2017 Order of Merit winner Parinda Phokan fired an unblemished 66 to share the lead with Wanchana Poruangrong after the first round of the Bt4 million Thailand LPGA Masters at the Panya Indra Golf Course in Bangkok on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old from Khon Kaen carded five birdies in a brilliant front nine and added a sixth coming home in the season-ending Thai LPGA event also sanctioned by the Australia and China Tours.
“I hit 18 greens and had several birdie chances. Everything about my game was perfect. But the highlight were two great birdies on the eighth and the ninth holes, where I holed from three and seven feet respectively,” said Parinda. who won three Thai LPGA events last year and one this year in Nakhon Ratchasima.
The local rising star has spent more time on the Korea LPGA Tour this year and she says that has given her a lot of experience heading into her home event this week.
“I have had moderate results in Korea but I have gained things that really benefit my game. I feel quite relaxed and really enjoyed golf out there for no reason,” added Parinda, who is treating this tournament as a warm-up before the second stage of the Japan LPGA Qualifying School in November.
“Every tournament I enter I always want to win. I have to stick to my game and stay focused to keep myself in a good position in the next two days,” added Parinda.
Wanchana, 24 from Surin, also had a bogey-free round, carding three birdies on each of the front and back nines.
“The condition of the greens and the flag positions are quite tough but my putts really helped me out there,” said Wanchana.
“I will try my best to win this week but I won’t let myself feel the pressure.”
Two shots behind in third was Waralee Atcharerk after a bogey-free 68.