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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | CTBC Ladies Open 30 Aug – 1 Sep First-Round Recap
Date:2018-08-30

Japan’s Hana Wakimoto, with her dad alongside carrying her bags, fired a 6-under 66 to take the first-round lead at the 2018 CTBC Ladies Open.

Wakimoto, who won her first career title at the SAMPO Ladies Open this May, said she was very happy with her level except for that the putter felt a little “stiffer” than it should. Still, the young Japanese sank seven easy birdie putts within just one meter and made only one bogey to wrap up Day 1 at the Tong Hwa Golf Club two shots clear.

First after Wakimoto is Taiwanese amateur Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔), who used five birdies and one bogey to card a 4-under 68. CTBC Bank ambassador and current Taiwanese no.1 Teresa Lu (盧曉晴) sits in a tie for fifth after a first-round 70.

Just landing on home soil on Tuesday, the JLPGA-Tour-based Lu said the Tong Hwa Course is playing very “humid and sticky”, which took her extra some time to get her aggressive game going. She birdied hole 6, 7, and 8 but generally struggled on the greens to really have a good momentum to push. “It was either just short, or just a little big, definitely not a lucky putting day. I’ll need to take a few more practice session afterwards to raise my short game.”

Lu’s 70, comprised of three birdies and one bogey, put her four shots off the pace. There are another six players tied in the equal fifth place; Taiwanese Lee Tai-Ling (李黛翎), Chen Hsuan (陳萱), Thailand’s Renuka Suksukont, Thanutra Boonraksasat, Chonlada Chayanun, and “Chinese Golf Sweetheart” Shi Yuting (石昱婷).

Representing Taiwan at the recently ended Asian Games, Hou Yu-Chiang said it was such an important experience in her career that she felt mentally stronger and more motivated.

The amateur played a solid round, making an only bogey on the very last hole. “The greens play slower here. I tried make a good putt but was rushing a little and made it too big,” said Hou on a final-hole blip, who will become a college freshman in the U.S. next year.

Malaysia’s Aretha Pan Herng stole an early lead on Friday but finished in a tie for third with Durriyah Damian after a first-round 69. She took a week off last week and saw this tournament as a tune-up to the Autumn swing but was pleasantly surprised with her form. “I’ll need to polish my putting but overall I thought my game was in a pretty good place. Hope I’ll be able to keep it up.”

The NT$5 million event will be played through 54 holes with a stroke-play format and a cut after 36 holes to the top-50 and ties. The 2018 CTBC Ladies Open will be the first TLPGA tournament to be counted into the qualification, which runs from Jul 8 this year, for golf at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Second-round play begins at 7:30 Saturday morning from the first and tenth tee concurrently. Winner of the 2018 CTBC Ladies Open will take away a NT$1 million paycheck.

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