Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn shot an 8-under 64 on Wednesday to take a one-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen and Hee Kyung Seo after the first round of the LPGA Lotte Championship.
The 17-year-old Ariya played the front nine at breezy Ko Olina in 6-under 30 in her afternoon round, dropped a stroke on the par-4 10th with her lone bogey, then eagled the par-5 14th and birdied the par-4 15th.
She matched the tournament record in second-year event after only getting into the field by winning a qualifier.
“I have very good front nine, but I just wanted to make more birdies,” Ariya said. “My record is 8 under and I want it to be lower. When I had bogey on 10, I thought I wasn't really confident in my putting. So, when I had eagle, I was more confident.”
Ariya was in position to win the LPGA Thailand in February, only to triple bogey the final hole, handing victory to Inbee Park. She rebounded three weeks ago in Morocco, winning the Ladies European Tour's Lalla Meryem Cup for her first professional title.
Pettersen had nine birdies and two bogeys in her morning round. The Norwegian is a 10-time winner on the LPGA Tour and won an LET event this year in China.