Former LPGA member Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong got off to a great start in the second circuit of the Bt2.5 million “SAT-TWT Open” Road to World Ranking following an unblemished round of 66 at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Chonburi on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old player, whose best finish on the LPGA was at tied seventh in the 2018 Kingsmill Championship, produced four birdies plus an eagle on the ninth hole to become the opening round leader at the par 72 6,328 yard layout.
“I didn’t use my driver today but I did pretty well with my 3 iron on the tee shots,” said Sherman, who won a local tournament in Hua Hin in late September. “However, I still wasn’t happy with my game as there were some erratic shots that I needed to fix. I have to work on my drive and fix something on my swing,” added the player from Bueng Kan province.
Despite her good start, Sherman did not want to aim too high this week as she prefers to take one round at a time.
“My goal for every tournament is to stay focused and stick to my routine. I normally don’t (look for) a particular position in a tournament. I’d rather focus on producing high percentage shots,” added Sherman, who has been playing at Phoenix Gold for seven years.
Following a stroke behind was the up-and-coming Chanettee Wannasaen after the 18-year-old fired seven birdies (holes No 2-4, 9, 12, 14 and 16) against two bogeys (holes No 5 and 13).
“It was a good round based on the way I putted. In fact, I was putting poorly coming to this tournament. I’m happy to get my momentum back even though I should have shot a lower score,” said the teenage star from Chiang Mai who finished runner-up in the previous TWT event at the Lake View Resort and Golf Club in Petchaburi two months ago.
“Scoring five under par isn’t so bad. I hope to make more putts in the next two days,” added Chanettee, who won the qualifying event of the LPGA Thailand earlier this year.
Red-hot Arpichaya Yubol, who has bagged three titles this season (two local tours and one Thailand mixed event), carded seven birdies against three bogeys for an opening 68 to land at lone third.
The second stop of the SAT-TWT Open with a total prize money of Bt2.5 million is held under strict protocols by the province and the government against Covid-19, which must be respected by players, guests and tournament officials. Players and officials must produce negative results of their Swap Test or ATK within 72 hours of the registration day in order to take part in the competition. Furthermore, players and their company must be fully vaccinated with two doses against Covid-19.
The SAT-TWT Open is a stroke play tournament of 54 holes (18 for each round). An approximate number of 114 players are to compete in 36 holes with the top 60 moving forward to the final round. The winner will be rewarded with a handsome cheque of Bt367,500.
The SAT-TWT Open is supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand, National Sports Development Fund, SCB Bank, P. Overseas Steel Public Company Limited and Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club. Fans can follow updates of the tournament on THAI WPGA Facebook Page or at www.thaiwpga.com