World No. 1 Yani Tseng shot a course-record seven-under 65 to lead by a shot over Chella Choi after the first round of the LPGA Hana Bank Championship in South Korea yesterday.
Home hope Choi Na-yeon, who is gunning for a third straight crown at the Sky72 Golf Club’s Ocean Course in Incheon, was lurking two strokes back from Tseng, along with Sandra Gal of Germany.
“I don’t want to think too much,” said 22-year-old Tseng, who has been the dominating force on the LPGA Tour this season, including two majors that made her the youngest golfer in history to reach five career major titles. “But I want to work on my putting, my game, kind of get tempo back. It gets very windy when we play the back nine, so I need to control the ball better.”
Tseng tallied 10 birdies and three bogeys to shoot the lowest round at the tournament since it moved to the Sky72 Golf Club in 2008.
Meanwhile, Tseng’s compatriots, Amy Hung and Candie Kung, got off to slow starts, both shooting two-over 74s.
Hung struggled on the front-nine, as she bogeyed three straight and double-bogeyed the ninth, before holing three birdies on the back-nine to pull herself back into contention.
Kung mixed two birdies with four bogeys in her effort.
Two-time defending champion Choi Na-yeon got off to a strong start, firing a 67 while paired with Tseng.
Choi Na-yeon said that the last time she played with Tseng was in February at the HSBC Women’s Champions and she noticed a significant difference in the confidence level of the world’s top-ranked player.
“She looks a totally different person, very strong and confident walking, everything,” Choi Na-yeon said. “I’m very impressed with her playing today. I’m very satisfied at what I played today, too.”
Choi Na-yeon did not record a single bogey in her round, tallying five birdies to put herself within two shots of the lead.
While she said she has tried not to think about trying for a three-peat this week in her home country, she added that it’s not the easiest thing to keep off her mind.
“I mean, I try to put less pressure on myself, but still some pressure in my heart and in my head,” she said. “Really, I tried to use that pressure in a good way. It’s more focus or really try more than 100 percent every shot. It was good today, everything, like emotion control, everything was good today.”
Meanwhile, compatriot Chella Choi is still looking for her first win on the LPGA Tour and it would undoubtedly be extra special for that victory to come in her home country.
Chella Choi, who grew up an hour away from where the tournament is being held, said: “I like this golf course. It’s in great shape and I’m very excited about this tournament because it is my country, and my mom and my family came here.”
She eagled the par-five 13th and had four birdies to go along with one bogey en route to shooting her lowest round of the season.
Additional reporting by Staff writer
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being