The first round of the IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty saw an hour and 40-minute weather delay (2:55-4:35 PM ET), with the entire field unable to finish due to darkness. Play will resume at 8:00 AM ET on Saturday, with the second round beginning at 7:45 AM. Before play was suspended for the day, players were able to post solid scores, with one player opening a gap between her and the field.
Arpichaya Yubol is playing in her first Epson Tour event this week, and she made a statement in her first 18 holes on tour. The 21-year-old from Thailand put up four birdies on her front nine, with five birdies on her back nine, to card a bogey-free 62 (-9).
"Today was fun for me, and this tournament is my first on the Epson Tour, so I'm very excited. My short game is nice, and it makes the birdies easy," said Yubol. "My chipping, when I missed the green, saved the hole, making me more confident. I was able to play every hole smoothly and have fun."
Yubol's round came to life on the sixth hole. From the sixth hole on, the rookie found a hot streak for nine holes, making seven birdies in that span. The putts were dropping for Yubol in her first round, but she knows she has work to do tomorrow, as it will be challenging to put together two low rounds in a row.
"Tomorrow, I will play with the same plan, but I don't think I can do it [again] like today because it's a new day, and every day everything changes," said Yubol. "I'm just going to focus on myself, have fun with my friends and play with happiness."
Do not expect the hot weather to affect Yubol's game heading into round two. The Thai native is used to the hot temperatures, which gives her a feeling of her home. So she will take her positive attitude and strong play into round two.
Jessica Peng will be one of the players at –5 (66) trying to chase down Yubol tomorrow during moving day. Peng found some life in her game on the back nine of her first round, signing for five birdies and one bogey for a closing 32. She is starting to find form making her last two cuts on the Epson Tour.
"I feel great. My confidence started building up last week when I was playing a tournament at home. I took my time for the last few days and worked on my irons," said Peng. "Today, I had to trust [my game]. You see how narrow the course is; you really don't have much space to miss. I did pretty good with my irons. That's a big improvement."
Roberta Liti is another player who finished her round at –5 (66). Liti started off her day fast by making three straight birdies. After that, the 27-year-old cooled down and played solid golf over the next 15 holes. There was only one blemish on her scorecard for round one, but she immediately bounced back with a birdie on the next hole.
"I started the round with three birdies, which gave me great momentum and a lot of confidence for the rest of the round," said Liti. "My #1 goal for the day was to have a lot of fun out there, and that helped me stay positive and continue the good playing all day."
Jenny Coleman rounds out the top-3, sharing a place of second with Peng and Liti at 5-under with one hole remaining in her first round. The California native will finish her opening 18 holes on Saturday morning.
Dorsey Addicks (-4, T5) on a strong first round:
“It’s pretty awesome to start off the tournament this way. I was ball striking the crap out of the course, hit a bunch of lasers and hit a bunch to a foot or two, so that always helps on the front nine when you’re striping it. On the back nine, it got hot, but I hung in there and tried to get in the clubhouse with as few mistakes as you can. I’ve been working really hard, and my game has been in a really good spot. It just hasn’t really shown up, so I’m stoked about today.”
Sophie Hausmann (-4, T5) on staying positive throughout the week:
"I’ve been here [living in Orlando] for a while, and I know what’s happening. Heading into the week, you need a good mix of being ready but being recovered as well, and I feel like I’m learning that these days. There are a couple things going on that keep me going this week, on and off the course, so it’s interesting to see if you have that little extra drive to really keep going, and that was my goal this week. So far, it’s working.”