LPGA: Peiyun Chien claims solo lead with 64 in steamy Thailand

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Peiyun Chien claimed the solo lead with an opening-round 64 at LPGA Thailand on Thursday, fending off Sei Young Kim of South Korea and triple-digit temperatures at Siam Country Club Old Course in Chonburi.

Chien tied her career-best round at 8-under and leads by two shots over Kim, whose 65 was enough to stand ahead of a pack tied for third. The group includes Mi Hyang Lee, Jenny Shin and Hyo Joo Kim of South Korea, Patty Tavatanakit and Natthakritta Vongtaveelap of Thailand, Brooke Henderson of Canada, Ayaka Furue of Japan and Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden.

Chien teed off on No. 10 and caught fire with birdies on a pair of par-5s at No. 18 and No. 1 and eagled the seventh.

“I think (this course is) very easy to shot the good score. Everything can happen,” Chien said. “I just need to play every shot I can do and play best — every shot best.”

Kim is chasing career win No. 13 in her second event of the year. She last won in 2020.

“I wasn’t comfortable for couple holes beginning, and then after I missed — after I miss the putt and I had a bogey, I feel like more relax and just feel comfortable, just whatever, just play,” Kim said.

Tavatanakit notched a win on the Ladies European Tour at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, cruising to a seven-shot victory for her first professional win since the 2021 Chevron Championship.

Vongtaveelap, also a Thailand native, is playing on a sponsor’s exemption after an injury-riddled rookie season.

“This is my second year that I’m competing in this tournament. I feel honored to be invited to play in this tournament again. Well, for this year I feel, yeah, excited all the time. Yeah, so just prepare myself. And also my knee, yeah, I work out a lot before this week,” Vontaveelap said. “It’s tear on my left knee. On last year I play in LPGA and I take medical leave because of my knee, and now it’s getting better.”

–Field Level Media

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