2017 Gateway Classic started first round (Mar.30) 07:00am at State of Arizona Longbow Golf course, Canadian Anne-Catherine Tanguay with eagle and birdies, lead the game by lowest score of the day 66. Stephanie Kono from Hawaii shot 5 birdies with 1 shot behind the leader.
Taiwan amateur Tzu-Han Lin and pro Ching Huang both had 72, tied 32nd with 12 other players, including last stop winner Daniela Darquea from Ecuador.
As for the other Taiwan players, Doris Chen 75 tied 84th, Yu-Ju Chen 76 tied 99th, Yi-Ling Liang and Rebecca Tsai 77 tied 115th, Tzu-Chi Lin 78 tied 125th. And the others are not quite smooth for the first round, they must keep it up to top 60 after two rounds to make cut.
26-year-old Tanguay currently ranked 3rd at Symetra OOM, staying in top 10 from last two tournaments. Today she had 1 eagle, 5 birdies and 1 bogey, thanks to her great putting skills, total 27 putts; irons and driver were also in good shape.
She started from hole 10, saved par at hole 12 then delivered the ball to the green from 225 yards at hole 15, eagle after the 25 feet putt. “After the eagle, I felt my irons were more closer to the hole, every ball on the fairways are easy to approach the green.” Said Tanguay.
Since the start of 2017, this is her 7th round with under par scores, which has written down the record of 19-under-par. As she said, the record has brought her a lot confidence to her swings and on the course.
Kono, who played 14 LPGA tournaments last year, had a terrific round by 12 fairway hits and 14 regular on, total 29 putts which results in 5 birdies and bogey free.
Amateur Tzu-Han Lin had the best ranking 41st from last tournament, today she continued her stable woods and irons, better putts than last week total 28. She has 3 birdies and 3 bogeys, seized every chance on par-5 holes for birdies, which are hole 5, 9 and 15 individually from 18 feet and the other two from only 3 feet away.
She had a loft shot behind the bunker at hole 15 and approached the pin leaving 3 feet; but after that there’s 3 bogeys in a row from hole 10 to 12, all caused by chipping short. Until hole 13, she finally par every hole to the end, 34-38 to end the round.
Ching Huang also had 3 birdies, but also a bogey and a double bogey. She only had 26 putts today; only hole 12 happened a 3-putt error, plus a long down slope chipping which ended the hole with double bogey. Birdie from 4 feet at hole 9, the other two birdies at hole 13 and 14 are 7-feet putts.
She said irons aren’t well today, most of them couldn’t get close to the holes, usually left 18-20 feet that are not easy to make birdie. There’s a lot of bunker in this course, thanks to my caddie’s notice and instruction, I took some time practice bunker shots which helped me saved the ball from 2 bunkers today.
She also mentioned the big wind today, which she was not good at to hit against the wind and miss some shots. But if there’s no wind, the weather would be quite hot and dry; all these factors should adjust well as a professional player.
Total 30 countries and 144 players competing, in the field there’s 9 Taiwan professional players and 3 amateurs joining this co-certificated tournament by Symetra Tour and TLPGA Tour.
The tournament total prize money USD100,000, winner will be rewarded USD15,000. This is the 3rd tournament out of USA Symetra Tour 21 tournaments; it is also the second year co-certificate between TLPGA Tour and Symetra Tour.
Symetra Tour annual OOM top 10 will receive player card to participate 2018 LPGA Tour.
Second round will still separated in two sections from 1st and 10th tee; morning session from 7:00am, last group 9:01am; afternoon session 11:50am, last group 13:51pm.
The cut line will set at top 60 and tie after two rounds into the final round.
The tournament situated at center of Arizona, east of Phoenix City Mesa Longbow Golf Club, total 54 holes and 3 rounds, total 6439 yards.
Symetra Tour released 12 spots to Taiwan including 9 professional players Tzu-Chi Lin, Doris Chen, Yu-Ju Chen, Rebecca Tsai, Szu-Hsuan Huang, Ching Huang, Edith Huang, Scooby Liu and Yi-Ling Liang; the other 3 amateurs Tze-Han Lin, Yu-Hsin Yen and 15-year-old Tzu-Yi Chang.