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Taipei: A total of eight players including two-time Asian Tour winners Chan Yih-shin of Chinese Taipei and Australian David Gleeson fired matching three-under-par 69s to share the first round lead at the Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) on Thursday.
Thailand’s Namchok Tantipokhakul and Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Chen-chih, who finished second on the Asian Development Tour’s Order of Merit, also signed for 69s to put themselves in contention for their maiden wins at the US$300,000 full field Asian Tour event.
Chan, who won his second Asian Tour title in Macau last month, continued his rich vein of form at the Linkou International Golf Club. Chan traded two birdies and a bogey in his opening back-nine to turn in 35. 
After marking his card with another birdie on the par-five first, he continued his birdie run on holes four and five before dropping another shot on the seventh hole. “My mental strength is improving after my win in Macau.
I used to rush into things previously but now I’ve learnt how to stay focused,” said Chan. “I’ve adopted a positive attitude and have constantly reminded myself to stay patient even after hitting a bad shot.
I guess that why I’m in a good position again,” added Chan. Gleeson rediscovered the form that led him to two Asian Tour victories in 2002 and 2008 after finding himself back among the leaders.
The Chinese Taipei-based Australian ended his run of five consecutive missed cuts with a runner-up finish in Macau last month. Since then he has played steadily and is looking forward to another good week in his adopted country where he currently lives with his Chinese Taipei wife and two children.
“It’s a good start for a Thursday. I’m sure everybody else left a few out there but I’m happy with the way I’ve started. The greens are what they are. They are actually quite good and you’ve got to take a lot of care when you read them,” said Gleeson. Namchok lived up to his nickname of ‘Lucky’ when he charged up the leaderboard after reaching the turn in 37 with one bogey on the par-four 13th. 
The 24-year-old Thai posted two birdies on holes one and three after the turn before moving to the top with an eagle-three on the par-five fourth. “It was a good round today. Not very eventful in his opening back-nine but I think I was lucky in my front-nine as I made it to four-under with two birdies and one eagle.
Hopefully it’ll turn out the same way tomorrow,” said Namchok Meanwhile Philippines’ Mars Pucay, searching for his maiden win on the Asian Tour, gave himself a huge confidence boost by staying a single shot back of the leaders in equal ninth place. The 41-year-old Filipino would have taken a share of the lead in the morning if he had not three-putted his closing ninth hole for bogey.
“I was about to get to three-under after the ninth hole but I missed my birdie putt from around three feet and only managed to get to two-under. It was a pity,” said Pucay, who was leading the pack after his fifth birdie on the par-five fourth but dropped two more shots on holes five and nine to slip back.
“I’ve to focus on hitting the fairways tomorrow because the greens are really hard on this golf course. You’ve to be on the fairways and be able to hit your second tee shot from there to give yourself birdie chances,” added Pucay.
Leading first round scores69 - HONG Chia-yuh (TPE), Namchok TANTIPOKHAKUL (THA), CHAN Yih-shin (TPE), LEE Cho-chuan (TPE), David GLEESON (AUS), CHEN Hao-sen (TPE), Chapchai NIRAT (THA), CHIANG Chen-chih (TPE)."70 - Thammanoon SRIROJ (THA), Mars PUCAY (PHI), LIN Wen-tang (TPE), Panuwat MUENLEK (THA), LIN Keng-chi (TPE), Elmer SALVADOR (PHI), LU Wen-teh (TPE), LU Wei-chih (TPE), CHEN Chung-cheng (TPE), Jonathan MOORE (USA), Simon GRIFFITHS (ENG), Pasamet POGAMNERD (THA), LIEN Chi-wei (TPE), Matt DOCKING (AUS)."71 - LIN Wen-ko (TPE), WANG Ter-chang (TPE), Adam GROOM (AUS), KHOR Kheng Hwai (MAS), Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA), Darren BECK (AUS), Iain STEEL (MAS), LU Tze-shyan (TPE), Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA)." Selected scores73 - Thaworn WIRATCHANT (THA)75 - JEONG Jin (KOR)
Photo - Asian Tour
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