PATTAYA, Thailand – Norway’s Suzann Pettersen made a tap-in eagle on the par-5 18th for a 6-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead Thursday with South Korea’s M.J. Hur in the season-opening Honda PTT LPGA Thailand.
Pettersen played the final four holes in 4 under, birdieing 15 and 17 before capping her bogey-free round with the eagle on 18, while Hur had seven birdies and a bogey in hot conditions on the Siam Country Club’s Old Course.
“Gave myself a lot of chances. Made some and tried to stay patient,” Pettersen said. “When it finally turns around, you’re able to make some moves.”
Pettersen won the event in October 2007, beating Laura Davies with a 15-foot eagle putt on 18 after blowing a seven-stroke lead.
The Norwegian star is being careful in the heat.
“I’m just trying to get good nutrition, drinks at night and stay hydrated to be as fresh as possible in the morning,” she said. “This heat takes a lot out of you.”
Ai Miyazato, Kim Song-hee and Park Hee Young shot 67s, and Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Yani Tseng, Angela Stanford and Cristie Kerr opened with 68s.
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa and Paula Creamer were in a group at 69, but Creamer injured her left thumb on the 17th hole and later withdrew. She said Friday on her Twitter account that she was headed to Detroit to see a hand specialist.
Michelle Wie shot a 72. She dropped four strokes on Nos. 9-11 – bogeying nine and 11 and making a double bogey in the par-5 10th – before rallying with birdies on three of the final four holes.
Hur’s wedge shot from 70 yards on 18 hit the flagstick and she missed the 15-foot birdie attempt.
“Some holes, I was unlucky,” said Hur, who beat Suzann Pettersen and Michele Redman in a playoff last year in the Safeway Classic for her lone LPGA Tour title. “It hit the pin. I had a really good shot, but it kicked out to the right and I made par.”
Hur praised the course.
“I love it,” she said. “The course conditions are so good, some of the best I’ve seen. The greens are fast and firm, really nice. The fairways have no divots.”
Lewis also is comfortable on the layout.
“I think you really get rewarded with good shots and you get penalized for bad ones.” she said. “It’s pretty fair and the greens are rolling well. It’s a good track for me.”
DIVOTS: There were eight eagles in the round, two on par 4s. I.K. Kim eagled the par-4 11th with an 8-iron from 126 yards, and Stanford holed an 8-iron shot from 153 yards on the par-4 14th. … The HSBC Women’s Champions is next week in Singapore. The tour will open its U.S. schedule March 25-28 with the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, Calif.