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August 9 - 11 (Tue. - Thu.)
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2016 Taiwan LPGA Tour ICTSI Champion Tour Second-Round Recap

Japan’s 21-year-old Fumika Kawagishi steals the lead after 36 holes at 7-under par at the TLPGA Tour and LPGT (Ladies Philippine Golf Tour) co-sanctioned ICTSI Champion Tour. She had six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 10th hole in her round of 7-under 65, the low score of the tournament so far. Korea’s Lee Jeong-Hwa made seven birdies en route to another great round of 66 which propelled her to a solo second, just one shot back of Kawagishi.

There is a five-stroke gap that separates the leaders. Young Taiwanese Chen Yu-Ju  (陳宇茹) (72) and top local amateur Princess Superal (71) sit at equal third at a two-round total of 1-under par 143. Taking place at the Splendido Taal Golf Club in Manila, Philippines, the US$75,000 event is the fourth pit stop on the 2016 TLPGA Tour and the first in the new LPGT season.

A cut was made before Friday’s final-round as the top 57 finishers carding at 162 or lower moved on. The winner will be receiving a top prize of US$15,000.

Off in the early wave in a breezy morning on Day 2 of the ICTSI Champion Tour, Kawagishi found her range immediately in fairly foggy but nice conditions, making a run of five birdies in just six holes through the second to the seventh hole. The confident Japanese fired a second shot which landed just off of the 10th green and chipped-in to score an eagle which was the highlight of an almost perfect round by Kawagishi.

“I felt great. I was feeling comfortable on the front nine and hopefully I will carry this feeling into tomorrow and make more birdies,” said Kawagishi. Her only stumble on Thursday was on the par-3 eighth when she made a bogey.

“Feel like I left a couple out there on the back, though. It was not easy, with the wind picking up later in the day, bringing down the whole rhythm and my putting,” said Kawagishi. “Glad I still got to kind of stay there and close out my round.”

Kawagishi’s only competition in the final-round will be Lee, who has already a LPGT title in her resume in 2012. The two are now one league above the rest of the field on a moving day. Overnight leader Mookharin Ladgratok took a dump into a tie for sixth at 1-over par and eight shots behind with a 4-over 76.

Wind was just one of the factors the tough Splendido Taal Golf Course had in bag to challenge players. For Chen, who was in a late playing group, the draining heat was an even bigger test. The temperature constantly remained at 35 degree Celsius after 11.

“It was so hot when we played on the back nine,” said Chen, who had six birdies and also six bogeys and missed a number of three to six footers to save par. “It was a big test mentally, on how to stay patient and concentrate in the awful heat.”

“I mean, I was trying to stay focused, especially when on the green, but it was really difficult.” Chen had to take a 34 of putts needed, that is five more than in the first-round. “I hit lots of shots close, but I just couldn’t quite make things happen with my putter.”

Liang Yi-Lin (梁宜羚) was the mover of the day. Lying at the bottom of the table with an 81 on Wednesday, she bounced back making a second-round 3-under 69 to rise up 28 spots into a tie for 26th at 150. Pan Yen-Ling (潘彥伶) also used a 69 to move in a great position for a top-10 finish at 146 at equal 13th.

Final-round tee times start from 7:00 in the morning and the final group will be teeing off at 8:30.

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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