posting a front-nine 33 and an even-par 36 on the back nine. “I was simply trying to get the ball closer to the hole so I could have more chances out there,” said Ladgratok. “Yeah, I didn’t expect to be giving a low-round. I didn’t see this coming. A very nice surprise when I checked the leaderboard!”

Muangkhumaskul, already a two-time TLPGA champion and the winner at the most recent Hitachi Ladies Classic, went through a rollercoaster ride with five birdies, one bogey and one double-bogey.

The 16-year-old started slow and made a double-bogey on No.5 but righted the ship going in as she scored four birdies through seven holes to tie the lead at one point.

Chen Yu-Ju also recorded five birdies in conditions what she said very close to the ones in Taiwan back home, with the help of her precise iron control.

She made four of the five birdies with a similar pattern – approaching her second shots to around just six feet and holing out from there. Chen added a fifth birdie on the par-5 2nd hole using a perfect chip to just around the cup. However, she took a big hit on the 14th when the tee shot clipped the tree in the left woods which resulted in a double bogey. “My driver wasn’t really up to par. A little too unsteady. I only had seven on the fairway which just got it way trickier than it should,” Chen said.

Chen, a third-year pro member, finished at number 17 on the TLPGA Tour money list in 2015 and already improved to number 10 on the 2016 list by this week. She said her goal will be staying inside top 10 throughout the season.

Multiple LPGT titlist and Symetra Tour player Dottie Ardina registered an even par 72 to sit in a crowded eight-way tie at fourth which sees Princess Superal, the number one amateur in the Philippines, and Taiwanese Chen Min-Jou (陳敏柔), Yeh Hsin-Ning (葉欣寧), Shih Huei-Ju (石惠如), and Rebecca Tsai (蔡欣儒).

The ICTSI Champion Tour 2016 features an international field comprised of 59 pro golfers and 7 amateurs from eight countries of England, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, USA, and Taiwan. The players will be competing through 54 holes of stroke-play in three days at the Splendido Taal Golf Club in Manila, Philippines.

The tee time for Thursday will be 7:00 in the morning and the last playing group will take their first hit at 8:45. After the round a cut will be made to send just the low 50 and ties to the final Friday. Chen Tzu-Han (陳子涵) withdrew halfway in today’s round with an ankle injury.

The ICTSI (International Container Terminal Services, Inc.) is the title sponsor of the LPGT for the fourth year. The total number of LPGT tournaments has been raised from six in 2013 to nine this year.
 

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