SANYA, Hainan, China (14 November 2014) – Lin Tzu-Chi of Chinese Taipei fired a six-under-par 66 to emerge from a packed leader board after the first round of the Sanya Ladies Open in tropical Hainan, China.
The 24-year-old sixth year professional from Taichung recorded nine birdies and three bogeys on a hot and sunny afternoon at Yalong Bay Golf Club to end the day two clear of seven other players.
Lin began with a birdie on the first but said she got mad after dropping a shot on the short third and tried to recover her score. She then birdied the fourth, bogeyed the sixth and birdied the seventh before hitting six birdies and one bogey on the back nine.
“I had nine birdies and I didn’t even think I had that much because I had three bogeys and I was thinking I needed to recover those and do my best,” said Lin, who has three professional victories, including two on the China LPGA in 2013 and one on the US Symetra Tour in 2011.
“When we come here, it feels like we are on vacation, so I am really enjoying it. We have coconut to drink on the course so I’m really relaxed and not thinking about my score.”
The weather was more favourable than expected, with only a light, swirling breeze consistent throughout the day. Of the seven players on four under, Thailand’s Kusuma Meechai and Malene Jorgensen of Denmark also played in the afternoon.
Jorgensen, 28, from Odense, had two birdies on the front nine and two on the back and said that she was enjoying the 29C heat, having been practising outside in 10C back home in Denmark. Meechai, 19, from Prachinburi, had six birdies and two bogeys on her card.
Also on 68 are China’s young guns Lin Xi Yu and Wang Xi Yi, Babe Liu of Chinese Taipei, Australian Rebecca Artis and Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera.
Lin Xi Yu had four birdies on the second, fifth, 13th and 14th holes. The second year professional from Guangzhou already has four top-10 finishes in this tournament and is one to watch having won the CLPGA’s Sanya’s Hills Classic at nearby Dragon Valley Golf Club.
“I did pretty well today. When I was warming up in the morning I saw it was pretty quiet with not much wind so I wished for a good score and today I played pretty well,” Lin said. “I didn’t have any bogeys but I still missed a couple of chances so I’m satisfied with the score but I think it could have been lower.”
Lin was the youngest winner on the CLPGA last year when she won aged 16 years and six months, but that record was lowered by a month in August, when rising star Wang won the Xiamen Challenge at Orient Golf Club. The Beijing amateur, who has verbally committed to Stanford University in 2016, was pleased with her start, as her goal is to shoot three rounds in the 60s.
She said: “It was a great round. I made many birdies and my putting was great except for one three-putt. The pitching was good and I made five or six birdies on the par fours.”
The CLPGA’s No.2 ranked player, Babe Liu, 21, is also in the hunt after two victories already this season at the Golden Mountain Challenge and Zhuhai Classic. The second year professional opened with five birdies in her first six holes from the 10thand stalled with a bogey on 17 but was level for the front nine.
“My second shots were really good and close to the pin so it wasn’t a problem to make birdies,” Liu said. “I’ve enjoyed today and playing with my mum, Sunny, as my caddie.”
Ladies European Tour players Gwladys Nocera and Rebecca Artis both had four birdies in their bogey-free rounds. Frenchwoman Nocera has fond memories from China having claimed her 12th career title at last year’s Suzhou Taihu Open.
The LET’s current No.4 said: “I didn’t make any mistakes and when I had bad shots they were there, so I just played consistent the whole day and made some good putts.”
For Artis, the 2013 Helsingborg Open champion from Australia who has been playing on the US Symetra Tour in 2014, this was a return to competition and she said: “I didn’t play unbelievable out there, I just played with what I had and played pretty solid golf. It’s nice to get that first round under your belt when you haven’t played for five or so weeks.”
Australian Nikki Campbell, England’s Liz Young and Thailand’s Titiya Plucksataporn are a shot further behind in tied ninth place on three-under.
Collated scores after round 1:
66 – Tzu Chi Lin (TPE)
68 – Babe Liu (TPE) , Gwladys Nocera (FRA) , Xi Yu Lin (CHN) , Malene Jorgensen (DEN) , Kusuma Meechai (THA) , Ziyi Wang (CHN) , Rebecca Artis (AUS)
69 – Nikki Campbell (AUS) , Liz Young (ENG) , Titiya Plucksataporn (THA)
70 – Pavarisa Yoktuan (THA) , Yu Yang Zhang (CHN) , Chloe Leurquin (BEL) , Jienalin Zhang (CHN) , Numa Gulyanamitta (THA) , Ziqi Ye (CHN) , Tiffany Tavee (USA) , Charley Hull (ENG) , Eleanor Givens (ENG) , Marion Ricordeau (FRA) , Yu Ting Shi (CHN) , Hsuan-Ping Chang (TPE) , Joanna Klatten (FRA)
71 – Sophie Giquel-Bettan (FRA) , Huei Ju Shih (TPE) , Pei-Yun Chien (TPE) , Nikki Garrett (AUS) , Klara Spilkova (CZE) , Stacy Lee Bregman (RSA) , Bree Arthur (AUS) , Saaniya Sharma (IND) , Wichanee Meechai (THA)
72 – Stephanie Na (AUS) , Stacey Keating (AUS) , Camilla Lennarth (SWE) , Ashleigh Simon (RSA) , Fabienne In-albon (SUI) , Tanaporn Kongkiatkrai (THA) , Holly Aitchison (ENG) , Hannah Burke (ENG) , Maria Hernandez (ESP) , Wannasiri Sirisampant (THA) , Sarah Kemp (AUS) , Qi Tian (CHN) , Cassandra Kirkland (FRA) , Felicity Johnson (ENG) , Caroline Afonso (FRA) , Zhang Wei Wei (CHN) , Valentine Derrey (FRA) , Lydia Hall (WAL) , Ai-Chen Kuo (TPE) , Pan Pan Yan (CHN) , Punpaka Phuntumabamrung (THA)
73 – Li Qing Chen (CHN) , Florentyna Parker (ENG) , Sherman Santhiwiwatthanaphong (THA) , Ajira Nualraksa (THA) , Connie Chen (RSA) , Ainil Bakar (MYS) , Monique Smit (RSA) , Noora Tamminen (FIN) , Nontaya Srisawang (THA) , Ling Ling Tan (CHN) , Ann-Kathrin Lindner (GER) , Yu-Ling Hsieh (TPE) , Kylie Walker (SCO)
74 – Yan Hong Pan (CHN) , Jia Yun Li (CHN) , Pamela Pretswell (SCO) , Leigh Whittaker (GER) , Smriti Mehra (IND) , Hong Tian (CHN) , Thi Nhung Tang (VNM) , Grace Lee (KOR) , Yue Xia Lu (CHN) , Georgina Simpson (ENG) , Sahra Hassan (WAL) , Patricia Sanz Barrio (ESP) , Becky Brewerton (WAL) , Melissa Reid (ENG) , Vikki Laing (SCO) , Becky Morgan (WAL) , Beth Allen (USA) , Minea Blomqvist (FIN)
75 – Victoria Lovelady (BRA) , Saraporn Chamchoi (THA) , Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul (THA) , Alison Whitaker (AUS) , Mookharin Ladgratok (THA) , Maha Haddioui (MAR) , Hsin Ning Yeh (TPE) , Li Ying Ye (CHN) , Anais Maggetti (SUI) , Trish Johnson (ENG) , Caroline Martens (NOR) , Neha Tripathi (IND)
76 – Whitney Hillier (AUS) , Tiranan Yoopan (THA) , Aunchisa Utama (THA) , Narisara Kerdrit (THA) , Pimpadsorn Sangkagaro (THA) , Sally Watson (SCO) , Janya Morrakotphan (THA) , Pennapa Pulsawath (THA) , Vani Kapoor (IND) , Cai Zhu Guo (CHN) , Louise Larsson (SWE)
77 – Rungthiwa Pangjan (THA) , Mayumi Chinzei (JPN) , Xin Wang (CHN) , Jade Schaeffer (FRA) , Rebecca Codd (IRL)
78 – Nimmita Juntanaket (THA)
79 – Ashley Ona (AUS) , Jaruporn Palakawong Na Ayutthaya (THA) , Mireia Prat (ESP)
80 – Alexandra Vilatte (FRA) , Ankita Tiwana (IND)
83 – Nanthikarn Rakasachat (THA)