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September 27 - 29 (Wed. - Fri.)
2022 GRIN Cup Charity Open
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2022 Taiwan LPGA Tour | GRIN Cup Charity Open 28 – 30 Jul First-Round Recap

The 2022 GRIN Cup Charity Open kickstarted on Thursday under the scorching heat at the Taiwan Golf Club. 2020 runner-up Phoebe Yao (姚宣榆) was the lone player to turn in a red number in the first round.

Yao carded a 2-under 70, leading Una Chou (周書羽) by two shots. Defending champion An Ho-Yu (安禾佑), who won the first ever GRIN Cup in 2020 as an amateur, pro rookie Chang Ya-Chun (張雅淳), Tai Chia-Wen (戴嘉汶), and Wang Li-Ning (王莉甯) are tied for third at 1-over 73.

Having a deep connection with the Taiwan Golf Club, which is nicknamed by the locals as “Old Tamsui Course”, Yao was first introduced to competitive golf and started training here when she was little, so she probably should have superior understanding to the set-up than most of the field. But, in fact, Yao said, it is because of how well she knows this place that she took quite some thinking during today’s round. “I still almost had to turn to my caddie for advice. This is a really challenging golf course. You can easily drop shots even with a small mistake.”

“To be honest, today, I even felt new here sometimes because of how long I’ve been spending my time in Japan,” said Yao, who holds two JLPGA Tour titles and recently added a Shizuoka Shimbun & SBS Ladies victory to her resume on the JPLGA’s Step-Up Tour. “But I feel relaxed. It’s always good to be playing at home!”

Yao made 15 greens in regulation, needing 30 putts on them. She felt she wasn’t particularly comfortable on the tees, which left a big room for improvement in the final rounds. Three driver miscues led to her three bogeys on the scorecard. To her delight, Yao made an impressive five birdies, two in a row on 13th and 14th, to be the only player finishing day one in red figure.

Una Chou moved to the U.S. when she was nine and she’s now studying business in Canada. The amateur player had a morale hurting start with a double-bogey on the 10th and a bogey on the 11th, but the 19-year-old rebounded quickly, sinking a 21-foot birdie putt on the 14th and taking another chance from 12 feet right before the turn. She carried the momentum into her back-nine to score four more birdies, coming back at even-par 72.

2020 champion An Ho-Yu seemed to regain her winning feel from the get go, beginning the day with a birdie on the opening hole. However, An appeared too ambitious on the par-5s, which should have provided scoring opportunities, committing an OB on the 6th and later going straight into the right woods on the 13th hole. She picked up three birdies along the way but they weren’t enough to make up for the loss. Yao now sits three strokes off the lead.

“I was very young with a more fearless mindset back then as an amateur, when I won here in 2020,” said Yao, who is now competing with pro status, “With more experience come added pressure. I am still adjusting myself, trying not to over-analyze things. I believe it’s all part of the learning process, though. I’m feeling pretty good honestly. I’ll take my time.”

One of the best plays today came from Chang Ya-Chun on the 17th green, where she rolled in a 33-footer. However, she was not too sharp overall on the greens today, needing 33 attempts with her putter. She closed the round with four birdies and five bogeys, putting her also in a four-way tie for third at 73.

It was a bad timing for Chang’s professional debut, who just recovered from Covid. “I’m still feeling some ‘post-Covid’ symptoms. So I would give myself an applause for simply carrying myself through 18 holes. I was a little worried I was not able to finish,” Chang said.

The GRIN Cup Charity Open is the fourth top-tier, open event on the 2022 TLPGA Tour. The tournament was cancelled in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. 51 TLPGA members and 20 amateurs registered this week; the pros will be vying for a NT$600,000 top prize in the NT$3.3 million event.

15 senior players will also be featured in an 18-hole event on the final day. The winning senior takes home NT$50,000.

Charity donation raised before and throughout the tournament by GRIN, a leading membrane material manufacturer in Taiwan, will be used to endow three local organizations. To show respect and love to his wife, who has been fighting the Alzheimer′s, GRIN president Lin G-E. holds an online photo and video exhibition concurrently. The meaning of this event is also to remind people to capture and treasure their moments with their loved ones.

Second-round action begin at 6:30 tomorrow. A cut will be made to the top-40 and ties after the round.


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