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2022 Taiwan LPGA Tour | Hitachi Ladies Classic 7 – 9 Jan Second-Round Recap

Japan LPGA Tour campaigner Tsai Pei-Ying (蔡佩穎) put up another impressive round on Saturday to stay atop the leaderboard at the Hitachi Ladies Classic. The first-round leader carded a bogey-free, 4-under 68 to leave a three-shot cushion over defending champion Chein Pei-Yun (錢珮芸).

It will be a repeated story from last year on the Orient Golf & Country Club where Pingtong-natives Tsai and Chien were featured in the last group in the final round. But on this Sunday, Tsai is hoping for a different ending. “Pei-Yun had a six-shot lead, went onto win. Now I’ve got a three-shot lead, I hope it’s my turn to finish with a win,” said Tsai. “She hits bigger than I do, but I’m confident I can make it up with my second or third shots. I’ve been playing great golf here over the past few years but now I feel it has all come together this week. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

In fact, the second-round was not as smooth as the score suggests. Tsai missed quite a number of fairways and was constantly on the back foot, especially with the wind picked up on the back-nine, but she managed to solve all the situations and closed the round without a blemish on the card.

Chien Pei-Yun, who moved into Saturday two shots back of lead, was off to a flying start. She birdied thrice through just seven holes. “My short game improved from yesterday. I thought I could get to a least 5-under,” said Chien, who, however, made 11 straight pars to close with a 3-under 69. “The wind turned big after the turn. I tried to flatten my shots but it kind of affected my swing motion. My body twist became a little stiffer and I couldn’t quite place the ball as precisely as I did earlier in the day.”

2021 year-end no.1 Wu Chia-Yen (吳佳晏) also carded a low-round 68, rising from T14 into the top-3. She is trailing by six shots. “I don’t feel particularly happy with my game except for putting. It helped me to score six birdies, which was pretty good,” said Wu, who dropped shots on the 8th and 15th to reach 3-under 141. “With just 18 holes to go, I’ll have to bring up a more attacking game in the final round to stand a chance.”

LPGA Tour member Lee Min (李旻) shot a 2-under 70 to move into equal third with Wu. “I haven’t quite read the greens well enough, made a couple of bigger mistakes,” said Lee. She pocketed five birdies but committed one bogeys on the 2nd hole, where she needed four attempts to solve a downhill 16-footer, and another one on the 12th after a three-putt. “I’m trying not to get affected by those bad putts. It’s going to be really important for me to raise my level on the greens, if there is any chance on Sunday.”

Top Taiwanese golfer Hsu Wei-Ling (徐薇淩) had a hard time finding the greens. The LPGA Tour winner (2021 Pure Silk Championship) hit just 8 greens in regulation in the second round, dropping into a tie for 10th on 1-over 145 with Cheng Ssu-Chia (程思嘉), Chen Min-Jou (陳敏柔), and Lai Yi-Ting (賴怡廷).

Lee Hsin (李欣), who started the day in the second place, registered a 73 to sit in solo fifth on 142. The younger of the Hou sisters, Hou Yu-Chiang (侯羽薔), An Ho-Yu (安禾佑), and Erica Huang (黃郁評) were tied for sixth on 143. Hanna Chen (陳子涵) sit one shot adrift on 144.

73 out of 96 players on 158 or lower moved into the final-round after a cut. Sunday’s action will begin at 8:30.

The Hitachi Ladies Open is the new TLPGA Tour season’s opening event, providing a total purse of NT$10 million with NT$2.5 million going to the winner. Sharing photos with hashtag #hitachichallenge on the event’s social media pages will help support the causes and collect cash donation to endow ten appointed charities.


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