Korda claims Blue Bay lead

Jessica Korda carded a six-under-par 66 to claim a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Blue Bay LPGA.

Already twice a winner on the LPGA Tour this season, the American birdied five of her first eight holes in her bogey-free round in the maiden event at Jian Lake Blue Bay course.

“I was hitting the ball pretty well and the putter was hot,” Korda told reporters after her round.

“It’s amazing here.

“It’s the Hawaii of China. The course is in great shape.”

In a tie for second place on five-under are local star Shanshan Feng, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lang, Lee-Anne Pace, Jodi Ewart-Shadoff and Caroline Masson.

Wie is playing in only her second tournament since withdrawing from Evian last month having reinjured a stress reaction in her right hand. She finished in a tie for fifth place in South Korea last week.

In the absence of world numbers one and two Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park, world number three Lydia Ko hit a 69.

This week’s event is the fourth of a six-tournament swing in Asia, with the LPGA Taiwan Championship taking place next week and the Mizuno Classic in Japan the week thereafter.