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Angela Park takes lead in bid for first LPGA win

Angela Park takes lead in bid for first LPGA win

Angela Park positioned herself for a maiden LPGA Tour win by shooting a 6-under par 66 and taking a one-stroke lead after Friday's first round of the Safeway Classic at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
Park, the 2007 LPGA Rookie of the Year whose best finish on tour is runner-up at last year's U.S. Women's Open, shot a bogey-free round on the 6,397-yard, par-72 course.
"I'm eager to get my first win, but just because of eagerness doesn't mean my win is not going to come," Park said.
American Kelli Kuehne was in a group of six tied for second at 67, along with Korean pair Hee Young Park and Song-Hee Kim plus Swedish duo Sophie Gustafson and Helen Alfredsson and England's Karen Stupples.
Angela Park, of Korean ancestry but joint American and Brazilian citizenship, carded birdies on four of her first seven holes on the way to a 4-under 32 on the front nine. She moved to 6 under at 13, and made pars the rest of the way to finish her round.
"It went very smoothly. No bogies out there, so that was a great start," Park said. "It was great because that's where I want to be coming into the first day, somewhere near that. So hopefully the next two days will be a little better."
Kuehne's round was one of the most dramatic Friday. She was 3 over after five holes, having made a double bogey at No. 1. Kuehne then recorded birdies on five of her next seven holes and was 8 under during her final 13.
"I got off to a rocky start," Kuehne said. "After doubling the first hole and bogeying the second hole, my caddie Nick just said, 'Let's regroup.' Then I started driving some good shots. The course is perfect as usual, so I had some opportunities and was able to make some shots."
Kim was 1 over through seven holes, before making birdies on six of her final 11.
Defending Safeway champion Lorena Ochoa was three shots back at 69. Among those joining Ochoa were American pair Paula Creamer and Laura Diaz.
Mexican Ochoa, the season's earnings leader with $2,337,206, birdied the final three holes to put herself into contention. She capped her round by sinking a 50-foot birdie putt at 18.
U.S. Women's Open champion Inbee Park of South Korea and Australian Karrie Webb were among those to shoot 70.
Swede Annika Sorenstam, a two-time Safeway Classic winner, birdied her final hole to shoot 72. American Pat Hurst, who won the 2006 Safeway, finished with a 75.
There was speculation heading into the tournament about how difficult Columbia Edgewater would play because of recent heavy rain. With the course drying out after a warm Friday, 55 of the 150 players broke par.
The $1.7 million Safeway Classic, the longest running non-major on the LPGA Tour, attracted a field that includes 28 of the season's top 30 money earners.


Updated : 2021-02-26 21:39 GMT+08:00