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2019 Taiwan LPGA Tour | BNP PARIBAS & TLPGA Heritage Tour 20-21 Nov First-Round Recap

Shih Cheng-Hsuan (石澄璇) and 19-year-old amateur Huang Yu-Ping (黃郁評) took the clubhouse lead after a windy day one at the NT$600,000 BNP PARIBAS & TLPGA Heritage Tour. Not a single player broke par in extremely tough conditions. The chasing pack was four shots behind, making it most likely a Shih-Huang dual on Thursday’s final round.

The BNP PARIBAS & TLPGA Heritage Tour is the second 36-hole pro-junior event on the 2019 TLPGA Tour, in which the TLPGA pros are grouped with amateurs and junior golfers, with an aim to develop a platform for closer interaction between the experienced and the young prospects.

There are 26 pro golfers along with 46 amateur and junior players in the field this year. The winning pro will take away a NT$71,000 cash prize; the runner-up gets NT$45,000. The venue this week is Tashee Golf Club; the competition layout is set at 6,232 yards.

Starting from the back-nine, Shih three-putted on the 11th to open the day with a bogey. On the 13th hole, she fell 30 yards short against the wind on the second shot, and eventually failed to make a 6-foot par putt, which resulted in a second bogey.

As the wind continued to blow in a frightful manner, Shih’s downwind, 5-iron tee shot on the 164-yard, par-3 16th went past the green by 20 yards. She ended up being 3-over at the turn.

Finally settled under the unusual circumstances, Shih played a lot more solid on the front nine, scoring a birdie from 4-feet on the 3rd, a chip-in birdie on the 6th from 22 yards, and her third and last birdie of the day after sinking a 15-footer on the 7th.

“There was lots of wind! I tried to have smaller swing with bigger clubs to gain more control over the shots, to land on the fairways more safely, so that I could a least in a better position to get closer to the pin,” said Shih. “I was good. My iron game is in good shape, especially on the front nine. But my putter could have played better. I let a couple of short birdie chances slip.”

Shih’s round of 73 included three birdies and four bogeys. She hit 11 greens in regulation, making 30 putting attempts.

Huang Yu-Ping, who carded two birdies and three bogeys, is the front runner in the Group Amateurs of Women’s 16-25. She was even-par through 17 holes but her second shot on the par-4 18th was blocked by a tree and left her a difficult 21-footer that required another two strokes to close the round.

“I was putting really well, needed just 25 putts,” said Huang. “I usually feel very uncomfortable in the wind, but I have to say I was nicely surprised with my own performance in these conditions today. I hasn’t been playing too well lately and I’ve been trying to adjust the expectation I put for myself and kind of reset the goals. And I think in the past month I started to pick up some better form.” The college freshman is now coached by former TLPGA Tour champion Tseng Hsiu-Feng (曾秀鳳).

In a four-way tie for second at 77 with Lee Tai-Ling (李黛翎), Chen Meng-Chu (陳孟竺), and amateur Yeh Chia-Ju (葉家儒), Huang Yu-Ning (黃郁寧) was content with the level of her hitting today but said the wind made it almost impossible to shoot low. “I was even pushed back by the wind when I was standing on the greens,” Huang Yu-Ning said. Her only birdie today came late on the 332-yard 17th hole where her 8-iron, against the wind from 140 yards away, set up a perfectly placed 6-footer. However, some uncharacteristic mistakes dragged her down; Huang made a double-bogey after getting trapped twice in a greenside bunker on the 6th. She needed 30 putts in the first round.

Huang Yu-Hsin (黃郁心), Lee Chia-Pei (李佳霈), Huang Hsien-Wen (黃賢雯), and Lin Tzu-Chi (林子麒) were tied at 79 for fifth, trailing six shots.

This is the third edition of the BNP PARIBAS & TLPGA Heritage Tour, after the bank sponsored this event in 2016 and 2018.

The final round will begin tomorrow at 7:00 in the morning. The last group will be sent off at 8:20.


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