Ai Miyazato shot an opening round -9 under par 63 at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup on Thursday, and ties the course record, as well as a personal record which she accomplished at the 2009 CN Canadian Women’s Open. Miyazato only needed 23 putts at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa to take a two-stroke lead over Jee Young Lee. Miyazato notched seven birdies and one eagle.
“I hit the ball well and my putting was really good,” said Miyazato. “I think I had good course management as well and I could control myself really well, too, so it was a good day.”
Ai Miyazato is a nine time LPGA Tour Champion, and is currently ranked 9th in Rolex standings, and has a two shot lead over Jee Young Lee from South Korea, and a three shot lead over a pack of four at -6 under par.
Candie Kung from Taipei, Brittany Lang, Pornanong Phatlum from Thailand, and Gerina Pillar all shot 66′s in the first LPGA event in the US in the new season.
American, Stacy Lewis had some problems on the front nine at the Phoenix area golf course, but finished her day at -4 under par, in a tie for 11th place, five shots off the pace.
17 year old Lexi Thompson opened her tournament with a bogey at the tenth hole(her first), but made four birdies to make the turn at 33. She picked up a double bogey six at the par three third hole but followed it up with birdie, eagle, finished her day with a -5 under par 67, and a share of seventh place.
Lexi Thompson could be considered one of the most beloved players on the LPGA Tour among fans and according to the 17-year-old, she thrives on the support she receives from her adoring gallery. No matter what the teen sensation shoots, she never denies a request for an autograph after her round.
“It means the world to me,” said Thompson. “Without fans, these tournaments wouldn’t be going on and it’d be pretty boring if nobody was out there watching us, so it means a lot to me, and I’ll sign every autograph no matter what I shoot.”
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