Oahu, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Se Ri Pak carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions Wednesday to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship.
Pak was joined atop the leaderboard by fellow South Koreans So Yeon Ryu and Hyo-Joo Kim, who is making her seventh LPGA Tour start.
Ayako Uehara posted a 3-under 69 and is alone in fourth place, while Hawaii native Michelle Wie managed a 2-under 70 at Ko Olina Golf Club.
Wie, who tied for 28th last year, shares fifth place with world No. 1 Inbee Park, Ha-Na Jang, amateur So-Young Lee and Amy Anderson.
Pak parred her first three holes from the 10th, then dropped in a birdie on the par-5 13th and followed with three more pars.
The World Golf Hall of Famer birdied the 17th and No. 1 to move to minus-3. She holed an eagle attempt on the par-5 fifth to grab a share of the lead. However, Pak tripped to a bogey on the eighth and parred the ninth to finish at 4-under.
"First of all, it was really windy out there, a lot windier than last year. We didn't have this wind before, but it's just stronger and stronger and never did slow down," said Pak, who shared 28th with Wie last year. "I mean, it was really hard to choose a club to every hole. Off the tee, off the fairway, on the green, all day you just have so much focus on the wind because it was really blowing hard, you had to adjust for it."
Ryu, who played in the early wave while the other leaders played in the afternoon wave, got off to a fast start with birdies on one and two. After a pair of pars, she birdied the fifth.
The 2011 U.S. Women's Open champion faltered to a bogey on the par-3 eighth. She parred the next two holes before recovering that lost shot when she birdied the par-4 11th.
Ryu moved to 4-under with a birdie on the par-5 14th and closed with four pars in a row to grab the early lead.
"The wind was pretty strong, so it was really hard to play with this much strong wind. The most difficult part was sometimes a wind gust was super, extremely strong, so also it was affecting the putting," Ryu said. "It was really hard to read a line. The really good thing is my iron game was really nice."
Kim birdied the 11th and 17th to go with seven pars on her opening nine. Around the turn, she birdied the first and second to move into the lead at 4- under.
She parred five in a row before a birdie at the eighth moved her into a share of the lead at minus-5 with Pak. Kim stumbled to a bogey at the last to drop back into a 3-way tie for the lead.
"Except for the very final hole here, the putting in general was really good for the day. So I was really happy with my putting in general except for the ninth hole here," Kim stated.
NOTES: There were just four rounds in the 60s versus 22 in the opening round last year ... 2013 winner Suzann Pettersen is not in the field this week as she recovers from a back injury.