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Ariya Jutanugarn Sets Pace in Kingsmill Championship
The younger of the two Jutanugarn sisters, Ariya, fired a 7-under 64 to take the opening-round lead in the Kingsmill Championship. The $1.3 million, 72-hole LPGA Tour event began Thursday on the River Course at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va.
Playing on a sponsor's exemption, the 17-year-old got off to a hot start, carding six birdies in her first seven holes to make the turn at 6-under 30. She added two more birdies on the next five holes, followed by two straight pars, before double-bogeying the par-3 17th and finishing with her ninth birdie of the day on the par-4 18th.
"This is a very good golf course," Jutanugarn said. "I love this course because of the condition . . . everything here (is) perfect for me."
Two-time Kingsmill winner (2005 and'09) Cristie Kerr is in second after a six-birdie-one-bogey 66, while another stroke back are the Netherlands' Dewi Claire Schreefel and South Korea's So Yeon Ryu.
Opening with 68s were Japan's Ai Miyazato, Germany's Sandra Gal, England's Karen Stupples, Norway's Suzann Pettersen, Spain's Azahara Munoz, South Koreans Inbee Park, Jee Young Lee and Hee Young Park, Sweden's Caroline Hedwall, and Americans Stacy Lewis, Jane Park, Katie Burnett, Mo Martin and Angela Stanford.
Inbee Park, ranked No. 1 in the world and already a three-time winner this year, including last week's North Texas LPGA Shootout, carded six birdies - including four in a row on Nos. 14-17 - and three bogeys Thursday.
Defending champion Jiyai Shin, who needed nine playoff holes and an extra day to defeat Paula Creamer last year, shot a 70. Creamer opened with a 69.
Moriya Jutanugarn - who's a year older than her sister, shot a 73. Ariya, a rookie on the Ladies European Tour, leads that circuit's Order of Merit thanks to a win in Morocco and a T-2 in the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters. In only three events on the LPGA Tour, she finished second, fourth and third. If she was a regular LPGA member, she'd be ranked eighth on the season's money list with $328,643.
For all the scores in the Kingsmill Championship, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.