Yani Tseng began her home event with a 4-under 68 to join Ai Miyazato of Japan with a one shot lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s inaugural Sunrise Taiwan Championship on Thursday.
The 22-year-old Tseng overcame early nerves in front of home fans to finish strongly and match Miyazato after the Japanese player started with four birdies over the front nine.
SUNRISE TAIWAN CHAMPIONSHIP
The Sunrise Taiwan Championship is the third stop in the LPGA Tour's autumn Asian Swing, which also includes events in South Korea, Malaysia and Japan.
“I saw so many fans on the first hole and I was nervous. I asked my caddie, ‘What should I do?”’ Tseng said. “I told myself to relax.”
The seventh-ranked Miyato birdied the par-5 18th to rally from a bogey-4 at the 16th as gusting wind forced cautious play and low tee shots.
“I grew up in a windy place so I really like to play in this wind,” Miyazato said. “Today it wasn’t too bad with the wind, but still just to make sure I’m trying to hit the fairways, hit the greens, trying to play really simple out there.”
Americans Jennifer Song and Morgan Pressel and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and all trailed following rounds of 69 in the gusty conditions.
A further four players were two shots behind at the Sunrise Golf and Country Club where the winner will take home $300,000 from the total purse of $2 million.