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Lorena Ochoa takes one-stroke lead after first round in Singapore

Lorena Ochoa takes one-stroke lead after first round in Singapore

Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa began her season by shooting six birdies to take a one-stroke lead after Thursday's first round of the inaugural US$2 million (euro1.33 million) HSBC Women's Champions tournament in Singapore.
Ochoa, of Mexico, conceded no bogeys to finish 6-under 66 at Asia's richest women's golf event at Tanah Merah Country Club.
"It was one of those days that I was getting the ball and making good contact especially, had a lot of birdie chances," Ochoa said. "It was a great start."
Ochoa was confident of her form after taking a break in December and starting practice in January.
"I am 100 percent ready to go," she said. "It's why I took a few more weeks to practice and why I am here."
American Paula Creamer and Japan's Ai Miyazato both shot six birdies and a bogey to share second place, a stroke behind Ochoa.
Creamer, who won the Fields Open last weekend, compensated for some missed putts with impressive birdies from 15 and 20 feet.
"I missed a lot of putts ... but the ones that I holed were fairly big breakers," she said. "There's not many straight putts that you have out there."
Miyazato also noted that the par-72, 6,455-meter (7062-yard) Garden course was challenging.
"It's pretty tough," Miyazato said. "The fairways are narrow and the greens are slopy, but the good thing is I can concentrate on hitting my shots. The shots felt really nice."
The tournament's field of 78 players features 18 of the top 20 players in the world vying for a top prize of US$300,000 (euro201,815).
Linda Wessberg of Sweden was two strokes off the lead at 4-under 68, along with South Korean pair Kim In-kyung and Lee Jee-young.
Former No. 1 Annika Sorenstam carded three birdies and two bogeys to finish at 1-under 71 and shared 19th place.
Sorenstam claimed her 70th LPGA Tour title at the SBS Open this month in Hawaii, ending a 17-month title drought and vaulting her two spots to No. 2 in the world.
Third-ranked Suzann Pettersen of Norway, who had a breakout season last year with five wins including the LPGA Championship, scored one birdie against a bogey to finish even par, six strokes off the lead.
Australia's Karrie Webb carded a 3-under 69 in shared seventh place.


Updated : 2021-04-22 05:45 GMT+08:00