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2019 Taiwan LPGA Tour |Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open 11 – 13 Dec First-Round Recap

Taiwan′s Lin Tzu-Chi (林子麒) made a promising start at the TLPGA Tour season finale – the Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open, registering a 2-under 70 to take the clubhouse lead on Day 1.

Lin is enjoying a resurgence year. She captured her first title in four years at the Nan Yi Professional Ladies Open three months ago, and then followed it up with a victory at the KENDA Tire TLPGA Open in back-to-back weeks. The 7-time Tour winner was also the runner-up this past month at the BNP PARIBAS & TLPGA Heritage Tour.

The NT$5 million tournament will be played through 54 holes. The lowest player on Friday will receive a NT1 million winning purse.

Lin was the only golfer from the 106-player field to break par on Wednesday. An inspired front-nine run, which saw three birdies and one eagle flying, set the pace. It was also the lone eagle on the course today at the Tong Hwa Golf & Country Club.

“I had 15 yards to go, on a thick grass. I was really surprised I could get it in,” Lin said of the eagle on the 465-yard, par-5 8th. She holed it out with a 54-degree wedge from the left roughs.

“My short game was much improved from the pro-am yesterday. I think I hit really solid on the front nine,” Chen said. “It was a little disappointing that I couldn’t make it lower after the turn. The wind picked up, which made it hard to judge the distance well enough and left some challenging putts on the greens.” Lin had a back-nine 38.

Korea LPGA Tour member Chen Yu-Ju (陳宇茹) opened the day with a bogey on the par-5 no.1 hole, where most women on the front page of the leaderboard walked away with birdies, because of a bad lie on her first shot that raised a piece of mud adhering to the ball and caused her to send it into water.

Chen dropped two more shots through 10 but she finally found her rhythm late in the day, recovering with two birdies to bring the score back at even. It was a chip-in birdie on the 14th that gave Chen some positive energy before she sank a difficult birdie putt on the 16th green. “I was on the tip of a two-way slope. I decided to not think too much, just try my best and hit it down the center. And it went in.”

Chen is in a five-way tie for second with 2017 champion Ploychompoo Wilairungrueng, Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul, Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro, and Chinese Wang Tian-Yu (王天妤).

Wilairungrueng, who edged past local hope Phoebe Yao (姚宣榆) in a final-round sudden-death in 2017, made four birdies through just 10 but was struck by a double-bogey on the 11th that evaporated all of the momentum. “There is still something very special about this Tong Hwa course. I love playing here. It suited my game,” said the Thai star.

Her compatriot and fellow TLPGA Tour titlist Sangkagaro used a birdie “hat-trick” from hole 11-13 to take a giant leap up the leaderboard. “It happened to be all downhill putts, but in fact, that was my strength. I hit them pretty well,” Sangkagaro said.

Taiwan Mobile ambassadors Hsu Wei-Ling (徐薇淩) and Lee Min (李旻) now both sit at 1-over 73, three shots off the pace, with seven more players. “I didn′t have the much time to go to the practice range. So, I kind of felt new to the setting and my routine was not quite smooth yet. I felt I was still finding my groove.” The LPGA Tour campaigner made one birdies and two bogeys in the firs-round.

Lee also felt some sloppiness in her own first-round performance, claiming a drastic change in green speed from last week′s Macalline Women′s China Open was the main factor. “The greens at Tong Hwa was much, much slower. It took me a while to adjust,” said the defending champion. “But I’m confidant it will be better. This is only beginning.”

Yao and Tsai Pei-Ying (蔡佩穎), whose main battle field lands on the JLPGA Tour, were in T16 at 2-over.

The second-round of the Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open tees up at 7:30 tomorrow morning. The leaders will start Thursday at 10:30. There will be a cut to the top 50 and ties at the end of the day.

For more information on the 2019 Taiwan Mobile Ladies Open, please visit the official tournament page at https://www.taiwanmobile.com/twmTLPGA2019/index_en.html.



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