Shin, Uehara share Mizuno Classic lead
TOKYO (AFP) –
Two-time champion Shin Ji-Yai of South Korea shared a one-stroke lead with Japan’s Ayako Uehara after the first round in the USLPGA Tour Mizuno Classic tournament on Friday.
The 24-year-old Korean, the winner in 2008 and 2010 who also bagged a major title at the British Open this season, sank five birdies against one bogey for a four-under-par 68.
“Today the weather was so windy, so I played really hard. My strength is accuracy on the fairway and greens but today I missed a lot of the greens. But my chipping was good and my putting was good,” said Shin.
“My first time playing here in 2008 I won… (so)I had a lot of confidence on this course,” she said.
“This golf course you have to play woods and long irons. I think I’m strong with hybrids and fairway woods so I think that’s why I play well here,” she added.
Uehara carded the same five birdies against one bogey on the 6,506-yard, par-72 Kashikojima Country Club course.
Defending champion Momoko Ueda hit five birdies against two bogeys to trail them on 69, tied for third with fellow Japanese Maiko Wakabayashi, China’s Feng Shanshan, South Korea’s Choi Na-Yeon, Beatriz Recari of Spain and American Angela Stanford.
“I have never experienced such strong wind at this course. At first I thought today (was) going to be a tough,” said Ueda, 26.
“But after the birdies at fifth and seventh, and the birdie comeback on the ninth after the bogey on eighth… I managed to keep… momentum,” she added.
Choi, the US Open champion this season, had four birdies against one bogey, while Feng, the LPGA champion, hit five birdies against two bogeys.
Choi said she played “really well” although “there is a lot of wind out there”.
“I think I’m in good position right now after the first round. I just have to get some good rest and I’m really looking forward to the next few days,” said Choi.
American Stacy Lewis, hoping to hold on to her top spot in the Player of the Year standings, hit a 71 for a 19th-place tie with 10 other golfers, including local hope Mika Miyazato and world number one Yani Tseng of Taiwan.