Brittany builds on good form to upstage big names in Japan
AMERICAN Brittany Lang upstaged the world’s best with a sizzling six-under-par on Friday to take a one-shot lead after the first round of the USLPGA Tour Mizuno Classic golf tournament in Shima, Japan.
South Korea’s Park HeeYoung and Nobuko Kizawa of Japan were in second place in the $1.4-million tour nament after carding 67s, while world number one Lorena Ochoa struggled with a 71 to be tied for 32nd.
Lang, who carded one eagle, five birdies and a bogey at the par-72 Kintetsu Kashikojima course, said she was elated to have given herself a chance for a maiden tour win.
“I want to have rounds like this, where I don’t have many mistakes, and I just keep putting myself in a position to win. It’s going to happen sooner or later, so I just have to try to play my best every day,” said Lang.
The world number 33 said she went into the tournament in good form after five top 10 finishes this season that secured her more than $ 543,000 in prize money.
“I’ve had a very good year. I’ve played a lot of really good golf,” she said.
“The birdies on the last two holes built confidence for tomorrow,” she said.
Japan’s Momoko Ueda, the 2007 champion, was with a group of three other players tied for fourth on 68. Alongside her were Korean pair Song BoBae and Jeon Mi-Jeong, and American Vicky Hurst.
Defending champion and world number two Shin Ji-Yai of South Korea was tied for eighth place with 12 other golfers on 69.
Ochoa said she was disappointed with a slow start to her round and a frustrating day in which her irons were off target.
“I didn’t make a birdie until the eighth hole. When you just have two birdies, that’s not enough. So I think I need to strike my iron shots a little bit closer tomorrow. Hopefully I will have a better day tomorrow,” she said. – Sapa-AFP