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Four on Top in HanaBank Championship


Two South Koreans, Ju Young Pak and Amy Wang, a Swede - Anna Nordqvist, and an Aussie - Katherine Hull-Kirk, opened with 5-under 67s to take a share of the first-round lead of the HanaBank Championship. The $1.9 million, 54-hole LPGA Tour event began Friday on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.

One stroke off the pace is another Swede, Caroline Hedwall, while two behind the leaders are seven others, including Americans Michelle Wie and Brittany Lang, and defending champion Suzann Pettersen. Also at that number are Carlota Ciganda, Jenny Shin, Ha-Neul Kim and Jiyai Shin.

Nordqvist is a two-time winner on the tour. Since both titles came in majors in 2009, she's ready for another victory. "I would definitely like to win again, that's why we're out here. I feel like I put myself in a couple of good positions, I just haven't really finished well," said the 26-year-old.

"All I can do is try to get better each day and right now that's what I'm trying to focus on. Everything else will happen."

Hull-Kirk, who married Tom Kirk in August 2012 and added another surname, has also been in a bit of a drought. The 31-year-old from Brisbane hasn't won since the Navistar LPGA Classic in October 2010.

"The last few years have been a little bit frustrating, but at the same time, I've learned a lot and I think I'm a better player now than I was even when I won," said Hull-Kirk, whose other victory came in 2008. "I think my best golf is still ahead of me, so I'm excited for the future and hopefully a lot more wins."

The winner in last week's LPGA tournament in Malaysia, American Lexi Thompson, opened with a 71.

Pettersen also won the HanaBank in 2007 and is seeking to become the first player to win the tournament, originated in 2002, three times.

For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.