Buhai 8 back as Tavatanakit leads Honda LPGA by 3

Ashleigh Buhai made a three-putt par on the 18th on Friday which left her in a four-way share of 10th after the opening round of the Honda LPGA Championship in Chonburi, Thailand.

It would have made no difference to her position – she would have been solo 10th instead of in a share of that spot – but had she carded a 68 instead of the 69 she did, she would have been a shot closer to leader Patty Tavatanakit. The local major champion is relishing her time at home and carded a second-successive 64 to move to 16-under at the halfway mark, three clear of her 18-year-old compatriot, Atthaya Thitikul.

Buhai moved to eight-under for the tournament, eight adrift. She had the most perfect of starts, making three birdies in a row from the first, but she had a double-bogey six on the fifth, which slowed her progress. She regained one of those lost strokes with a birdie on six, but bogeys on eight and 11 saw her slip back to five-under while the leaders were pulling clear. She picked up three shots coming in, with birdies on 12, 13 and 15.

She had an eagle putt on 18, which slid past the hole on the left, and with just too much pace to leave her with a comfortable distance for birdie coming back. She missed and was disappointed to have to tap in for par.

In contrats, Tavatanakit, the 2021 ANA Inspiration champion, sealed her lead with an eagle on the final hole. She said making that 12-foot eagle putt only boosted her confidence heading into Saturday. The 21-year-old has only carded four bogeys in her last 90 holes, so she will be tough to catch.

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