Mathew in the mix
A run of five birdies in seven holes has put Catriona Matthew firmly in contention after day one of the Kia Classic.
A run of five birdies in seven holes put Scot Catriona Matthew firmly in contention after the opening round of the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic in California.
British Open champion Matthew started her round with a par on the 10th, before claiming birdies at 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 17th holes.
A bogey at her final hole, the par-four ninth, was her only blemish as she finished a day dominated by Korean golfers with a share of third on four under par.
South Korean Na On Min topped the first day leaderboard after a bogey-free, six-under round of 66, one stroke ahead of compatriotr Na Yeon Choi.
Two more Koreans, Seon Hwa Lee and Inbee Park, both hit rounds of 68 to lie level with Matthew, one stroke better than Amanda Blumenherst and In-Kyung Kim.
Kia, the title sponsor, is a Korean-based auto manufacturer and presenting sponsor J Golf is from the same country. Clearly it helped inspire the strong Korean contingent playing in the event.
“I’m just so proud of it,” Min said. “I was so proud being Korean this week. Whole week I kept saying these are my country’s companies. It was nice. I hope it’s going to be continued, yeah.”
Japanese star Ai Miyazato, the first LPGA Tour player in 44 years to sweep the first two events of a season, had a poor start with a 2-over 74 and was in an 18-way tie for 59th.
No LPGA player has won the first three tournaments in a season.
Michelle Wie, trying for her second win as a professional, closed with three bogeys in her last six holes and was in a 13-way tie for 24th at 72.
Women’s World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa was in a five-way tie for eighth on 70.
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