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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | SAMPO Ladies Open Second-Round Recap
Date:2018-05-17

Catching fire on the front-nine with a momentum extended from an impressive Day 1, overnight leader Lee Hsin (李欣) of Taiwan continued to stay on top of the leaderboard at the NT$4 million SAMPO Ladies Open.

However, the unbreakable form slightly dipped after the turn to leave a window for her chasers. The Taiwanese shot a 1-under 71 in the end for a 36-hole total of 6-under 138. She will be looking to get her first victory at professional level on Friday.

Japanese Hana Wakimoto carded an even-par 72, sitting two strokes off the pace. Taiwanese amateur Chen Hsuan (陳萱) used a 74 to stay in solo third at 144.

Another young Taiwanese Lu Hsin-Yu (盧昕妤) used a 72 to climbed up the leaderboard into a tie for fourth with Japan’s Mina Nakayama. They were both seven shots behind Lee.

Babe Liu (劉依貞), Malaysia’s Herng Aretha Pan (潘恒), and Thailand’s Chonlada Chayanun sit eight shots off in a tie for sixth.

Jakie Chulya, winner of SAMPO’s hole-in-one prize on the 4th hole yesterday, bounced back from a 77, equal 57th, to a low-round 70 today, which helped her to still get a side chance of winning at 147 and equal ninth.

Lee Hsin, who held a one-shot edge to start her second round, enlarged her advantage at one point to as big as seven shots after a superb front nine at the Taipei Golf Club that saw her make four birdies to just one bogey. But that lead slowly slipped away as a three-putt bogey on the 7th moved her confidence.

“I felt really comfortable at the start, but I had a bad approach just off the green at the par-5 7th. And then I needed three putts and ended it with a bogey. It kind of got to my nerves, and I couldn’t swing as freely, couldn’t be as decisive as I should with my putter. It suddenly just kind of slowed down and it’s not a good thing as you allow the doubts to creep in,” said Lee.

On paper, Lee needed just 28 putts, but she got onto only 11 greens in regulation. Her lead, at the end of Thursday, shrank to just two shots.

“I played pretty well last week in Hong Kong with my coach Huang Yu-Chen as my caddie, but unfortunately I couldn’t have her besides me this week, so I really need to find my range by myself and control my emotions,” said Lee. “I was also the 36-hole leader in Hong Kong but couldn’t quite keep it up. I hope it will be a different story tomorrow.” Lee finished in a tie for third at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open.

Beginning the day trailing just one stroke, Japan’s Wakimoto suffered a slow start with a double-bogey on the 6th and a 39 front-nine score, leaving her a seven-shot distance to catch up. Luckily, a timely birdie on the 10th shifted her mindset. The 20-year-old made a hat-trick of birdies between 13th to 15th to be back pressuring Lee, who had to earn a 15-foot birdie on the 17th to keep at least a two-shot cushion.

Wakimoto was crowned the winner at the TLPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament held at the end of 2017. This week has been only her third TLPGA tournament after the Hitachi Ladies Open and the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open.

Chen Hsuan had two birdies and four bogeys on Thursday. Although Chen is happy with her driver, missing only one fairway, the other aspect of the game couldn’t quite keep up to result in an over-par round. “I had two good birdies from over 20 feet, which were about the only highlights of the day. I almost went too short on everything I did,” said Chen. “Now that I’m six shots off. I guess I’ll try to play safer in the final round to hopefully maintain high on the leaderboard. That’s the goal I give to myself.”

Chen received the low amateur honor last week at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open, finishing in a tie for 12th overall.

A cut was made to 68 players who were 154 or lower. The final round will begin at 7:00 a.m. in the morning from the first and tenth tee.

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.

SAMPO will also provide a lottery ticket for each TLPGA Facebook fan coming to the final round at the Taipei Golf Club on Friday with a chance to win a 55” SAMPO 4K Smart LED worth NT$23,000.

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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