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2019 Taiwan LPGA Tour | Kaohsiung City Ladies Open for Charity First-Round Recap
Date:2019-07-31

Day one at the first Kaohsiung City Ladies Open for Charity saw pro tour freshman Shih Cheng-Hsuan (石澄璇) of Taiwan emerge as the first-round leader at 3-under 69 after firing five birdies thanks to her impeccable short game.

Teeing up her campaign on the back-nine, Shih got off to an ideal start with a 40-feet putt that sank for birdie. Although she dropped shots on no.11 and no.13, the young Taiwanese regained her confidence with a chip-in birdie on the 16th from 9 feet using her 56-degree wedge.

Shih carried the great feel on and around the green into the front-nine, making it close on numerous occasions and finally picking up three birdies in a row on the 6th through to 8th to take the lead.

“I changed my wedge set at the beginning of the season, and I found them easier to stop balls on the green, which helped me to control the distance better and produce more opportunities for birdies,” said Shih, who bases her training at the Chiau Sih Golf Club in Yilan. “I’ve also been practicing a lot with my putter, hoping to be able to actually convert those chances. I think I did well today.” She needed just 24 putts.

Shih is now one shot clear of Chang Ching-Ling (張靖翎), who showcased equally impressive putting techniques with only 25 attempts on the greens. Chang had three birdies in the first round, draining 9-footers on the 4th and the 10th, followed by a 27-footer on the 16th. “I only missed two fairways, but I didn’t really set up well, hitting just nine greens,” Chang said. “But I was feeling good around the greens, saved a lot of pars and actually was able to give myself about six birdie chances, successful in three of them.”

Lee Hsin (李欣) was one of the only three players to break par on Wednesday, using a combination of one eagle, two birdies, and three bogeys to turn in a 71. She was leading after 15 at 3-under, but leaked two strokes on the 16th and 17th to drop back to solo third.

Lee scored her eagle on the par-4 7th, holing out from 93 yards away with a 52-degree wedge, which was just one of the only two eagles of the day.

Huang Ching (黃靖) pitched in on the 6th for her first career ace after she turned pro (second lifetime) – the only other eagle on Wednesday, cashing a bonus NT$50,000. She finished the first round in a tie for tenth with fourteen players at 73.

15-year-old sensation Wu Chia-Yen (吳佳晏), who already is a TLPGA Tour champion after lifting the Party Golfers Ladies Open 2018 trophy, shot even-par 72 with two birdies and two bogeys, and was tied for fourth with Babe Liu (劉嬿), Huang Yu-Ning (黃郁寧), and Thai Parinda Phokan, Nanthikarn Raksachat, and Ornnicha Konsunthea.

Another promising teen in the field, China’s pro-circuit sophomore Liu Yiyi (劉依一) carded 73, which put her narrowly in the top-10. She has just taken her maiden pro victory at the CTBC Ladies Classic in March.

Taiwanese amateur Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔), also still a teenager who already notched three professional victories, dropped into a tie for 30th after making three bogeys on the back-nine to finish on 3-over.

Two of Hou’s three wins came in recent months; she won the CLPGA Tour’s Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Challenge in June, and just a fortnight ago, she bested the pro crop again to snare the victory at the TLPGA Tour-LPGT (Ladies Philippine Golf Tour) co-sanctioned ICTSI Pradera Verde Classic.

Home-course player Chou Yi-Tsen (周怡岑) registered a 74, tying compatriots Jessica Peng (彭婕), Kuo Ai-Chen (郭艾榛) and two other players for 25th.

107 players from 9 countries are in action this week at the Kaohsiung Golf Club, competing for a NT$540,000 top prize in the NT$3 million purse. This event is supported by Mr. Frank Chen Cultural and Educational Foundation and the Advanced International Multitech Co., Ltd..

Players were allowed to take their “preferred lies” in today’s first-round.

Second-round play of the 2019 Kaohsiung Ladies Open for Charity begins at 6:30 a.m. from the first and tenth tees. A cut will be made to the low 50 and ties.

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