Baldwin and Lee set early pace at Changbai Shan Wanda Open
Jilin, China June 29: American Mark Baldwin set the early pace by carding a five-under-par 67 to share the first round lead with Chinese Taipei’s Lee Shih Hung at the Changbai Shan Wanda Open on Thursday.China’s Chen Dinggen spearheaded the local charge when he returned with a 68 to take a share of third place with Australia’s Lincoln Tighe at the￥1.35 million event, which is the third stop on the China Tour.
Like his opening round in last week’s China Tour’s event in Beijing, Baldwin once again took pole position with another assured performance.
“My game is starting to head in the right direction and I’m feeling very comfortable on at the top of the leaderboard. This is my second year playing on the China Tour. It has been great so far,” said Baldwin.
The American, who finished in 19th place on the China Tour Order of Merit last year, marked his card with eight birdies, one bogey and a double-bogey six on 18 which he attributed to a bad swing.
“I made one bad swing on 18 and when you make a bad swing here, you’re going to have difficulty finding the ball, which usually makes it a double bogey.
“Unfortunately I made that one big swing and made that double. But other than that, I played pretty well,” said Baldwin.
Tighe meanwhile rediscover his form after missing the cut in his first two events on the China Tour.
The Australian was pleased to see himself back in a commanding position especially against the strong field gathered at the picturesque Jilin White Birch Club.
“It was good to finish with a birdie on 18. My performances have not been that good but I feel like my game is good and I just need to wait for my time,” said the 27-year-old.
“I came here (China) in 2014, 2016 and this year. The field is getting stronger every year and there are more international players. The Chinese players are getting stronger so it’s good to play here,” said Tighe.
Tighe would have to wary of the Chinese contingent as Chen could put a dent to his title aspirations if he continues to play true to form.
“My form has been good and I’m feeling confident about the week. I’ve been hitting the ball well and my putting has been good. I just need to be more careful with my tee shots,” said Chen.