Inbee Park up by 2 in Taiwan
Taoyuan, Taiwan – Inbee Park carded a course-record tying 7- under 65 in the opening round Thursday to take a 2-stroke lead at the Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Park claimed her third LPGA Tour title earlier this year when she won by two at the Evian Masters.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Yani Tseng is two shots off the lead at minus-5. Pair her 67 with a final-round 69 last week in South Korea and Tseng carded back-to-back rounds in the 60s for the first time since opening 68-68 at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Hee Young Park, who is no relation to Inbee, posted a 4-under 68 and was joined in third place at Sunrise Golf & Country Club by Nicole Castrale, Pornanong Phatlum and Danielle Kang.
Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Chella Choi and Lizette Salas share seventh place at minus-3.
Inbee Park had three pars and a birdie in the first four holes. She dropped in a birdie try at the fifth and made it two in a row with a birdie on No. 6.
The 2008 U.S. Women's Open champion got to 4-under with a birdie on the par-4 eighth. She parred three in a row around the turn.
Park sank a birdie try at 12 and came right back with a birdie on No. 13. After four consecutive pars, she closed with a birdie at the last.
"Obviously with that number, everything went really well today. I hit the ball great," Park stated. "I mean I hit a lot of short irons in, so I hit a lot of shots close and I was able to make a lot of birdies."
Park shared 15th last week in South Korea. That snapped a streak of 10 straight top-10 finishes.
"Earlier in the season, I was hitting the ball probably the same as right now, but I wasn't putting as well earlier in the year, and I was just trying to find the right putter and the right stroke for me," Park admitted. "I finally found it in the middle of the season and it started working really good and I'm rolling the ball great."
Tseng birdied the first before making four pars in a row. She moved to minus-2 with a birdie on the sixth. Tseng parred the next three.
Around the turn, Tseng faltered to a bogey on the 10th, but quickly erased that mistake with a birdie on No. 11. She flew up the leaderboard with three straight birdies from the 13th. Tseng parred the last three to end two back.
"I think I played great today. I feel really good. I drove the ball well and hit good iron shots and I gave myself lots of birdie opportunities out there," Tseng said.
NOTES: Inbee Park came up six events shy of tying Karrie Webb's tour record of 16 straight top-10 finishes...Morgan Pressel set the course record of 65 in the final round last year and that helped her tie for fourth.