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Golf: Alex leads LPGA event by one after first round in Ottawa

Aug 24, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Marina Alex plays her shot from the first tee during the first round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open golf tournament at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 24, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Marina Alex plays her shot from the first tee during the first round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open golf tournament at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

(The Sports Xchange) - American Marina Alex took the early lead with a five-under par 66 in the opening round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open in Ottawa on Thursday.

Alex recorded six birdies and one bogey while dealing with fast greens at Ottawa Golf Club.

"They were rolling unbelievably well, really quick," Alex said.

"The nice thing is they're still a bit soft, so the shots are holding into the greens. So, it kind of makes for a good combo. You can hit shots in there pretty tight and then you have a really nice pace to hold them."

Alex used an effective putting game as she seeks her fifth top-10 of the season and took the lead while coping with the windy conditions.

"I putted unbelievably well today," Alex said. "I rolled it so good. So, I hope I can just carry that into the next couple of days and just tidy up the ball-striking a little bit."

The 27-year-old produced a mostly flawless round after taking two weeks off. She matched her lowest round of this year and also tied for third-lowest round of her career.

It also is the first time in her career that Alex leads after an opening round.

South Korea's Chun In-gee and England's Holly Clyburn share second place at four-under.

Chun turned in the only bogey-free round while Clyburn finished strong after a slow start with an eagle on her last hole at the 476-yard, par-five ninth hole.

"I've just been waiting for something to drop like that all day, actually," said Clyburn, who is in her second year on the LPGA Tour and looking for her first career victory.

"I played solid all day, and that was just a nice present on the last."

(Editing by Andrew Both)

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