ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Jin Young Ko left it late Thursday to take a two-stroke lead on a tight leaderboard in the opening round of the Women's Australian Open.
Ko, playing in one of the final afternoon groups, had only one par on her back nine — the 11th — but she had six birdies and two bogeys on her final nine for a 7-under 65 to move past second-place Jiyai Shin.
Former world No.1-ranked Lydia Ko was among a large group tied for third with 68s, two strokes behind.
"There's lots of golf to be played but I'm happy with where I am sitting," Lydia Ko, who is playing her first tournament of the year, said.
Among others tied for third were Americans Mo Martin and Caroline Inglis and Sweden's Caroline Hedwall in the LPGA Tour's second event of the year.
"It was just really solid," Hedwall said. "I hit a lot of greens and I had a lot of good looks and it just felt easy playing golf today."
Martin said she's not feeling her age.
"I think to be 35 and to feel like my best golf is ahead of me, that's a special place to be," the American said. "I think my game's kind of coming together in a special way, so, I'm really looking forward to this year."
Veteran and five-time champion Karrie Webb, who says she'll play a part-time schedule this year, shot 70.
Laura Davies and Brooke Henderson each shot 72.