5 share LPGA lead af­ter open­ing 65s at Kingsmill

Imperial Valley Press - - SPORTS -

WIL­LIAMS­BURG, Va. ( AP) — An­nie Park turned a blis­ter­ing stretch on the back nine into a mis­take-free 6-un­der 65 and a share of the firstround 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 al­ready-soggy River Course.

Park, play­ing in just her third tour event of the sea­son and seek­ing her first ca­reer vic­tory, was 2 un­der when she hit the flag and birdied the par 4 14th hole. She then nearly holed her sec­ond shot on the par-5 15th af­ter hit­ting “an OK 3-wood” that left her with a short ea­gle putt, and also birdied the par-4 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.

“I hit so many good shots,” she said. “Gave my­self a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties. Made some re­ally nice putts.”

She also chipped in for her fi­nal birdie af­ter miss­ing the green to the left on the par-4 eighth hole.

“I made a re­ally nice chip. It was a bit too firm, but it was re­ally nice,” she said.

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, in­clud­ing the par-4 18th.

Korda is one of 11 win- ners on tour this sea­son, and no one has won more than once. The past few weeks, she’s been fine-tun­ing her game to be ready for the Women’s U.S. Open at the end of the month in Alabama.

“My tran­si­tion hasn’t been great. A lot of peo­ple have asked me why I was hit­ting it so short in ( San Francisco), and I was just try­ing to hit it into the fair­way be­cause I just wasn’t feel­ing great over the ball,” she said. “So just try­ing to tighten up some things be­fore the U.S. Open comes around. Hope­fully just keeps go­ing the way that it is.”

Chun is mak­ing just her sev­enth start of the sea­son, and Green has missed four of eight cuts.

Aza­hara Munoz hits to the ninth green dur­ing the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Cham­pi­onship golf tour­na­ment on Thurs­day, in Wil­liams­burg, Va. JONATHON GRUENKE/THE DAILY PRESS VIA AP

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