Fri, Sep 23, 2005 - Page 24 News List

Hsu battles wind, rain to take lead

AP , TAIPEI

Taiwan's Hsu Mong-nan battled strong winds and rain yesterday to shoot a four-under-par 68 and gain the lead after the first round of the Taiwan Masters.

Hsu leads by one stroke from Australian Marcus Both, who shot a bogey-free 69 while another local veteran, Lu Wen-teh, fired a 70 for a share of third place with compatriot Lin Wen-tang and Venezuela's Gilberto Morales.

At the Taiwan Golf and Country Club's suburban Taipei course, title holder and Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand began his defense with a 74, dropping four bogeys. Thaworn won last week's Taiwan Open.

For Hsu, the US$400,000 tournament is a long-awaited second chance at winning an Asian Tour title. In 2001, he jointly led into the final day at his home course, but faded badly with a 76 and tied for seventh place.

This year, the rough weather could still complicate his search for a win.

"It was difficult to judge the wind out there, so I'm really pleased with my start," Hsu said.

Board leaders

Hsu Mong-nan, Taiwan -- 68

Marcus Both, Australia -- 69

Lu Wen-teh, Taiwan -- 70

Gilberto Morales, Venezuela -- 70

Lin Wen-tang, Taiwan -- 70

Su Chin-jung, Taiwan -- 71

Chung Chun-hsing, Taiwan -- 71

Chen Tze-ming, Taiwan -- 71

Scott Strange, Australia -- 71

Harmeet Kahlon, India -- 71

Wang Teh-chang, Taiwan -- 71

Scott Barr, Australia -- 71

Mardan Mamat, Singapore -- 71

Lu Wei-chih, Taiwan -- 71

Kao Bo-song, Taiwan -- 71

Chen Yuan-chi, Taiwan -- 71

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