Former US Women’s Open champion Ryu So-yeon on Thursday tallied seven birdies and two bogeys en route to a five-under 67 and a share of the lead with Ji Eun-hee and Anne van Dam at the LPGA Mediheal Championship.
South Korea’s Ryu could have grabbed sole possession of the lead, but she closed her round with a bogey on the par-five ninth hole at Lake Merced Golf Club.
“It is not an easy golf course,” Ryu said. “You have to drive the ball really well. Everything has to be really great to shoot the low score.”
Ryu has six LPGA Tour victories, winning major titles in the 2011 US Women’s Open and 2017 ANA Inspiration. She has had some struggles this year, but she is trying to maintain a positive mindset.
“It’s really tough, because when you’re dedicated to make your game better and better, and then when you cannot really see the result right away, it can be really easy to get frustrated.” Ryu said.
Long-hitting Van Dam two-putted for birdie on the par-five 18th to cap her round of 67.
Van Dam, who teed off in the afternoon wave, bogeyed two of the first four holes.
She stormed back with an eagle on the par-four eighth and five birdies to match morning starters Ryu and Ji.
Van Dam has four wins on the European Tour and is now trying to carry that success over to North America.
“It’s nice to finally get off to a good start in the first round,” The 23-year-old Dutchwoman said.
Ji had six birdies and a bogey.
“It’s a really nice golf course,” Ji said. “It’s really challenging on every hole, especially on the tee shot.”
“You have to hit the fairways. If not, it gets into trouble on the next shot. So the tee shot is really important. The greens are really tough, you have to read perfect lines,” she said.
Taiwan’s Chien Pei-yun was one shot back with two others on four-under 68, while Hsu Wei-ling carded a two-over 74, good for a share of 61st, to edge over the projected cut.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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