Ahn Leads the Way at Wegmans

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2006 Wegmans OpenPITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Shi Hyun Ahn fired a 7-under-par 65 Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the Wegmans Rochester LPGA.
 
Brittany Lang posted a 6-under-par 66 to stand second, while Soo Young Moon is one stroke further back at minus-5. Hee Jung Park stands alone in fourth place at 4-under-par 68.
 
Brittany Lang
Brittany Lang is in search of her first LPGA Tour win.
Ahn played Locust Hill Country Club's back nine first and carded her first birdie on the par-4 12th when her 10-footer found the bottom of the cup.
 
After parring her next three holes, Ahn sank back-to-back 4-foot birdie putts from the 16th to help her make the turn at minus-3.
 
The 21-year-old birdied the first three holes of her back nine to jump to 6 under. Ahn rolled in putts of 10, 12 and 15 feet as she moved into a tie for the lead with Lang.
 
Ahn, who gained LPGA membership by winning the 2003 CJ Nine Bridges, moved ahead of Lang with a chip-in birdie on the par-5 eighth, her 17th, to grab the lead.
 
'When I woke up this morning it was very windy, so I thought it was going to be a cold day, so I had long pants on,' Ahn admitted through a translator. 'However, it ended up being a really hot day so it was kind of hard.
 
'There was a lot of wind, but it was helping me out today. Because of the wind, I had a hard time picking clubs. It ended up working out good, though.'
 
Lang, a former standout at Duke, also started on the back nine and got going with a birdie on No. 10. She sank a 7-footer for birdie at 15, then drained a 25-foot birdie effort on 16 to move to minus-3.
 
The 20-year-old two-putted for birdie on 17 to make it three in a row. Lang's drive at the second hit a spectator and she was left with a tough lie in the rough. That led to a bogey, dropping her back to minus-3.
 
Lang, who along with Morgan Pressel shared second place last year at the U.S. Women's Open when both were amateurs, came right back with a pair of chip-in birdies from the third.
 
She knocked her approach to 2 feet at the sixth and kicked that in for birdie. Lang missed the green at the par-3 seventh and was unable to get up and down for her par.
 
Lang got that stroke back with an 8-foot birdie putt on the eighth before a par on nine left her one shot behind Ahn.
 
'I played well today. I got off to a good start and had two chip-ins,' said Lang, one of four leaders after the opening round of last year's U.S. Women's Open. 'I made a lot of putts and chipped in twice so that helps. This is my second time leading, first as a pro.'
 
Defending Women's British Open champion Jeong Jang carded a 3-under-par 69 Thursday. She is joined in fifth place by Becky Iverson, Nicole Castrale, Rachel Hetherington, and Shinobu Moromizato.
 
Lorena Ochoa, the defending champion, leads a group of 13 players one stroke further back at minus-2.
 
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