Eun-Hee Ji sits atop a packed leaderboard at 6-under par and holds the opening-round lead at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by CTBC. The Republic of Korea native battled harsh weather conditions to finish three-shots ahead of Sei Young Kim, Megan Khang and Ariya Jutanugarn with a group, including Lydia Ko, within five shots of the lead.
Ji turned in a bogey-free scorecard and is looking to pick up her first win in 2017 at Miramar Resort and Country Club. She had six birdies on the day to finish at 6-under, hitting 10 of 14 fairways. Coming off a T-73 at the KEB Hana Bank Championship, Ji said she didn’t play well in Korea, so spent a lot of time on her backswing heading into this week’s event.
“I changed my swings a little bit. That one I worked on a lot. My caddie is helping me a lot. It’s like more information for wind and club choosing. That’s everything,” explained Ji. “I think just a good day. I’m just more relaxed with the weather. That makes it a lot easier for when I play.”
Jutanugarn carded a 3-under par 69 to sit three shots back of leader Ji and is happy with her day given the challenging weather conditions.
“I feel pretty good. I never think I'm going to play okay in these conditions, and I had so much fun today,” said Jutanugarn. “I played with So Yeon Ryu and Shanshan Feng.”
"Really tough day today because we got a lot of rain, and a couple of holes, really gusting wind. It was tough to judge distance and how to take the club. Me and my caddie were talking about the right way, and yeah, we did a great job."
Khang was paired with Stacy Lewis and Sarah Jane Smith in the opening, posted a 3-under par, 69, despite terrible weather conditions and said it helped to play with a good group.
“I think that definitely helped get this round going. You play better when you're in good company I think, so that was good.,” said Khang. “I just tried to stay patient. Had like a little bump in the road but (my caddie) just kept telling me to stay patient, and birdies will come, and if not, pars are great. Even in these conditions, I think it's still a great score.”