Sat, Oct 19, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Pettersen in early running for repeat win in South Korea

AFP, INCHEON, South Korea

Tseng Yani of Taiwan tees off during yesterday’s first round of the LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship at the Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea.

Photo: AFP

Defending champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway put herself in early contention for her second straight US LPGA victory in South Korea yesterday.

The world No. 2 shot a three-under 69 to open the US$1.9 million LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship on Ocean Course at Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon, west of Seoul.

That put her in a seven-way tie for sixth, two shots off the pace set by four golfers, including former major champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden.

At last year’s tournament, Pettersen defeated Catriona Matthew in a playoff. She went on to pick up four more US wins and another in Europe, climbing up to No. 2 in the world rankings behind Inbee Park of South Korea.

Pettersen mixed in five birdies with two bogeys on the par-72, 5,819m course.

Pettersen was joined on 69 by six others, including former world No. 1 Shin Ji-yai of South Korea and Michelle Wie of the US.

Park played with Pettersen in the opening round, and shot a 70 to stay within striking distance. She started off with three birdies on the back nine, but had back-to-back bogeys on the 12th and 13th. She picked up her final birdie of the day on the par-3 17th.

Taiwan’s Candie Kung was tied for 51st after a two-over round of 74, with compatriot Yani Tseng a shot further back tied for 55th.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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