Ko shares Phoenix lead

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko shares the lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix, Arizona.

The World No 1 carded her 21st consecutive sub-par round, a six-under par 66, and is joined at the top by Americans Kim Kaufman and Tiffany Joh, and Germany’s Sophia Popov.

The trio are a shot clear of Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn, Korea’s In Gee Chun and Dewi Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands.

Schreefel was five-under through 10 holes when bad light suspended play with half the players yet to complete the first round, a knock-on effect of a four-hour delay in the morning.

“I woke up at 4.50am and I got to the tee and it had been seven hours since I woke up,” Ko, 17, said of the delay.

“I had a little nap after the first delay, and then had a second breakfast in the second delay. It’s going to be an early night tonight.”

Ko had seven birdies and a bogey to make a strong start, just a fortnight out from the year’s first major.

She went into the tournament off back-to-back victories in the Australian and New Zealand Opens before having to settle for second behind world No 2 Inbee Park in Singapore a fortnight ago.

She leads the tour’s Race to the CME Globe standings and money list early in the season.