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Thai teenager Kultida Pramphun regains lead at China LPGA Tour Q-School

(Xinhua)    11:13, January 18, 2020

Kultida Pramphun moved back to the top of the leaderboard at the CLPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament on Friday as the Thai teenager shot a four-under 68 for a one stroke lead through three rounds in Hainan Island.

The 19-year-old Kultida, the first round leader, is 12-under with one round to play at The Dunes at Shenzhou Golf Club West Course.

Chinese amateur Yin Ruoning continued to impress in carding her second consecutive round of five-under 67 in windy conditions. Japan's Mana Shinozaki, who recorded a hole-in-one at the 173-yard sixth hole, was three shots back after a 67, one shot ahead of compatriot Riri Sadoyama, the halfway leader who came in with a disappointing 74.

With the 36-hole cut set at eight-under par following play on Thursday, the 144-player field has been reduced to 82 players who are competing for the opportunity to get one of the 30 full-time playing cards on offer for the 2020 CLPGA Tour season.

Thai veteran Nontaya Srisawang (67) was five shots off the pace, tied for fifth with compatriot Arpichaya Yubol (68) and Japan's Natsumi Nakanishi (67). Patcharajutar Kongkraphan, the former US LPGA Tour regular, was one shot back after shooting 71.

Kultida, who turned pro last year and won the Singha-Sat Championship on the Thai domestic tour in March, started the day two shots behind Sadoyama and quickly went to work with birdies on the first two holes. After a bogey four at the sixth hole, her only dropped shot, she finished strongly with an eagle three at the 486-yard 14th and another birdie at the par-three 17th hole.

"It was windy today but it didn't affect my game. My putter was not good but my shooting was going very well today," said the Pathum Thani teenager. "I am very relaxed now and tomorrow I will stick with the plan of focusing on my own game."

Yin, an 18-year-old national team player from Shanghai, started the day four strokes off the lead. Demonstrating the confidence that helped her win seven tournaments last year, she held steady in the wind for a bogey-free round featuring five birdies.

"There were no big mistakes today and I was bogey-free again so I was very happy. At the (361-yard) 11th hole, my tee shot was so short but luckily I made a birdie with a chip-in on the third shot."

Shinozaki kept herself within sight of the lead with her hole-in-one, the third of her career. For her perfect shot with a 5-iron, she received a carton of Maotai Golf Liquor. Her round also included four birdies and three bogeys.

"On the sixth hole, the wind was blowing from the left and the ball went wide to the left too. When I hit it I felt the ball should be in a good position. When I was walking to the hole I didn't see my ball on the green and then I found it, to my surprise, in the cup," said the 22-year-old who turned pro in 2017.

Players finishing between 31st and 40th this week will receive entry into a handful of selected tournaments for the 2020 season.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liu Ning, Bianji)

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