Arpichaya Defies Wet Condition to Lead at SAT-TWT Open in Rayong
Three-time runner Arpichaya Yubol launched her campaign in the eighth SAT-TWT Open Road to World Ranking in style following an unblemished opening round 68 at the Rayong Green Valley Country Club on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old from Saraburi, runner-up in the first two SAT-TWT Opens last year and again in the previous circuit at the Kabinburi Sport Club three weeks ago, crafted three birdies at the front nine and one more after the turn.
She carried a stroke lead ahead of the chasing pack which included Trichat Cheenglab, Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong, Nanthikarn Raksachat, Chayanit Wangmahaporn, Cholcheva Wongras, Pannarai Meesom-us, JackieChulya and Kornkanok Sungpankhao.
Despite the dampened condition at the par 72 6,378-yard landscape due to seasonal rains, Arpichaya proceeded through her round without a bogey.
“As the course was soaked, the ball didn’t roll at all, making it tougher to hit the approach shots. I’m quite happy to hit under-par under a condition like this,” said Arpichaya who just celebrated her second victory of the year a fortnight ago in the Thailand Mixed event in Lumphun.
“It all came down to who came up with better lop shots. I’m quite satisfied with the level that I’m playing these days. But I don’t set a goal to win this week. I just want to sharpen my skills before the second stage of the LPGA Q-School (in October),” added Arpichaya who is trying to earn a card on the biggest women’s golf tour on the globe.
“With the results that I have been producing over the past couple of months, I’m quite confident that I will make it. I just have to keep doing what I have been doing lately,” she said.
Among the eight players with three under-par-72 was 17-year-old Pannarai who shot four birdies against a lone bogey on the 15th hole.
“I just played one shot at a time and tried not to think too much. I have been working with a mental coach, so I have been playing with less pressure for quite some time,” said Pannarai who has yet to celebrate a breakthrough win on a local major tour.
“My game plan is to hit the fairways and the greens. I also have enter the second round pressure free and enjoy the golf game,” the teenager said.
Kalasin-based Kornkanok, 16, was another promising player to surge into contention after she fired five birdies against two bogeys.
“I just stuck to my game plan and didn’t bother to look at the scoreboard. My putter really helped me out there as the wet condition made it a bit tough for us this week. To be frank, I was surprised to hit under-par today,” the teenager said.