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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | SAMPO Ladies Open First-Round Recap

Round of 67 put Lee Hsin (李欣) on top of the leaderboard at the NT$4 million SAMPO Ladies Open. Carrying her form from a remarkable week in Hong Kong just a few days ago where she was the 36-hole leader and ended in a tie for third, the Taiwanese opened at the Taipei Golf Club with a stunning seven birdies and just two bogeys. She had a one stroke lead over Japanese Hana Wakimoto.

Wakimoto carded five birdies and one bogey and sits solo at second. Taiwanese amateur Chen Hsuan (陳萱) was another stroke adrift; she’s the low amateur last week at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open.

With the help of three birdies and only a pair of bogey, teenager and amateur Chou Yi-Ting (周翊庭) shot a 71 to open her campaign. The 17-year-old sits in a four-way tie for fourth with Malaysian representatives Durriyah Damian, Aretha Herng Pan, and Thai player Yupaporn Kawinpakorn

Jakie Chulya of Thailand hit with her 7-iron and aced the 151-yard 4th, winning herself a SAMPO 4K Smart LED worth NT$23,000. However, she didn’t have quite the same fortune the rest of Wednesday, ending in a tie for 57th after a first-round 5-over 77. A cut will be made tomorrow to top-50 and ties.

Lee Hsin, who started out the day on the 10th right with a 24-foot birdie, carded 33 for her outward nine. “I was feeling great with my putter,” said Lee, who sank another long putt on the 13th for birdie followed by a third birdie on the par-5 15th.

After the turn, Lee took another chance on the par-5 2nd, and kickstarted a run of a trio of birdies from 5th to 7th with flawless iron and putter combinations. She seized three of the four gettable par-5s.

The 36-hole leader last week at Fanling Hong Kong Golf Club said a newly-nurtured aggressive mindset had helped her improve the game. “It’s been a good feeling the past half of the year. I’ve been working hard on a more attacking game and it’s kind of paying off as the results show,” said Lee. “Although playing aggressive means you’re taking a higher risk, and there are times you make just a little more mistakes than you should, like last week in Hong Kong when I fell from the lead, I guess it’s all learning. I tried to stick to the right game plan today, trying to hit with more intention, the putting especially rewarded me nicely! ”

Chen Hsuan, who had a blemish-free score card on Wednesday, said she’s comfortable with the course despite the 6,224-yard layout played a little tougher with the way the ball couldn’t quite stop on the green.

“It was not easy for sure. It’s hard to get close to the pin with the way it bounces,” said Chen. “So I was actually using smaller clubs and tried to utilize those bounces and extra distance. And that worked pretty well for me, especially late into the day on the back nine. There were a few shorter holes where I could control better and finally produced my two birdies.” Chen ended in a tie for twelfth last week in Hong Kong.

Last week’s play-off winner Saranporn Langkulgasettrin (her third TLPGA Tour win and fifth on the CLPGA Tour), who also just won the Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Classic on the CLPGA Tour in April, shot 1-over 73 to be in equal 10th with Chen Szu-Han (陳思涵), runner-up in Hong Kong, and five other Taiwanese players.

Second-round play begins Thursday at 7:00 a.m. from the first and tenth tees. The last flight will get in action at 9:40 a.m..

The SAMPO Ladies Open, title-sponsored by one of the top-selling appliance manufacturers in Taiwan, SAMPO Corporation, is the fourth tournament on the 2018 TLPGA Tour schedule. 102 players from Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, United States, and Taiwan, including 14 local amateurs compete over 54 holes, three days for a top cash prize of NT$720,000.

SAMPO offers hole-in-one prizes on 4th, 8th, 11th, and 18th for the first ace on each of the four holes. A special prize of a 3-piece SAMPO alliance set worth NT$85,890 will be given to the best-finishing Taiwanese player on Friday.

Fans can follow TLPGA’s official YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmV7OlbcvJnYtVtanqF88BA) where live streaming service will be featured for the last two rounds.


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