Thai golfer leads home bet Chihiro Ikeda by one in Philippine Ladies Masters
Kanphanitnan Muangkhumaskul is off to a solid start at Alabang Country Club.

THAILAND’S Kanphanitnan Muangkhumaskul fired an eagle-aided three-under 69 to take the lead in the first round of the ICTSI Philippine Ladies Masters on Wednesday at the Alabang Country Club.

Muangkhumaskul led Chihiro Ikeda, who had a bogey-free 70, and of the Philippines and Taiwanese golfer Kuo Ai-Chen.

Lee Jeong Hwa of Korea, winner of two events co-sanctioned by the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour and Taiwan LPGA, got to three-under with six holes to play but fumbled with two bogeys to finish in joint fourth at 71.

Hsieh Yu-Ling of Taipei hit two birdies and one bogey to also submit a 71, which was matched by Thais Chorphaka Jaengkit and Chatprapa Siriprakob.

Symetra Tour player Mia Piccio bogeyed No. 8 and settled for a 72 in a tie with former LPGT Southlinks leg champion Hwang Ye-Nah of Korea, while LPGA Tour-bound Dottie Ardina birdied the 18th to salvage 73.

Cyna Rodriguez, three-time money list topnotcher in the LPGT, carded a 75 while Fil-Am Demi Runas limped with a 76 marred by a triple bogey on No. 15.

Third in the first two LPGT-TLPGA events at Splendido and Manila Southwoods, Muangkhumaskul put herself in early contention at Alabang with three straight birdies on her first nine.

She eagled No. 7 to negate her double-bogey mishap on the par-3 No. 6.

Ikeda also vowed to do better after struggling on the tricky greens.

“I just got lucky my long putts kept rolling in. I had a hard time reading the greens,” said Ikeda, who saved pars on the par-4 despite dumping her drive into the water hazard and on No. 14 after her approach shot hit a tree.

“I must play my best in the last two days. We’ll never know what will happen,” she added.

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