Five’s a crowd atop Kingsmill leader­board

Montreal Gazette - - SPORTS -

WIL­LIAMS­BURG, VA. An­nie Park turned a blis­ter­ing stretch on the back nine into a mis­take-free 6-un­der 65 and a share of the first-round lead on a crowded leader­board Thurs­day at the Kingsmill Cham­pi­onship.

Jes­sica Korda, Aza­hara Munoz, In Gee Chun and Jaye Marie Green also shot 65. Park, Korda and Munoz played morn­ing rounds in mild con­di­tions, while Chun and Green played in rain that is ex­pected to also be a fac­tor Fri­day and Satur­day on the re­sort’s River Course.

Three of the five Cana­di­ans in the tour­ney each shot 2-un­der 69 to share 29th po­si­tion in­clud­ing Anne-Cather­ine Tan­guay of Que­bec City, Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sher­brooke, Que. and Brit­tany Marc­hand of Orangeville, Ont. Brooke Hen­der­son of Smiths Falls, Ont. had 1-un­der 70 to sit in a tie for 48th spot while Alana Sharp of Hamil­ton strug­gled at 2-over 73.

Park, seek­ing her first ca­reer vic­tory, was two un­der when she hit the flag and birdied the par-four 14th hole. She then nearly holed her sec­ond shot on the par-five 15th af­ter hit­ting “an OK 3-wood” that left her with a short ea­gle putt, and also birdied the par-four 16th.

“Over­all, I had a great day,” she said. “I hit some good shots. Lucky enough, I had some short birdie putts, short ea­gle putt, and that helps.”

Munoz had seven birdies and one bo­gey, and Korda and Chun were bo­gey-free. Green had seven birdies and bo­geyed No. 18.

Munoz earned her only tour win in 2012, and set­tled in af­ter start­ing with a bo­gey.

Korda, the win­ner of the Honda LPGA Thai­land in Feb­ru­ary in her re­turn from re­con­struc­tive jaw surgery, is mak­ing just her sev­enth start of the sea­son and has fin­ished in the top 10 in four of them. She had three birdies on each nine. Chun is mak­ing just her sev­enth start of the sea­son, and Green has missed four of eight cuts.

Nasa Hataoka and 2016 win­ner Ariya Ju­tanu­garn were one back. Hataoka’s bo­gey-free round in­cluded an ace at the par-three 17th. It was her first as a pro­fes­sional. There were nine more at 67, in­clud­ing 2015 cham­pion Min­jee Lee.


Aza­hara Munoz hits a chip shot to the ninth green dur­ing first-round ac­tion Thurs­day at the LPGA’s Kingsmill Cham­pi­onship in Wil­liams­burg, Va. Munoz, who carded seven birdies, was one of five play­ers shar­ing the lead af­ter shoot­ing 6-un­der 65.

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