Simi Mehra lying 18th at Thai Ladies Open golf

February 20th, 2008 - 7:10 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Tourism Authority of Thailand

Bangkok, Feb 20 (IANS) Big-hitting Simi Mehra overcame two double bogeys as she returned an even par card of 72 in the first round of the $120,000 Thailand Ladies Open presented by Tourism Authority of Thailand on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour. Simi, a former regular on the LPGA Tour, also shot six birdies and two bogeys, as she was placed tied 18th after the first round.

Thailand’s teen prodigy Pornanong Phatlum reeled in eight birdies at the Vintage Golf Club to take a three-shot lead in the opening round.

Two other two 19-year-olds — South Korea’s Lee Il-hee and compatriot Nam Min-ji — share the second spot after checking out with 4-under 68.

Simi starting on the tenth, had three pars before she birdied the 13th and 14th. But after that she bogeyed 15th, birdied the 16th and then double bogeyed the 17th and dropped another shot on 18th to 37. On her second nine, she had birdies on third, seventh and eighth but closed with a bogey on ninth for a 72.

Also starting from the 10th tee, Pornanong, the 19-year-old from the northern city of Chiangmai, claimed she played aggressively despite fairly strong winds to post 7-under 65 that included eight birdies. Only a three-putt on the par-3 11th hole spoilt an otherwise flawless round for Pornanong.

Pornanong, who won the Hong Kong Ladies Masters in 2006 as an amateur player, hopes to maintain her form and become the first Thai professional to win the Thailand Ladies Open in 1987.

Leading Round 1 scores:

65: Pornanong Phatlum (Tha)
68: Lee Il-hee (Kor), Nam Min-ji (Kor)
69: Cho Mi-hyun (Kor), Park Mi-ji (Kor)
70: Libby Smith (USA), Wang Chun (Chn) Mika Takushima (Jpn)
71: Ye Liying (Chn), Chutichai Porani (Tha), Nontaya Srisawang (Tha), Park jeong-ah (Kor), Jang Ji-hae (Kor), Chen Kuan Pei (Tpe), Tiffany Tavee (USA), Kim Hye-youn (Kor)
72: Thang Thi Nhung (Vie), Li Wen Lin (Tpe), Frances Bondad (Aust), Smriti Mehra (Ind), Megumi Yamanaka (Jpn), Narisrar Kerdit (Tha), Kim Bo-mi (Kor), Park Cho-hee (Kor), Han Hyun-jung (Kor), Kim Hae-jung (Kor), Jaruporn Palakawong (Tha).

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