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Ko, Stanford & Boeljon Enjoy Good Opening Rounds in Canadian Women's Open
Defending champion Lydia Ko, Angela Stanford and Christel Boeljon of the Netherlands opened with 5-under 65s to take a share of the 18-hole lead in the Canadian Women's Open. The $2 million LPGA Tour event began Thursday at Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton.
Stanford, who had a rough Solheim Cup for the Americans, going 0-4 in four matches as the USA lost 18-10 at Colorado Golf Club, rebounded with five birdies.
The 16-year-old Ko, who won the 2012 Canadian Women's Open by three strokes at Vancouver Golf Club and is still an amateur, posted six birdies and a bogey.
The 26-year-old Boeljon had three birdies and a hole-in-one on the par-3 16th to propel her low round.
Boeljon didn't know she got an ace until she saw the gallery's reaction. "I only realized it by the lady that was behind the green that put her hands up, and I was like, I guess it's in, because we couldn't see with the sun. Everyone was high fiving, so we got up to the hole, and we see it's in. Yeah. It helps your score out a lot."
"I started off really well with a birdie, but when I have a birdie on the first hole I haven't really played that well," Ko told reporters. "So yeah, I was kind of nervous that I did make a birdie on the first. But I guess birdies are good, and I think I played pretty solid today."
Ko was paired with 22-year-old Canadian Jennifer Kirby and 17-year-old Charley Hull of England, who both played well. Kirby had a 67 and Hull a 69. "I think I played good because the whole group seemed to play good and make lots of birdies, so we were in a really good rhythm as a whole group."
For Stanford, her performance Thursday was a chance to forget last week and get her emotions back on track. "They say you learn the most from your losses, and I learned a lot from last week," the 35-year-old Texan said.
"A lot of that is I need to learn how to control my emotions, and that hasn't been a secret. Everybody kind of knows that about me. It was nice to be more flat lined out there today. I didn't get real upset because I have kind of been - the last few days have been tough. It was just nice to hit the ball."
Posting 66s were Paula Creamer and Cristie Kerr, two other Americans on the losing Solheim Cup team.
No. 1-ranked Inbee Park carded a 67 along with fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi, France's Karin Icher and Kirby.
Park said as the day wore on the Stanley Thompson-designed course played shorter and she was able to be more aggressive. "The course dried out a lot so it played a little bit shorter than it did in the practice round, so I was hitting a little bit shorter irons, so I was able to attack some pins and I was able to make more birdies than I thought I could have made (more) out there. I putted really good out there today, so I feel really good about it."
Sweden's Caroline Hedwall, the star of the European team with a record-setting 5-0 mark in Colorado, opened with a 68. Another star in the biennial team competition, Suzann Pettersen of Norway, carded a 69.
No. 2-ranked Stacy Lewis opened with a 74.
For updated scoring, visit www.lpga.com.