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2015 Taiwan LPGA Tour Yeangder TLPGA Open First-Round Recap
Date:2015-05-13

2014 LPGT (Ladies Philippine Golf Tour) Money winner Cyna Rodriguez and Thailand’s Pennapa Pulsawath both fired a 4-under 68 to share the lead after Wednesday’s first round of the 2015 Yeangder TLPGA Open.

Veteran Lu Ya-Huei (呂雅惠), who is a former TLPGA No.1, and teenage amateur Yu Han-Hsuan (俞涵軒) sit two shots back in a tie for third. A group of six players chasing behind with another stroke back includes a pair of consistent Tour contenders from Thailand, Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro and Wichanee Meechai, Japan’s Kumi Uchiyama, and Taiwan’s TLPGA No.6 Babe Liu (劉依貞), Chen Szu-Han (陳思涵), and amateur Liu Shiao-Yun (劉少允).

Defending champion, Australian Tamie Durdin falls in a seven-way tie for 11th at even par, which means that a total of 17 players have carded even-par or better at the sunny Tong Hwa Golf & Country Club, and all within just four shots difference.

Pulsawath was on a tear to start the day. After making a bogey on the second hole, she went on to birdie six of the next seven holes to post a front-nine 31 in which she needed just 11 putts.

“I think on this course, you need to be patient reading the wind and be very careful getting the right clubs to make sure you’re hitting the perfect distance, or you could get in a lot of trouble,” said Pulsawath. “I’m glad I wasn’t making too many mistakes and holed quite some putts. So overall it was a pretty good round.”

Pulsawath failed to carry her momentum, though, as she wrapped up the back nine with a 1-over 37, seeing Rodriguez slowly catch her up with a late surge.

Rodriguez’s back-to-back birdies to close out the round made a great confidence booster for her for the rest of the week. “It’s definitely good to start off well here. This is the best round I’ve played on this course,” said Rodriquez. “I’m putting good, the irons are good. I feel confident and that’s always a nice feeling when you find yourself in the rhythm right on the first day.”

Former TLPGA No.1 Lu got onto the tee with tapes on her right elbow but the result turned out a nice surprise. “I’ve had some good times here,” said Lu, who was the runner-up on this Tong Hwa course at the 2013 Fubon Ladies Open. “But honestly, my arm was not yet how it should feel, so it was kind of surprising to see myself up there. I will definitely try to keep this feeling for another two days.”

Up on the third place on the leaderboard tied with Lu is 15-year-od Yu. Showing a calmness beyond her age, Yu had to deal with a miss-hit from the pond on the par-4 7th that led to a double-bogey but recovered right away with birdies on the 8th and 9th. A beautifully curved 45-feet birdie putt dropping on the 9th green was her highlight of the day.

A cutline is to be set for the top 50 and ties after tomorrow’s second round. The winner of this NT$3 million event will get NT$600,000 champion prize and world ranking points.

Yeang Der Group initiated its first invitational women’s event in 2012, and starting in 2013, the first edition of the Yeangder TLPGA Open was held, where eventually Phoebe Yao (姚宣榆) of Taiwan was crowned. Durdin, in 2014, outlasted the 2012 invitational edition winner, Hsieh Yu-Ling (謝瑀玲) and Chien Pei-Yun (錢珮芸) not until the last hole to take the crown.

The venue of the2015 Yeangder TLPGA Open, the Tong Hwa Golf & Country Club, is 6,410 yards long and set to test the TLPGA golfers on and around the greens. Large water and sand hazards will be spotted around the wide, rolling layout.

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