CHONBURI, Thailand – Nasa Hataoka of Japan birdied four of her final five holes to take a share of the first-round lead with a 9-under 63 at the Honda LPGA Thailand on Thursday.
Hataoka was tied for the lead with Germany’s Esther Henseleit, who birded three of her final four holes, and Australia’s Su Oh.
China’s Lin Xiyu was in fourth place after a 64 on the Siam Country Club’s Old Course at Pattaya
Brooke Henderson was among six players tied for fifth, two strokes behind. Amy Yang, Lizette Salas and Danielle Kang were among those tied for 11th, three behind the leaders.
“I hit (all) 14 fairways and (all) 18 greens, so it was a solid round,” said Hataoka, who has two LPGA titles.
Henseleit said her iron play was strong.
“I just didn’t make any big mistakes I think,” she said. “On my first nine I had many tap-in birdies; on the back nine I holed like two longer putts.”
Defending champion and former world No 1 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand got off to a slow start with a 74.
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko, who won the LPGA event last week in Singapore, is not playing this week in the 67-player, no-cut event.