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Lee Starts out Hot in Malaysia
South Korea's Ilhee Lee fired a 7-under 64 to take the opening-round lead in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. The $2 million event began Thursday at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.
Lee, a 24-year-old who now lives in Dallas, posted three birdies on the front nine and added another four on the back. She's looking for her second victory of the year after winning the Bahamas Classic in May.
"Everything felt good today, the driver, the 6-iron, the putter . . . they were all good," Lee said. "My goal was 3-under par every day this week, so I feel like I'm OK for the next couple of days."
One stroke back after a 65 is American Brittany Lang. After going out with a birdie and a bogey on the front nine, the 28-year-old Texan reeled off six birdies in the first seven holes on the home half. She ended the round with two pars.
"I played great, didn't make too many mistakes, hitting the ball fantastically and had a lot of tap-in birdies," Lang said. "But I didn't finish off as strong as I'd like to. It gets pretty hot towards the end, so I need to get some rest and just make sure I'm eating and drinking enough out there."
Posting 66s were South Korea's Eun-Hee Ji, American Paula Creamer, Spain's Beatriz Recari and England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
Defending champion Inbee Park carded a 70. The top-ranked player in the world, with six victories and three major titles this year, said the steamy 90-degree weather was tough to handle.
"I think I was affected a lot by the hot weather, that really made it hard to concentrate on the course," Park said. "I'm not a good player to play in such condition. But I've had success in recent years, like this year in Thailand and last year here in Malaysia. So I'm trying to relax a bit more and keep it going tomorrow."
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