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2022 WPG Ladies Open
May 19 - 21 (Thu. - Sat.)
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WPG Ladies Open
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2021 Taiwan LPGA Tour | WPG Ladies Open 1 – 3 Dec First-Round Recap
Date:2021-12-01

The Sunrise Golf Club, demonized for its super windy conditions, kept scores high on Day 1 at the WPG Ladies Open with Lee Min (李旻) leading the pack on 2-over par 74. Defending champion and current TLPGA Tour money leader Wu Chia-Yen (吳佳晏) sit in solo second on 4-over.

Long fields, location, coupled with December’s monsoon made the first round in this WPG Ladies Open, which was put off from July, as tough as it could get. No player managed to break par.

“The wind is shooting from everywhere, it’s really hard to get close especially with the difficult pin positions,” Lee said. “We all needed to somehow guess where and how big the wind went, because it was changing constantly. My only strategy for tomorrow would be to play safe and steady. I was left no choice.”

Despite the lead, Lee Min, who held multiple Symetra Tour wins, didn’t feel like she met her expectations. “I was playing better a few weeks ago in the U.S.. Haven’t quite found the form after the quarantine back in Taiwan. So, I wasn’t really going for the big shots, and that was actually the right approach with the monster wind. The one goal was to hit the greens, and try not to drop any shots. I knew that would be enough” Lee said, who closed the round with a bogey on the par-5 18th, sending her third shot way past the green by 20 yards. “On the 16th hole, I was using a bigger club in 5-iron than I normally would take, but it still went 10 yards short. I was lucky to leave that hole with a par. It was really frustrating.”

Wu Chia-Yen, who used a 12-under 204 to register her fifth TLPGA Tour victory just six weeks ago right here on the Sunrise course at the Wistron Ladies Open, was hard hit by the wind, especially in the closing stretch as well. The 17-year-old went from 1-under to 4-over in the last three holes, “I could barely look at my shots. They were so bad. I took out my 6-iron on the 16th hole, same as when I hit that ace at the Wistron Open, but I completely overlooked the wind.” Facing a brutal headwind, Wu’s tee shot on the 16th was brought into the left pond, ending up suffering a double-bogey.

Wu’s par putts on the 17th and 18th also went wild, pushing her further up in the score. The one foot she left on the 18th green seemed like the longest one foot she’s ever dealt with, with her first attempt tilting and riding an extra distance along a big gust of wind. It costed her three putts in the end.

“The wind got heavier and heavier onto the back nine. There were some big, sudden wind when you tried to take the putts. I probably should have reset and gone again when it happened instead of rushing it,” Wu said. “The greens are extremely fast and difficult so the second shots are key, or it’s going to be nightmare on the greens.”

Wu Hsiao-Ling (吳曉玲) fell another victim of the gusty afternoon, “the wind got crazy in the last five holes,” Wu said. She spent seven more shots in the 5-hole span that included three bogeys and two double-bogeys, sliding down from top-2 to equal fifth on 6-over.

Kiwi-Taiwanese Juliana Hung (洪玉霖) has been working on a twist in her putting motion, which caused a little bit of self-doubt that was amplified by the uneasy conditions today. “I have to admit I wasn’t entirely confident, and the difficult greens didn’t help,” said Hung, who made a double-bogey on no.3 after a three-putt. “But I don’t think the wind is a big problem. It’s always part of golf. We should harness it. It all came down to how well you prepare yourself. And my game was not ready for that today.” She turned in a 77, sitting in a tie for third with Hanna Chen (陳子涵), who was impressive in the birdie department with four, but dragged down by five bogeys and two double-bogeys.

Lin Tzu-Chi (林子麒) shot an eagle, the lone achievement from all players, on the 9th where she holed out from 89 yards away after a favorable bounce. Lin managed to sneak inside the top-10 in a six-way tie for fifth on 6-over 78 after a brilliant 21-foot birdie putt on the final hole.

The WPG Ladies Open is the seventh leg of the 2021 TLPGA Tour. The winner emerged from 75 participants will add a valuable NT$1.1 million to the ranking on the 2021 TLPGA Tour money leaderboard.

Second-round action begins at 7:00 in the morning from the first and tenth tees with a cut to 40 players to be made after completion of the round. Hold-in-one cash prizes are up for grabs on No.2, 4, 11, and 16, presented by WPG Holdings.
 

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