Unfancied Yupaporn Kawinpakorn relied on her splendid putts to fire an opening 68 to lead the opening round of the fifth circuit of the Bt2.5 million “SAT-TWT Open” Road to World Ranking” which started on Wednesday at the Lake View Resort and Country Club in Petchaburi.
The 31 -year-old from Samut Prakarn generated five birdies with a lone bogey on the sixth hole to surge on top of the leader’s board with last circuit’s runner-up Ornnicha Kornsunthea, Chonnikarn Chaiyasith and Saraporn Chamchoi following a shot behind, each with a 69.
“I played pretty O.K. today, but I just hope that I could have done better with my iron. I hit close to the pins and shot five birdies,” said Yupaporn. “It was very sunny and windy in the afternoon. The condition was quite tough for me and made me had to come up with a good game plan.”
Yupaporn emerged among the strong contenders when the fourth SAT-TWT Open stopped at the Royal Hua Hin Golf Course a fortnight ago. But she came short in the end, settling at tied 12th in the final day.
“It was a bit disappointing to finish that way after I did quite well in the first round. I’ve learned my lesson. Tomorrow, I have to stick to my game plan and have fun with whatever happens out there. At this point, I don’t want to think far ahead as there are 36 more holes to play. Other players are quite tough. You have to shoot low scores to get ahead of the field,” said Yupaporn, in search for her first crown since winning on the China LPGA Tour back in 2018.
Ornnicha from Lopburi once again surged into contention, producing five birdies against two bogeys for a 69 alongside Chonikarn and Saraporn.
“I hit a lot of greens in regulation and had a lot of birdie chances. But I missed several putts because it was tough to read the lie. I should have been more careful with line reading,” said the 25-year-old Ornnicha who has yet to celebrate a breakthrough victory. Her best results were two runner-up positions in a Taiwan LPGA Tour event in 2019 and the last SAT-TWT Open at the Royal Hua hin Golf Course two weeks ago.
“My plan is to hit a lot of fairways and create as many birdie chances as possible. I also need to improve my putting accuracy,” Ornnicha said.
Chonnikarn, also with five birdies and two bogeys, said: “I’m pretty pleased with my game especially the way I hit the iron. The green condition is quite soft this week, so I can attack the pins as much as I’d like to. About my game plan for tomorrow, I will try to hit the fairways, hit the greens and hope to make lots of birdies. I will try to approach the second round with the level I play today. I hope to see more red scores (birdies) from me on the leaders’ board. “
Red-hot Patcharajutar Kongkraphan or P.K., who has won back-to-back titles (in the fourth SAT-TWT Open and at the Springfield Village & Spa last Friday, opened her account with a 70.
“I hope to have some good result again. My iron still works very well. It comes down to my driver. If I can hit my driver at will, I will stand another great shot at winning this week,” P.K. said.
About Thai WPGA
The Thai Women’s Professional Golf Association has been established with the objective to support and promote Thai women’s golf activities. The association aims at organizing local tour with world ranking points in the near future which will pave the way for Thai golfers to the international arena. In addition, Thai women’s golfers can use the tour to develop their skills to meet the universal standard. Moreover, medium-proficiency level players can gain experience from Challenger tours which can help produce new generation players and at the same time develop golf human resources and systematic golf organization locally.