The opening round of the Honda LPGA Thailand ended with Yani Tseng, Brittany Lang and Stacy Lewis (pictured above) tied atop the leaderboard after each firing a 66.
With the high temperature nearing 33oC and high humidity, players battled the heat all day and will have to do so the rest of the week. Temps will be in the low to mid 30’s all weekend.
For Lewis, it was the second time she’s led or co-led after Rd. 1 this year. For Tseng and Lang it’s a position they are more unfamiliar with. Tseng hasn’t led after the first round since the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open and Lang has never done so, and both players are looking for their first win since 2012.
There are two Australians in the limited field event this week, Queenslanders Karrie Webb and Katherine Kirk. Webb is the best placed at even par after posting three birdies mixed with three bogeys in her opening round. Webb shares 40th place heading into Friday. Kirk is a further two shots back and tied for 61st position. Starting on the back nine, Kirk posted seven pars and two bogeys to make the turn at two-over-par, 38. On the front nine, her back nine, she offset another two bogeys with two birdies.
Lewis began her round with an eagle on the first hole at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course on her way to a 29 on the front nine but came back down to earth on the back nine.
“There are tough holes that if you get on the wrong side of it,” Lewis said. “I mean, we misjudged the wind on 13 and got on the wrong side of the hole, and then made a couple bad decisions there on 18. You know, it happens on this golf course. You get short sided, you’re going to make a bogey. Just try to minimize the damage.”
Lewis, who has finished in the top five of this event in each of the last three years, is feeling strong early this season and that may strike fear into opposing players.
“I was pleased coming out today with the ball striking,” Lewis said. ”That was something those first two events that wasn’t quite there. Pleased with the way I hit it. Put a new driver in the back this week and was pretty pleased with that, too. I’m excited about the rest of the week.”
Prior to 2015, Tseng has played the Honda LPGA Thailand seven times and seven times she has finished in the top-7 including back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012.
“I always love here,” Tseng said. “I have so many friends out here and the fans out here always give me great support. I feel like coming back here always start of the season and I feel fresh and give me good energy. We play on this great golf course. I think it kind of suits my game. It’s good for the long hitter out here.”