Thais wrest control in women’s tourney

Thais wrest control in women’s tourney

Saraporn Chamchoi

LIPA City, Philippines — Saraporn Chamchoi came out of a rain-delayed round with four pars to preserve a four-under 68 as she wrested a one-stroke lead over fellow Thais Yupaporn Kawinpakorn and Onkanok Soisuwan and local bet Marvi Monsalve at the start of The Women’s Championship at the Summit Point Golf and Country Club here yesterday.

Chamchoi, who used to compete on the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour before moving over in the China and Taiwan LPGA tours in pursuit of ranking points, flashed a near-impeccable iron game to produce five birdies, including three from close range, and endured an hour-long wait due to heavy rains to complete a 34-34 card.

“It (weather delay) didn’t affect my game since I really hit it well approaching the greens and the putting surface was great too, despite the rain,” said Chamchoi, who placed sixth in her last tournament in January at ICTSI Ayala Greenfield won by amateur Yuka Saso.

Monsalve failed to sustain a career-best three-birdie start but kept a three-under 69 for joint second with Kawinpakorn and Soisuwan, who are both seeking a follow-up to their victories in the Beverly Place and Mt. Malarayat legs, respectively, of this year’s LPGT sponsored by ICTSI.

“I took off with a lot of fire,” said Monsalve who rolled in putts from 18 feet on the first and from 30 feet out on the next before banging in another birdie from 10 feet on No. 3. “But the two rain delays kind of slowed me down.”