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Local bet Ardina inside Top 5 after Day 1 of HSBC women's golf qualifier

Dottie Ardina is joint fourth after one, but she has a lot of work to do on Thursday. Matthew Brown/LPGA (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Dottie Ardina is in a good position to win the Asian qualifier of the HSBC Women's World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.

After the opener of the two-day event on Wednesday, the Filipina golfer is tied for fourth place with Genevieve Ling of Malaysia with just five strokes behind running leader Kanphanitnan Muagkhumsakul of Thailand.

However, Ardina needs to improve convincingly in the second round on Thursday as she is two-over-par 74 after Round 1.

Meanwhile, Muagkhumsakul recovered from a Hole 1 bogey to finish with a three-under-par 69 on Wednesday to claim the top spot.

“After the bogey on the first hole, I thought maybe I won’t play well today. But I just tried to par the next few holes. I thought it’s alright if I play +1 today, but it ended up being a good round for me in the end,” the Thai golfer said.

Atthaya Thitikul, the heavy favorite to win the qualifier, struggled after Round 1, falling to a three-way tie with Xiao Wen Yin and Shannon Tan for sixth place at three-over-par 75.

The other Filipina in the field, Pauline Del Rosario, is in 10th place with a five-over-par 77.

The winner of the said qualifier will join the main tournament of the HSBC Women's World Championship also taking place at the Sentosa Golf Club from Feb. 28-March 3 headline by defending champion Michelle Wie and world number one Ariya Jutanugarn.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno