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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | Tainan Professional Golf Ladies Open First-Round Recap
Date:2018-11-07

Thailand’s Chonlada Chayanun cruised through the first-round at the Tainan Professional Golf Ladies Open wrapping up with a masterclass, bogey-free 65. She’s now three shots free from a two-player tie that includes compatriot Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul and Taiwan’s Chen Szu-Han (陳思涵).

Chang Ching-Ling (張靖翎), with a 3-under 69, is in solo fourth. Teen sensation Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔), Chen I-Wen (陳依妏), and Jin Hee Park from Korea sit in a tie for fifth after shooting matching 70s.

Chayanun’s blemish-free score card saw five birdies and a par-4 eagle on the 6th, where she picked up her 9-iron on her second hit and holed out from 125 yards.

“I missed a few birdie putts from about 10-foot range,” said Chayanun, but she seized her chances on the 3rd and 16th, with 12-foot and 9-foot success. The Thailand native also made birdies on two of the four par-5s around the turn at the Nan Yi Golf Club.

Her first birdie of the day came on the second green from 45 feet away. She totaled 28 attempts with the putter.

“The layout made it tough to attack the greens because there are so often trees getting in the way,” said Chayanun. “But I think I fared pretty well. I made 16 greens on regulation.”

A two-time winner already this season at the CTBC Ladies Open as well as the Hengqin Phoenix Tree Building Orient Golf Challenge, Chayanun started competitive golf only after she turned sixteen, but her talent shone quickly. She made it into the LPGA’s Symetra Tour field during her college years at the Ohio State University, and began to leave her marks on her home tour since 2015. She officially became a TLPGA Tour member in 2016.

Chen Szu-Han used five birdies and one bogey to secure her place in equal second. Not making much wave on the front nine with a 36, Chen showcased some textbook iron skills on the back nine, picking up three shots from hole no.10 to no.12, followed by another birdie on the 14th. She put herself in slight trouble as her first shot sailed long past the green of the par-3 15th, but still made par thanks to a perfect putt from 11 feet. Chen closed with an inward 32. She needed just 26 putts today.

Chen had one victory under her belt this year at the ROUTE INN Cup Ueda Maruko Grandvrio Ladies (Japan LPGA Step Up Tour). Her best finish on the TLPGA Tour this season has been a second-place at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. She sits currently third on the 2018 TLPGA Tour money list.

TLPGA titlist Muangkhumsakul today made four birdies and zero bogeys, three fourths of the income were earned on the front nine. “I think I was actually playing better into the back nine. I was hitting really well with the iron, but my putter was not cooperating,” said Muangkhumsakul, who parred her way through the 17th after the turn, but finally went up a notch and sank a 3-foot birdie putt on the 18th. The highlight of her day was a chip-in from 10 yards on the 8th hole.

Chang made 13 greens and set up a lot of mid-range chances, converting five. She had two blemishes through her first round at Nan Yi, including a three-putt bogey on the 13th. “Yeah, that was a bad mistake, but I’m pretty happy that I just made that 24-footer to save par on the last hole,” said Chang. “I’ve been making some tweaks in my putting and it’s been working nicely. I was really gaining some confidence on the greens.” She needed just 27 putts.

Amateur Hou Yu-Chiang, the TLPGA Ladies Open – Nan Pao winner in May, had three birdies to one bogey to move into top 5 on the leaderboard. She used 28 attempts on the greens.

80 of Asia’s best female golf athletes from seven countries, joined by 13 elite local amateurs make up the 93-player field competing for the top honor at the inaugural Tainan Professional Golf Ladies Open. The tournament will run through Wednesday to Friday at Tainan’s Nan Yi Golf Club.

Second-round play begins at 7:00 on Thursday morning. The winner on Friday will take home NT$540,000.

There will be a cut to the top-50 and ties after the second-round.

This marks the first TLPGA tournament at the 30-year-old Nan Yi Golf Club. Joining as new TLPGA partners this week saw Tong Yang Group, Ta Yih Group, and TYC Brother Industrial.

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