Three in front in Canada
Thailand’s P.K. Kongkraphan, Cristie Kerr and Cheyenne Woods all matched the Whistle Bear Golf Club course record at nine-under 63 to take a one-shot lead at the Manulife LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Canada.
World number one Lydia Ko was a major disappointment as she remained towards the bottom of the leaderboard following her first-round 71, while defending champion Inbee Park enjoyed a fairly solid first round as she hit a 69.
Kongkraphan started with consecutive birdies on the 12th and 13th before going on to hit two more on the 16th and 18th.
Her red-hot form continued into the back nine as she made a hat-trick of birdies from the first to the third hole before recording her lone bogey of the round on the fifth.
However, she bounced back with another trio of birdies from the seventh to the ninth hole.
Kerr, 37, began in dominating fashion, registering a career-best seven-under 29 on her front nine, which consisted of seven birdies, including four in a row from the 15th to 18th.
Her excellent form continued into the back nine as she made her eighth birdie on the third before slipping up by notching her only bogey of the round on the next hole.
But, she closed on a high as she made two more birdies on the sixth and ninth.
Tiger Woods’ niece, Cheyenne, began her round with three birdies on her first five holes before recording her lone bogey of the round on the sixth.
However, the 24-year-old rookie atoned for her mistake by making a 50-foot eagle putt on the par-five ninth.
She followed that up with a hat-trick of birdies from the 10th to 12th hole and went on to make two more on the 16th and 17th.
Sitting one stroke behind Kongkraphan, Kerr and Woods is Israel’s Laetitia Beck and Germany’s Sandra Gal as they both fired first round 64s.
Meanwhile, Ko was nowhere near her best on Thursday as she ended up with a first-round 71.
She started on a low by making two bogeys on her first three holes before sinking her first birdie of the round on the 16th.
She enjoyed a lot more success on the front nine as she went bogey-free, hitting two birdies on the third and sixth.
Defending champion Park remains six strokes behind Kongkraphan, Kerr and Woods after a enduring a decent first round.
The world number two began her first-round 69 with a birdie on the 12th before she registered her first bogey on the very next hole. However, she rounded off her front nine with a birdie on the 17th.
But, Park stumbled once again when she recorded her second bogey on the first. She managed to turn her fortunes around as she made a birdie on the second before going on to finish with two more on the eighth and ninth.
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