American Alison Lee and China’s Xi Yu Lin emerged co-leaders at today’s opening round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia 2015, carding six- under-par 65s to lead the 75-woman star-studded field at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club. While Lee shot five birdies on her way out, with a further two on the back nine against a lone bogey on the 17th, Lin also equalled her American counterpart’s total of seven birdies with three on the front nine and four on the back with a bogey at the closing hole.
Both currently lead the standings by one shot over the quartet consisting Chella Choi, Michelle Wie, defending champ Shanshan Feng and Yani Tseng. “It’s always good to start off with a good number and be on the leader board. There is still a lot of golf left so anything can happen, but definitely happy with my round today. Started strong, always good to start strong, but I have to be able to finish strong if I want to do well,” said the 20-year-old Lee, who’s playing her rookie year on the LPGA Tour. “I just feel like I was putting really well. I got a brand new set of clubs, so I hit a couple shots a little here and there, but I was making a lot of the good putts. I think I made a really good like 30-, 40-footer on one of the holes for birdie, so definitely my putting was on today,” she added.A visibly delighted Lin said: “Well, this is my second year playing this tournament, and last year I was sick the first two rounds so I didn’t play very well. Last year I finished pretty good, so I know I can play well on this course. I’m happy.”
Meanwhile, Kelly Tan led the local challenge on one-under-par 70 to finish the day in tied 22nd : “Played great all day. Ball striking’s been really good. Just didn’t really have those putts going in the first few holes. But on the back nine everything really started to come back together, and I was really pleased because I was staying patient all round. Just happy that the results are coming, starting to show,” said Malaysia’s top-ranked player, who produced three birdies on the 8th, 15th and 17th and two bogeys on the 3rd and 9th.
The four remaining Malaysian Angels did not get off to the greatest of starts today, with Cindy Lee-Pridgen tied at 59th on three-over-par 74, Michelle Koh tied at 71st on six-over-par 77, amateur Nur Durriyah Damian on eight-over-par 79 and Ainil Bakar at nine-over-par 80. A three-hour weather delay saw the tournament being suspended at 1.27pm with play resuming at 4.32pm. Off course, the tournament lived up to it’s billing as Malaysia’s most fun golf tournament, with spectators enjoying a host of off-course entertainment, including the KL Food Truck Festival, the new Courtyard marquee, Konica Minolta Chip-4-Charity and a shopping bonanza in the Sponsors Village.