Taiwanese golf ace Yani Tseng carded a two-under 69 on Thursday to tie for 19th after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The world No. 4 started well with four birdies on the front nine, but bogeyed the 12th and 14th.
Although she managed an eagle at the 15th, this was offset by a double-bogey at the 18th.
Tseng, who finished 28th in the inaugural North Texas LPGA Shootout last week, is seeking to end her year-long title drought.
The 24-year-old said on her Facebook page on Thursday that her previous longtime caddy, Jason Hamilton, has been working with her again.
Tseng, who had Hamilton replaced last summer amid a decline in form, wrote that she was excited to have her “super caddy” back.
The former top-ranked golfer said that although she argued with Hamilton from time to time in the past, she believed those arguments were conducive to her growth through learning.
In the US$1.3 million Kingsmill tournament, Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn shot a seven-under 64 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round.
“Today, I played very good, so my putting helped me a lot,” said Ariya, whose nine birdies more than countered the only blemish on her card, a double-bogey five at the par-three 17th.
“I made a lot of putts, but today I still missed on my driver and long irons,” she said.
The 17-year-old, who is playing on a sponsor’s exemption, had a two-shot lead over US veteran Cristie Kerr.
It was a further stroke back to South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon and Dewi Claire Schreefel of the Netherlands on 67.
World No. 1 Inbee Park and No. 2 Stacy Lewis were among a group of 14 players sharing fourth place on three-under 68.
Ariya captured her first professional title in March, when she claimed a three-shot win at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco on the Ladies European Tour.
She was fast out of the gate on Thursday, with birdies at the first, second and third holes. She reeled off three more birdies from the fifth to make the turn at six-under.
Ariya was eight-under through 14 before finding trouble at 17, where she missed the green and needed two chips to get on the putting surfaces.
She bounced back with a birdie at 18.
“On 17, I just missed to the left and just had a bad third shot and second shot,” Ariya said.
“It did not make me not confident because I knew 18 is not a long par-four, so I could make a birdie on that hole,” she said.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung shot a par-71 to tie for 57th, while compatriot Amy Hung was tied for 85th on two-over.