Hur leads in rainy Arkansas

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South Korea’s Mi Jung Hur jumped to the top of the leaderboard at the NW Arkansas Championship after 14 holes, but was unable to finish her round due to bad weather and light.

Hur kicked off her round with three birdies on first, fifth and eighth before she began to heat up with four consecutive birdies from the 10th to 13th hole. But, her birdie blitz was cut short when play was suspended due to darkness.

Play was also delayed twice by rain and lightning on Friday, but a number of golfers were still able to finish their rounds, including Spain’s Azahara Munoz, who is currently tied second with Brittany Lincicome and Anna Nordqvist as they all hit first-round 65s. South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi is also tied second, but has yet to finish her round.

Munoz, who underwent surgery to remove a benign tumour in her left hand in March, was in top form as she made seven birdies, including three in a row from the seventh to the ninth hole, and one bogey.

It was a welcome return to form following several poor showings.

“Last week, I finally said ‘This is it, it’s not going to happen again,'” Munoz said. “I know I’m a good golfer, so eventually it’s going to come. Obviously, it’s going to take a little bit of time, but I know it’s going to come back.”

“It’s been a rough year; I was not having fun,” Munoz added. “This sounds stupid, but I almost felt that I was really unlucky that this happened to me… (It) was just six weeks, but for some reason I still got really down on myself.”

Lincicome and Nordqvist both enjoyed bogey-free rounds as they recorded six birdies apiece.

Sitting one stroke behind them are Ryann O’Toole, who carded a 66, and Mariajo Uribe and Gerina Piller, both of whom have yet to complete their first round.

World number one Inbee Park, who is currently tied 35th, opened with a two-under par 69, which consisted of four birdies and two bogeys.

World number two Lydia Ko was tied 54th after she made four birdies and three bogeys during her round of 70.

Meanwhile, defending champion Stacy Lewis remains in contention to retain her title despite not being able to finish her round. The 30-year-old registered four birdies and a bogey to sit at tied ninth on the leaderboard after 15 holes.

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