Sun Young-Yoo said that “pretty much everything” worked as the South Korean surged into a one-shot lead after the first round of the Blue Bay LPGA in Hainan yesterday.
Sun shot a seven-under-par 65 at Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Club on the southern Chinese island with compatriot Park Sung-Hyun, the new number one, in tied ninth, three shots off the lead.
“Pretty solid overall. I saw a lot of positive things in myself today, so hopefully I can get it going,” Sun, who has two wins on the LPGA Tour, told LPGA.com after her lowest round of the season.
Sun leads by one over China’s Xiang Sui, who shot a six-under-par 66 with just one bogey, and in tied third was a group of six golfers. Park Sung-Hyun, the first rookie in LPGA Tour history to earn top spot in the rankings, was at four-under. “Before I teed off this morning, at the first tee, I received a lot of congratulation texts from friends and family,” Park said after her first round as the top player in the world.
“I was a little bit concerned about going into the first round, I thought I might be nervous going through this round. “But at the first tee, hitting my first shot, I felt comfortable, and the rest of the round was much more comfortable than I anticipated. So it was no problem for me.”
Leading scores after the first round
65 - Sun Young-Yoo (KOR)
66 - Xiang Sui (CHN)
67 - Ashleigh Buhai (RSA), Choi Na-Yeon (KOR), Lee Jeong-Eun (KOR), Pernilla Lindberg (SWE), Lee-Anne Pace (RSA), Lizette Salas (USA)
68 - Chien Peiyun (TPE), Austin Ernst (USA), Azahara Munoz (ESP), Park Sung-Hyun (KOR)
69 - M. J. Hur (KOR), Alison Lee (USA), Alena Sharp (CAN), Feng Shanshan (CHN), Ariya Jutanugarn (THA)
Kiradech revels after shedding kilos
Thailand’s top-ranked Kiradech Aphibarnrat has already shed close to 20 kilograms and given away dozens of shirts and trousers as he continues on a massive weight-reduction campaign that has seen tangible benefits to his form. The European Tour website once listed Kiradech’s weight as 120 kilograms but that was some four months ago before the Bangkok-born Golfer decided to lose weight. The 28-year-old currently weighs 108 kilograms with a goal of getting down to 105 kilograms. This decision has been prompted by a move at the start of the season to work with renowned England-born coach Peter Cowen.
“I just thought now that I am working with Peter that it would be an ideal time to lose some weight and get myself stronger,” he said.
“I feel that when I can get my swing to the position Peter and I are working towards then I can keep trying to lose more weight. All I am doing to watching closely what I do eat and try to eat more healthier foods while I have started working out and that is something I have never undertaken before.
“I have been on the Asian Tour and European Tour for 11 years without walking into any sort of gym whatever and wouldn’t know what a treadmill is.
“So, I have started going to the gym back home with my good friends who I grew up with and I do feel everything is going the right way.”
Kiradech’s weight-loss program has certainly kept his clothing attire and sponsors busy given the large number of shirts he says he has sought only to find a fortnight later the shirts are far too big for him.
“Losing so much weight has meant I have dozens of new shirts and trousers that no longer fit me but then my father is happy as he is the same weight I was before I started losing weight,” he said smiling.
Kiradech will this week tee-up in European Tour’s Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City in South Africa.
It will be his 10th event in a marathon run of 11 weeks and a journey that has taken Kiradech to the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Holland, Portugal, Britain, Italy, China, Turkey and now South Africa.
In this time, he has enjoyed three top-10s including finishing runner-up in the Italian Open and then last week sharing the lead heading to the last round of the Turkish Airlines Open before ending tied sixth. The efforts see Kiradech lying 19th on the Race to Dubai and already assured of ending the European Tour season next week in Dubai inside the top-30 to automatically qualify for next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie. “The way I have been playing the last three months or so is really awesome,” he said.
“I am getting really comfortable with my swing since working with Peter and the move to working with him has been great for my game.
“Losing all this weight has made me feel so much better and stronger walking the Golf course and before I used to feel very tired but in getting stronger as I am, I am recovering much quicker than I used to.”
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