Paraguay golfer Julieta Granada fired a first-round, six-under 66 on Thursday for a two-shot lead at the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship.
The 28-year-old Granada, who has not won on the LPGA Tour since capturing the 2006 ADT Championship, posted her lowest opening-round score of the year.
“It was a fun day today,” said Granada, who finished tied for fifth at this year’s Women’s British Open. “I hit a lot of greens and I had plenty of birdie chances. My stroke was on and I was making lots of putts, so that’s fun.”
Sandra Gal is alone in second place at four-under 68 at Tiburon Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort.
World No. 2 Stacy Lewis, who narrowly leads world No. 1 Inbee Park in both the player of the year standings, used a late eagle to jump up the leaderboard and she is tied for third at three-under 69 with Belen Mozo and Caroline Hedwall.
Ryu So-yeon, Marina Alex, Carlota Ciganda, Sarah Jane Smith, Angela Stanford, Haeji Kang and Park Hee-young are all tied for sixth at two-under 70.
South Korea’s Park and 17-year-old Lydia Ko, of New Zealand, shot one-under 71s and they are tied for 13th with seven others. Lewis, Park and Ko can take home the season-ending US$1 million Tour bonus with an outright win this week.
Granada drained back-to-back birdies yet again on the par-four 13th and the par-five 14th to jump up to five under. Granada finished strong with three birdies on 15, 16 and 18 to go along with a gain on the par-five 17th.
Defending champion Feng Shanshan, of China, carded a two-over 74 and she is tied for 36th through one round.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng is tied on 29th with one-over 73, while compatriot Candie Kung is tied 53rd with four-over 76.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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