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Three Koreans in lead at LOTTE Championship

Pak, Kim, Ryu have one-shot advantage

April 17, 2014
By KAITLIN SAWYER , The Associated Press

KAPOLEI, Hawaii - South Korea's Se Ri Pak, Hyo Joo Kim and So Yeon Ryu each shot a 4-under-par 68 on Wednesday for a three-way tie atop the leaderboard after a breezy first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship.

Winless in 2013, Pak played the back nine in 2-under 34 in her afternoon round. She had birdies on the par-5 13th and par-4 17th, to go along with an eagle on the par-5 5th.

Kim, the 2012 China Ladies Open champion, had five birdies. Her only bogey came on her final hole - the par-4 9th.

"Except for the very final hole here, the putting in general was really good for the day, so I was really happy," Kim said.

Ryu, the 2012 LPGA Rookie of the Year, got off to a nice start in her morning round. She birdied three of the first five holes, teeing off from the front nine into the wind. She finished with five birdies and one bogey.

Ryu said she was able to clear her mind with a week off after a bad result at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she tied for 46th.

Fact Box


Wednesday's First Round

At Kapolei, Hawaii
Hyo Joo Kim34-34—68-4
Se Ri Pak34-34—68-4
So Yeon Ryu34-34—68-4
Ayako Uehara36-33—69-3
Amy Anderson35-35—70-2
Ha Na Jang33-37—70-2
a-So Young Lee35-35—70-2
Inbee Park33-37—70-2
Michelle Wie34-36—70-2
Christel Boeljon35-36—71-1
Katie M. Burnett35-36—71-1
Pornanong Phatlum35-36—71-1
Lindsey Wright36-35—71-1
Danah Bordner35-37—72E
Silvia Cavalleri37-35—72E
Victoria Elizabeth38-34—72E
Moriya Jutanugarn37-35—72E
Danielle Kang35-37—72E
Kim Kaufman37-35—72E
Cristie Kerr36-36—72E
Jennifer Kirby38-34—72E
Lydia Ko38-34—72E
Brittany Lang36-36—72E
Paula Reto35-37—72E
Angela Stanford35-37—72E
Paula Creamer38-35—73+1
Shanshan Feng35-38—73+1
Tiffany Joh36-37—73+1
Ariya Jutanugarn38-35—73+1
Hyun Soo Kim38-35—73+1
Katherine Kirk37-36—73+1
Meena Lee37-36—73+1
Mi Hyang Lee34-39—73+1
Azahara Munoz35-38—73+1
Haru Nomura39-34—73+1
Morgan Pressel38-35—73+1
Lizette Salas37-36—73+1
Jenny Shin36-37—73+1
Thidapa Suwannapura36-37—73+1

"I really don't think about score or my performance. I just focus on the present, not worry about any (potentially) difficult holes," Ryu said.

Japan's Ayako Uehara was one stroke back.

The field of 144 starters contended with winds gusting about 20 mph throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.

Top-ranked Inbee Park shot a 2-under 70 and was tied for fifth.

"I got off to a really good start today. Obviously, the wind wasn't blowing as hard for my first five holes," Park 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."

Michelle Wie, a Punahou School alumnus, had a 70 after carding a bogey on her first hole.

"It was quite windy out there today," Wie said. "Just started off with bogey, but just kind of hung in there. I just was patient all day today. It felt good."

Wie returns to her hometown after a runner-up finish at the first major championship of the season, the Kraft Nabisco at Mission Hills.



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