Ariya Jutanugarn leads by 1 in Hawaii

12:06 AM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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Oahu, HI (Sports Network) - Ariya Jutanugarn matched the course record on Wednesday with her 8-under 64 and that gave her a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship.

Jutanugarn does not have status on the LPGA Tour and got into the event via the qualifier. She already has a win and a runner-up finish on the Ladies European Tour this season.

Her sister, Moriya, shared medalist honors at the LPGA Q School last fall and is also in the field at Ko Olina Golf Club. Moriya carded a 3-under 69 and is tied for 16th place.

Suzann Pettersen and Hee Kyung Seo share second place at minus-7. Danielle Kang and Hyo Joo Kim are one stroke further back at 6-under 66.

Defending champion Ai Miyazato and world No. 2 Stacy Lewis are among eight players tied for sixth place at minus-5.

Ariya Jutanugarn opened her round with a birdie at the first. She birdied the third from six feet out and came right back with a birdie on the par-3 fourth.

At the par-5 fifth, Jutanugarn blasted from a bunker to four feet and converted that effort for her fourth birdie in the first five holes.

After a pair of pars, Jutanugarn birdied the eighth and ninth, both from inside eight feet, to make the turn at minus-6.

The 17-year-old Thai stumbled to a bogey on the 10th, then parred the next three holes.

"On the front nine, I was really confident," Jutanugarn said. "But I made bogey on No. 10 and that made me feel a little different."

Jutanugarn rolled in an 8-foot eagle effort at the 14th to grab the lead. She followed with a 22-foot birdie putt on the 15th to move two strokes clear of the field. She ended there after closing with three straight pars.

"Before I started the tournament, I was really calm because I liked the course. The fairways are very wide, so I think I can shoot more under," Jutanugarn admitted. "I'm very confident with my driver. I did miss some shorts putts today."

Pettersen played the back nine first on Wednesday and started with birdies at 10 and 11. She tripped to a bogey on the 12th. Pettersen had the same stretch from 14 to 16.

She birdied 14 and 15 before faltering to a bogey on the 16th. Pettersen parred the next two holes before catching fire around the turn.

The 10-time LPGA Tour winner poured in three consecutive birdies from the first to jump to 5-under. Pettersen birdied the seventh, and closed her round with a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 9. her last.

"I played good at Kraft. I felt like I found the right form at the right time for that, but just had a sloppy second round," said Pettersen. "I'm just trying to continue what I was doing there. I made a lot of good putts, which helps on the score card."

Seo, the 2010 Kia Classic winner, got going with birdies on the first and third. A birdie at the seventh helped Seo make the turn at minus-3.

On the back nine, Seo birdied the 10th, then dropped in back-to-back birdie efforts at the 13th and 14th to move to 6-under. Seo birdied the 17th to gain a piece of second place.

NOTES: Newly minted World No. 1 Inbee Park opened with a 2-under 70 and is tied for 27th ... Ninety-six carded rounds of par or better, however Sophie Gustafson, Juli Inkster, Sandra Gal and Ryann O'Toole were among those over par ... This event runs from Wednesday to Saturday.

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