Chinese teenager Yuting Shi lead after the first round of the Xiamen International Ladies Open at Orient Golf & Country Club in China.
Yuting shot an opening round -7 under par 65 to sit on top of the Xiamen International Ladies Open leaderboard in the co-sanctioned event between the Ladies European Tour and China LPGA Tour.
This event nearly didn’t happen after Typhoon Meranti blasted the picturesque Orient Golf Club a month ago destroying 10,000 trees, Yuting spoke about the course;
“The course is different this year. Many trees have gone and the ground is wet so the distances feel longer.”
“Today I hit some very good approach shots and had a lot of birdie chances within 15 feet. I made half of them, which was the key.”
Elina Nummenpaa from Finland, and Ploychompoo Wirairungreung from Thailand, share second place at -5 under par following their first rounds of 67.
Elina, was playing in China for the first time, she also mentioned the super storm;
“I heard that a lot of trees are down compared to last year, but I really like the layout of the course and I think it suits me. It’s in surprisingly good condition.”
“The fairways were really wet on Sunday and Monday when I got here, but they’ve been getting better and better all the time and today the greens were much better too.”
“It makes a difference if you are on the fairway or in the rough.”
Jia Yun Li from China and Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras from Thailand are tied in fourth place at -4 under par.
Jia said the course was easier now a lot of the tree’s were gone;
“I think this course suits my style. It’s quite narrow and short so I have the ability to do well. Some of the trees were destroyed so the course is less difficult.”
At -3 under par are Ssu-Chia Cheng and Ai-Chen Kuo from Taipei, China’s Liqing Chen, England’s Sophie Walker, Hyeon Seo Kang of South Korea, Amelia Lewis USA, and Ajira Nualraksa of Thailand.