Defending champion Mizuki Hashimoto displayed her mastery of the greens to the full as she moved into the lead after the second round of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship on Friday.
The 20-year-old from Miyagi showed her intent from the very first hole, pouring a 70-foot birdie putt into the middle of the cup, and kept up the positive momentum after that. She needed just 27 putts to go round the Waterside Course of Siam Country Club and carded seven birdies with a solitary bogey.
Hashimoto, a second-year student at the Tohoku Fukushi University (which has produced champions like Hideki Matsuyama and Takumi Kanaya), posted a six-under-par 66 to move to a nine-under- par total of 135, one ahead of Korea’s Jiyoo Lim. The 17-year-old added a second straight round of four-under-par 68.
Chinese Taipei’s Ting-Hsuan Huang (69) is alone in third place at six-under-par, followed by a three-way tie for fourth place between Thailand’s Suvichaya Vinijchaitham (68), Philippine’s Rianne Mikhaela Malixi (70) and Australian Kelsey Bennett (72).
The highest-ranked Thai player in the field, Natthakritta Vongtaveelap, reached eight-under-par in her round at one stage but dropped four shots in three holes late in her round for a 73 that saw her drop to tied seventh place alongside overnight leader Malaysia’s Liyana Durisic.
Love-in with WAAP
Hashimoto loves playing in the top Asia-Pacific events. Apart from her WAAP victory in Abu Dhabi last year, she was also the individual champion in the Queen Sirikit Cup, the team championship of the region, when it was played in Singapore earlier this year.
“The long putts here are very difficult but I seem to be reading them very well today,” said the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR) number 16.
“I am happy with the way I played over the first two days. I don’t really care too much that I am on top of the leaderboard. I am just going to play as aggressively as possible during the weekend.”