Sat, Sep 19, 2009 - Page 19 News List

South Korea’s Shin grabs share of lead at Samsung LPGA

AFP , LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA

Shin Ji-yai of South Korea tees off on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Samsung World Championship on Thursday at Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, California.

PHOTO: AFP

Shin Ji-yai, who is fresh off a win last week in Arkansas, fired a six-under par 66 on Thursday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the LPGA Samsung World Championship.

Shin is locked in first place with South Korean compatriot Kim Song-hee who also shot an opening round 66 at the US$1 million tournament at the Torrey Pines golf course near San Diego.

“Actually today my goal was just a couple under par because this is a really tough course for me,” Shin said.

Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson and two-time winner and world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa both shot five-under 67s and are tied for third place at the South Course. Gustafson won here in 2003.

Japan’s Ai Miyazato and American veteran Juli Inkster are tied for fifth place at minus-four.

Defending champion Paula Creamer shot a three-under par 69. She won last year at Half Moon Bay Golf Links course.

At the par-three third, Shin hit a seven-iron to three feet and tapped in for birdie. Three holes later, it was another tap-in birdie and Shin closed her front nine with a 15-footer for birdie at the par-five ninth.

Shin she knocked an eight-iron just inside 30 feet and rolled it for the birdie on No 10. She made it three birdies in a row at the 205-yard, par-three 11th.

She used a three-wood to reach the green in two at the 18th hole and her ball stopped 17 feet from the pin. She two-putted for a final birdie that got her a share of first place.

Shin is trying to become the first women since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to finish on top of the money list and win the rookie of the year award in the same year. Cristie Kerr, who shot even-par 72 on Thursday, is a close second behind Shin in the money list.

This year’s four major champions and first time winners — Brittany Lincicome (Kraft Nabisco Championship), Anna Nordqvist (LPGA Championship), Ji Eun-hee (US Women’s Open) and Catriona Matthew (Women’s British Open) — are all in the abbreviated field.

Yani Tseng of Taiwan carded 75 on Thursday.

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