Sat, Apr 30, 2016 - Page 19 News List

Hur leads South Korean assault at Texas Shootout

AFP, LOS ANGELES

Hur Mi-jung sinks a birdie putt on the eighth green during the first round of the Texas Shootout in Irving, Texas, on Thursday.

Photo: Smiley N. Pool / The Dallas Morning News via AP

Hur Mi-jung posted five consecutive birdies around the turn en route to a five-under 66 on Thursday to take the lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Texas Shootout.

The 26-year-old Hur started on the back nine and needed just 27 putts for a one-stroke lead over fellow South Koreans Ryu So-yeon, Ji Eun-hee and American Gerina Piller.

Hur led a South Korean assault on the Las Colinas Country Club course as six of the top eight on the leaderboard are from the Korean Peninsula.

“My putting just was everything on the course today,” Hur said. “My shot wasn’t that good and my address wasn’t that comfortable, but my putting did really well. So it helps me really a lot and that’s why I had five straight birdies and finished strong.”

Hur began her birdie run on the par-four 15th hole. The two-time LPGA Tour winner is looking for her first victory since the 2014 Yokohama Tire Classic. Her other win came almost seven years ago in Portland, Oregon.

It is no surprise Hur is in contention this week as she has been playing some of her best golf of the season in recent weeks.

She is coming off her best finish of the season with a tied for sixth performance at the Swinging Skirts Classic. She also recorded back-to-back top-14 finishes at the Kia Classic and ANA Inspiration.

Ryu shot a near perfect round with a bogey-free four-under 67. Ryu had a tournament course record 63 at the Swinging Skirts last week.

She missed just one fairway and one green on Thursday.

“I shot 17 greens, and even when I missed I was still able to putt it because I was just off the green,” Ryu said. “I was just comfortable with everything — the driver, irons, wood, everything was great. Even my putting was really great. The only one disappointing thing is I missed a five-foot birdie putt at the last, but I had a bogey-free round today, so it was a really simple round.”

Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-ling hit a bogey on the 12th to card an even-par 71. She was tied for 35th with 18 other competitors, including Kaohsiung-born US player Candie Kung, who was also sitting on even-par. Taiwan’s other competitors — Yani Tseng and Min Lee — both fell below the projected cut line.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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