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Pak among Three Tied for Lead in LPGA Event
World Golf Hall of Fame member Se Ri Pak and two of her fellow South Koreans, Hyo Joo Kim and So Yeon Ryu, carded 4-under 68s to take a share of the first-round lead in LPGA LOTTE Championship.
The $1.7 million tournament had a Wednesday start at a blustery Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Pak carded three birdies, an eagle on the par-5 fifth and a bogey, while Ryu had five birdies and a bogey and Kim the same configurations of scores.
"It was really windy out there, a lot windier than last year," Pak told reporters. "We don't have this wind before, but it's just stronger and stronger and never did slow down. I mean, really hard to choose a club to every hole. Off the tee, off the fairway, on the green, all day just have so much focus on the wind because just being really hard wind to adjust it.
"Just out there, trying to keep the same tempo and trying to get relaxed out there as I could. I mean, there is nothing I can do about the wind. I guess that makes my game consistent and my putting actually a couple of putts really nicely fall in and then ended up slowly . . . so I'm glad to finish, yes, definitely."
Japan's Ayako Uehara was the only player to card 69, while posting 70s were South Koreans Inbee Park, Ha Na Jang and 16-year-old amateur So Young Lee, and Americans Michelle Wie and Amy Anderson.
Despite being two strokes behind the leaders, No. 1-ranked Park was pleased with her first round. "I got off to a really good start today. Obviously, the wind wasn't blowing as hard for my first five holes," she said.
"The greens seem a little bit more slippery and I had troubles on the back nine controlling the distance. You have to have perfect contact to ride the wind."
Local favorite Wie rebounded after an opening bogey with five birdies - and a near-ace on the par-3 16th - and two more bogeys on the day.
"It was quite windy out there today," said Wie, who's coming off a second-place finish in the Kraft Nabisco Championship two weeks ago. "Just started off with bogey, but just kind of hung in there. I just was patient all day today. It felt good."
The winner of the Kraft Nabisco, Lexi Thompson, isn't playing this week.
For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.