Top-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan finished in a tie for third place after shooting an even-par 72 on the first day of an invitational charity tournament in New Taipei City yesterday.
Momoko Ueda of Japan and Yang Soo-jin of South Korea were tied for first after the opening round of the Swinging Skirts TLPGA Invitational, one shot ahead of the world No. 1, on a cold and blustery rainy day that made scoring extremely difficult.
“I’m very happy with my performance today,” said the 25-year-old Ueda, who was paired with Tseng and South Korea’s Kim Ha-neul in the day’s fourth-to-last pairing.
“Taiwan’s fans are very supportive, as they not only cheered for Yani, but also for me,” the world No. 49 said, adding that she hoped she had the chance to be paired with Tseng again in the tournament’s final two rounds.
Tseng, who attracts huge crowds anytime she plays in Taiwan, was on course to shoot one of the few under-par rounds of the day, before she bogeyed her final two holes of the day.
Still, she expressed satisfaction with her performance in the poor weather conditions, including darkness, saying: “It was really a tough day.”
“During the last four holes as the sky was getting dark, I could barely see clearly and made several misjudgments,” she said.
Tseng had four birdies and four bogeys in her round, which she did not complete until about 5pm.
Tied for third with Tseng were Amy Yang and Shin Ji-yai of South Korea, Beatriz Recari of Spain and Paula Creamer of the US.
Candie Kung of Taiwan, Choi Na-yeon of South Korea, Mika Miyazato of Japan and Christie Kerr of the US were among eight players tied for eighth at one-over 73.
Despite her competitive score and having the only eagle of any player on the day, Miyazato talked mostly about the weather after her round, played in the morning.
“It was almost like the weather conditions at the British Open [Golf Championship],” the 22-year-old world No. 24 said. “It was so cold this morning and there was so much rain and wind.”
A total of 84 top female golfers from 10 countries are competing in the tournament, which has a total purse of NT$15 million (US$497,000).
Half of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to earthquake relief efforts in Japan, while the other half will go toward the development of women’s golf in Taiwan.
The tournament attracted nearly 3,000 spectators on its first day, the organizers said.