Nordqvist leads in Pattaya

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Anna Nordqvist of Sweden carded a first round six-under-par 66 to take a one-shot lead in the LPGA Thailand event at Pattaya.

Nordqvist carded six birdies on the day and cancelled the two bogeys she made with an eagle on the 15th to ensure she kept her nose in front of the in-form Michelle Wie.

“I started with three birdies, so obviously got some momentum right off.

“On 15 I had 59 yards to the pin, pitched a little bit past, and then spun into the hole. So that was pretty cool to make an eagle there,” Nordqvist said after her round.

Wie heads an American contingent that features Lexi Thompson, Jennifer Johnson and Angela Stanford – all two shots off the pace.

It was not the best of days for defending champion and world number one Inbee Park, who carded a 71 to join a world No 3 Stacy Lewis, 2012 LPGA Championship winner Shanshan Feng of China and Australian Karrie Webb, among others, at one under par.

For Nordqvist, who recently made some changes in both coaching personnel and equipment, the solid start to the tournament is something she desperately needed.

“It felt like at one point last year I was about ready to quit the sport,” she said.

“I just kind of lost the reason why I play golf, the fun of it. I have good people around me now and they have been really helping me to get that inspiration back.”

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