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Ekey, Jutanugarn, Welch lead LPGA Tour qualifying tournament

Kathleen Ekey, Moriya Jutanugarn and Kim Welch shot 4-under 68 on Wednesday to share the lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament.

Rebecca Lee-Bentham and Ashleigh Simon were a stroke back, and two-time tour winner Laura Diaz topped the group at 70. Christina Kim, also a two-time winner on the tour, had a 72.

The top 20 after the 90-hole event at LPGA International will earn full tour status.