The Rolex Ranking’s number one player on the LPGA Tour, Inbee Park leads a group of six players tied for second place at -4 under par after the first round of the North Texas Shootout. All six girls will be chasing Caroline Masson on Friday, who got in the clubhouse with a -7 under par 64 on a day that was unusually cool at The Las Colinas Country Club near Irving, Texas.
Germany’s Caroline Masson fired a bogey free 64 on Thursday to grab the lead in this tournament which is the first for the North Texas area in over twenty years. It was easy, she picked up four birdies on the front at this par 71 venue, and three on the back. No problem for this LPGA Tour rookie who is ranked 54th in the world. Masson played her collegiate golf at Oklahoma State and missed the cut last week at The LPGA LOTTE Championship. She finished T 13 at the Kraft Nabisco three weeks ago.
Masson only hit 8 of 13 fairways on Thursday, but was 17 for 18 on Greens in Regulation, and had 28 strokes with the flat stick. She didn’t have the greatest of rounds by statistical measure, but she didn’t make many mistakes either.
The world’s number one, Inbee Park uncharastically struggled with her putter on Thursday. She hit 10 of 13 fairways, and 16 of 18 greens on her round, but it took the usually good putter 30 strokes to get down. Park had it to -5 under before she picked up a bogey at the 14th hole. She made pars down the stretch, and finished with a -4 under 67.
Last weeks winner in Hawaii, Suzann Pettersen got off to a bad start in the Shootout with bogeys at the first two holes. She would spend the rest of the day trying to catch up. Like Inbee Park, Suzann struggled with her putter all day. It took her 31 strokes with the flat stick to get back to the clubhouse where she carded a -1 under 70 on the afternoon.
Texas native, and the world’s number two player, Stacy Lewis had another bad first round. She made three bogeys on the front nine, and no birdies. She made the turn at +3 over 39, and spent the back nine trying to catch up. She finished her round at +1 over par 72, and tied for 59th place. She will need to be careful in this shootout format where there are two cuts, that she doesn’t draw an early exit.
Also in play this week, is the possibility of dropping in The Rolex Rankings. Na Yeon Choi, and Yani Tseng are all in Texas to move up the board, and put a little pressure on the girl from Texas that has continued to struggle since The Kraft Nabisco Championship a few weeks back. Yani Tseng came to play, and finished her first round at -2 69, and well within the mix with a tie for 14th place. Choi is at -1 under for her first round, and is a good finisher when she gets hot with the putter.
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