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2018 Taiwan LPGA Tour | CTBC Ladies Open 30 Aug – 1 Sep Second-Round Recap
Date:2018-08-31

Overnight leader Hana Wakimoto, the SAMPO Ladies Open champion this year, extended her lead into the final round after shooting a 1-under 71 on Saturday. The Japanese in now at a 36-hole total of 7-under 137, one shot ahead of Taiwanese no.1 Teresa Lu (盧曉晴) and teenagers Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔) and Sui Xiang (隋响).

Wakimoto and Hou will both be seeking to nab their second victory in 2018, while Lu tries to collect her second CTBC Ladies Open trophy and a first win of the season. Meanwhile, sophomore on the professional circuit, Sui is hoping for a breakthrough first title.

Tied for fifth was Thai duo Wannasiri Sirisampant and Yupaporn Kawinpakorn, who were three strokes behind the lead. CTBC Bank ambassador Shi Yuting (石昱婷) and Thai Chonlada Chayanun were another shot off the pace at 141.

Wakimoto, currently holding one TLPGA Tour title at the SAMPO Ladies Open, started out a little flat with consecutive bogeys on the 4th and 5th but regrouped well as she made up for the loss with a pair of birdies on 7th and 8th. She picked up another birdie on the par-5 17th with a successful 5-footer to break par and take back the solo lead.

“I was driving well, and approaching well, I thought I only missed two fairways, but my putter was a little rough out there, missed a couple of short ones. The three-putt on the 4th was a really bad play. I was just happy that I didn’t let that bring me down,” said Wakimoto, who needed 31 putts today. “Luckily, I still hold the lead, but I think if I want win, I’ll have to at least go 4-under tomorrow. There are many great players not far behind. I’ll try to take the chances on the par-5s. It should be key.”

With a vocal Japanese fan following her and holding a “Teresa Lu” cheering banner, Lu fired a bogey-free 68 with birdies on the 3rd, 7th, 8th, and 17th.

“I still don’t think I felt the speed of the greens too well. Left a few birdies out there. I hope my iron game will be sharp enough on Sunday so the putting will be easier and will earn me more birdies,” said Lu, who needed only two shots to find the green on the par-5 8th where she secured her third birdie of the day.

Starting the day only two shots off, Hou went through an uninspired front-nine where she failed to make any birdie. “My wedge shots today gave me some awkward distance on the greens. I told myself to be patient and was playing better, closer to the holes after the turn, but it feels that I still let too many chances come and go,” said Hou, who thought she played fantastic on the last five holes only to walk off the greens empty-handed with narrow misses.

“On the positive side, I’ll again compete in the leader’s group in tomorrow’s final round. I’ll try my best to stay solid, keeping high energy, and not giving myself too much pressure,” added Hou. “But another win would still be nice!”

Chinese teen Sui enjoyed a hot putter as she rolled in six birdies offset by just one bogey, needing just 27 putts. Sui hoped that she will continue to attack the pin as she did today and finally get the last laugh on Sunday. Her best records this season saw a second-place and a third-place finish.

A cut was made to 61 players who were at 149 or lower. An Ho-Yu (安禾佑) and Yu Han-Hsuan (俞涵軒), Hou Yu-Chiang’s teammates at the Asian Games which just concluded this past week, also made the cut. Winner of the 2018 CTBC Ladies Open will take away a NT$1 million paycheck.

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.

Final-round play will begin at 7:50 in the morning from the first tee; the leader’s group will be sent off at 11:10.

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