Thai teen takes charge in Hawaii
Last updated: 18th April 2013
Ariya Jutanugarn carded an eight-under par round of 64 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Lotte Championship on Wednesday.
The 17-year-old Thai player qualified for the event by virtue of winning a qualifying event, but equalled the tournament record with a round that featured only one bogey.
She turned on six-under after making six birdies on the front nine, before making a bogey on the 10th. She responded with an eagle on the long 14th and then made another birdie on the next hole to equal her personal best round on the Tour.
"I have very good front nine, but I just wanted to make more birdies," the teenager said after her round. "My record is eight under and I want it to be lower."
In second place after rounds of 65 are Suzann Pettersen - who made nine birdies and two bogeys in her round - and Hee Kyung Seo.
The Norwegian Pettersen is a 10-time winner on the LPGA Tour and won the event in China earlier this year.
"I went out today and tried to be really aggressive," said Pettersen, who finished in third place at the Kraft Nabisco Championship a fortnight ago.
"My dad was so disappointed after the Kraft that I left all the putts short. He's like, 'You got to hit the ball past the hole to make putts.'"
Seo, who won the Kia Classic back in 2010, had a faultless round which included seven birdies.
Two players were tied for fourth place after rounds of 66 - the 17-year-old South Korean Hyo Joo Kim, and Danielle Kang.
World number two Stacey Lewis, the winner of consecutive events this year in Singapore and Phoenix this year, carded a 67 and finished tied with with defending champion Ai Miyazato, Beatriz Recari, So Yeon Ryu, Jane Park, Rebecca Lee-Bentram, Jane Rah and Gerina Piller.
Seven-time major champion finished on a three-under par 69, while world number one Inbee Park completed a round of 70 alongside Natalie Gulbis and Michelle Wie.
World number three Yani Tseng ended win a 71.
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