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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | TLPGA Ladies Open - Nan Pao First-Round Recap
Date:2018-05-23

Lee Hsin (李欣) of Taiwan will try to prove that third time is a charm as she took again the clubhouse lead, a position she’d been in in the past two TLPGA tournaments, when Wednesday’s first-round ended at the TLPGA Ladies Open – Nan Pao.



Lee’s bogey-free 4-under 68 saw her hold a one-shot edge over compatriot Chen Cih-Hui (陳慈惠).

Chen Yu-Ju (陳宇茹), winner of the CTBC Ladies Classic in March and no.2 on the 2017 year-end money list, sits two shots back in a tie for third with Kuo Ai-Chen (郭艾榛).

Taiwanese amateur Lu Hsin-Yu (盧昕妤) carded 1-under 71. The 16-year-old is tied with Lee Tai-Ling (李黛翎), Chen Min-Jou (陳敏柔), and Wu Yi-Ching (伍以晴) for fifth.

Lee Hsin, one of the most consistent performers in this three-week TLPGA Tour stretch, found herself in similar position this week. She was the 36-hole leader at Fanling Hong Kong Golf Club two weeks ago, and last week as well at Taipei Golf Course, but failed to maintain her lead in the final round on both occasion.

“I can only think more positively that I was that close,” said Lee, who finished in equal third and fifth at the two events. “It was definitely a letdown. But what’s past is past. Here comes the next week, the next chance that I can still make a difference.”

Despite a low fairway percentage (six fairways hit), Lee managed to use a high-precision short game to make up for the loss and open up more opportunities. Highlights of Lee’s round of 68 included a successful 45-foot long birdie putt on the 4th, a nice save just off of the 17th green, and a 33-foot chip-in birdie on the par-3 no.11. Another pair of birdies was gained from perfect chip-and-putt combination on no.2 and no.16.

Chen Cih-Hui received an early elimination after the worst round ever in her career, a first-round 17-over 89 last week at the SAMPO Ladies Open, but bounced back refreshed today at Nan Pao as she picked up three birdies for a second-best showing of a 3-under 69.

“I wasn’t feeling ill or anything. I honestly didn’t know what happened. I could only feel like my brain refused to function well and I didn’t know what to do out there. It was a strange feeling. I’ve never play that badly,” said Chen.

The worst thing was, the tough luck seemed to be sticking around. Chen didn’t prepare any back-ups but saw a crack in her 1-Wood only on Monday, which was less than two days away from the start of the tournament. She called for help and barely found an alternative, so she had no choice but to go with it. “I couldn’t hit it as hard as I would like, but I guess it was okay. Actually, putting was the part I’m not too happy with,” Chen said.

Kuo Ai-Chen also left the bad feelings behind her after carding a final-round 80 last Friday; she picked up four birdies, longest from 24 feet on 12th, and had just two bogeys today at the Nan Pao Club.

Tied with Kuo was Chen Yu-Ju, who’s finished T7 and T5 in previous weeks. Her 70 consists of three birdies and one bogey, which could have been lower as she failed to nail her chances on the green with five misses from about 9 to 12 feet. She needed 30 putts.

Chen is now shifting her focus and making attempt on the Korea LPGA Jump Tour. The top-20 finishers at the year-end money list will earn a KLPGA Tour card. She’s played six Jump Tour events since April and the best finish has been a T6.

Lu Hsin-Yu finished day 1 as the lowest amateur. She had three birdies and two bogeys, needing just 28 putts. “I probably annoyed the hell out of my caddie, because I really don’t know a thing about the Nan Pao Course,” said Lu, who just arrived in the city last evening after taking part in a special play-off event held by the Swinging Skirts Golf Team.

Lu finished in a tie for fifth last week at the SAMPO Ladies Open.

The TLPGA Ladies Open – Nan Pao is the fifth leg of the 2018 TLPGA Tour, featuring 62 pros from Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States, and Taiwan, plus 25 juniors and amateurs.

Thursday’s play will begin at 7:00 a.m. from the first and tenth tees with the last group teeing up at 9:20. The event is played on the A and B Course at Nan Pao. A cut will be made to top 50 and ties after 36 holes.

TLPGA will provide a lottery ticket for each TLPGA Facebook fan coming to the final round at the Nan Pao Golf Club on Friday with a chance to win free nights at the 85 Sky Tower Hotel.

Set at 6,211 yards long for this week’s tournament, the Nan Pao Golf Course is located in Danei Dist., Tainan City. Built with investment from Nan Pao Resins Group, the 27-hole course consisting of A, B, C sections is perfectly blended in nature and surrounded by a stream which is nicely offset by groves of big-leafed mahogany, camphor and hoop pine trees.

Most of the course is oriented north-south to avoid players needing to hit directly into the sun. Nearby attractions include Tsoumalai Farm, Zengwun Reservoir, Nanyuan Resort Farm, Guanziling Hot Spring, and Tainan National University of the Arts.

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