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Hong Kong Ladies Open First-Round Recap
Date:2015-06-05

17-year-old rookie Cheng Ssu-Chia (程思嘉), who is seeking her first victory on the pro circuit, has produced superb form in the first round of 2015 Hong Kong Ladies Open at the Hong Kong Golf Club (HKGC) which earns her a 3-under-par 69 to share the lead with compatriot Yeh Hsin-Ning (葉欣寧) and Thailand’s Wichanee Meechai.

18-year-old amateur Chen Chih-Min (陳之敏) made two birdies to post a bogey-free 2-under 70, putting her in a three-way tie for fourth along with Pangjan Rungthiwa of Thailand and Lee Jeong Hwa of Korea.

Players in this TLPGA and LAGT (Ladies Asian Golf Tour) co-sanctioned event will be given Women's World Golf Rankings points and the lowest score will win a champion check worth $18,000.

2014 Xiamen Open champion Cheng Ssu-Chia shot a front-nine 34 and a back-nine 35 in a round that include five birdies, the most out of all players, and two bogeys.

“I didn’t really set myself any goals for today,” said Cheng. “I was simply trying to tell myself to stay patient, and it worked out well. I feel pretty good in every part of my game today.”

“I’ve played around 10 tournaments ever since I turned pro after Xiamen Open. I felt like I gave myself too much pressure,” the world number 118 teenager admitted. “Every time I tried too hard to perform, there goes some bad misses and double-bogeys. So this week, all I want is to really stay just focused on my game and strategy and not to be distracted by what the outcome may be.”

Cheng’s best outing since she turned pro last December has been a T6 finish at the RACV Ladies Masters in Gold Coast, Australia.

Yeh Hsin-Ning concluded today also at 69 with three birdies and no bogey. She said the par-3s on this Old Course Hong Kong Golf Club are impressively long. There is an upward 201-yard 3rd, and then it lays the relatively short 16th at 190 yards. “The greens are quite difficult as well,” said Yeh. “I’m glad to again have my good friend Ni Pei-Yi with me as my caddie this week, and we’re working together really well so I feel confident. I think I missed a couple of short birdies out there otherwise I could go lower, which I will have to improve the next days, to take the chances.”

2015 Yeangder TLPGA Open winner Meechai signed off atop the first-round leaderbord for yet another time. She carded also a 34-35 3-under 69 with four birdies and one bogey. Sitting one shot off the lead is young amateur Chen Chih-Min. Chen has just graduated from the high school and will be a freshman this summer in the Oklahoma State University to continue her gold career.

The second-round play will tee-off on Saturday at 7:30 a.m.. This event marks the first travel of the TLPGA Tour down to the Fragrant Harbour. On the pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday, the organizing committee announced to contribute HKD$100,000 from event sponsor Friends of Asia HK, to the HK Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry to improve the medical tools and resources and to increase breast cancer awareness and advocacy.

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