Published January 08, 2015
Victoria, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Suzann Pettersen fired a 6-under 66 on Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open.
The second-ranked golfer in the world collected four of her 14 career victories on the LPGA Tour last season.
"Every tournament that I come to, I'm here to win," Pettersen said. "I've had some good results here in the past. I think it's a good way to kick start a new season."
Jessica Korda, who won the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, Hee Young Park, Jaclyn Sweeney and Marion Ricordeau shared second place at Victoria Golf Club at 5-under 67.
Lydia Ko and Paula Creamer were among a group of 10 players tied for sixth at 4-under 68.
Pettersen opened her round with a bogey at the 10th, but later got that stroke back with a birdie at the 13th.
After trading a birdie at the 15th with a bogey at the 16th, Pettersen rolled in back-to-back gains at the 17th and 18th to make the turn at 2-under.
A bogey at the first briefly halted her momentum, but she bounced right back with consecutive birdies at the second and third to reach 3-under.
Pettersen parred her next three holes before closing with three straight birdies from the seventh to jump to the top of the leaderboard.
"I felt like it took me a couple of holes to kind of get comfortable," said Pettersen. "But it was nice to kind of feel a little bit of a pump again, feel the heart and go for shots you want to hit and see how you kind of execute them."
Korda and Sweeney both recorded five birdies during their bogey-free rounds, while Park countered a lone bogey with six birdies and Ricordeau had eight birdies, a bogey and a double bogey during her up-and-down round.
NOTES: Pettersen is projected to move into the World No. 1 spot with a win on solo second place this week ... Ko is playing in just her second tournament as a professional. She does have two LPGA Tour wins as an amateur, the 2012 and 2013 CN Canadian Open.