Cho to the fore in weather-hit Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific

Ayean Cho / Photo by Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific

Korea’s Ayean Cho topped the leaderboard on seven-under-par after 14 holes in today’s weather-interrupted third round of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.

A five and a half hour suspension due to a heavy downpour and lightning activity in the afternoon saw 24 players unable to finish their third rounds at Sentosa’s New Tanjong Course. They will resume play at 7.20am tomorrow followed by the fourth and final round with no redraw.

Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul lies on six-under-par after 14 holes, level with Japan’s Yuna Nishimura who comepted 15 holes.

Cho, who started the day one behind Thitikul and another Korean Yunji Jeong, took the outright lead before rain stopped play at 12.40pm and held onto it after play resumed.

“Seeing my name on top of the leaderboard doesn’t mean too much because we haven’t finished the round. I feel a little bit sad because my rhythm and my shots were all good so I really didn’t want to stop,” Cho said.

Cho’s experience of pro events includes playing in the LPGA Volvik Championship and she was low amateur in the LPGA Tour’s New Zealand Women’s Open last October, while last month she won the Danny Lee Springfield Open in New Zealand and finished runner-up in the Australian Women’s Amateur. However, she has never played in a major championship.

“If I could win, this would be the biggest achievement in my career. And the fact I could win and play in two majors …. I’d feel like I can fly! I can’t find the right word to describe how happy I’d be,” said Cho.

Yuka Saso, the Philippines’ top-ranked amateur, made a major move with four birdies after 17 holes and is five-under overall, level with compatriot Lois Kaye Go, reigning Japan Women’s Amateur champion Yuka Yasuda and Jeong, who all had yet to finish their rounds.

Natasha Andrea Oon remains the best Malaysian player on four-over-par after 17 holes, followed by Liyana Durisic (+7, completed R3), Geraldine Wong (+17, completed R3) and Qistina Balqis Azhar (+19 after 17 holes).

The 72-hole stroke play event features 83 players representing 18 nations, with 48 players aged 18 years or under. The field includes 15 players from the World Amateur Golf Rankings’s top 100, comprising four from Korea, three from Japan, two each from Australia, Thailand and Chinese Taipei, and one each from China and the Philippines.

The winner will earn invitations to both the ANA Inspiration (29 March-1 April) at Mission Hills Country Club in California and the Ricoh Women’s British Open (2-5 August) at Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club in England, as well as next week’s 11th HSBC Women’s World Championship, also at Sentosa Golf Club.

The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship was developed by the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation (APGC) and The R&A to nurture talent and provide a pathway for Asia’s elite female amateurs to the international stage.

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