THAILAND, CHONBURI – Nasa Hataoka of Japan birdied four of her final five holes on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Honda LPGA Thailand with a 9-under 63.
Hataoka was tied for first place with Esther Henseleit of Germany, who birdied three of her final four holes, and Su Oh of Australia.
Lin Xiyu of China finished fourth after shooting a 64 on the Siam Country Club’s Old Course in Pattaya.
Brooke Henderson was one of six players in a two-stroke tie for fifth place. Amy Yang, Lizette Salas, and Danielle Kang were tied for 11th place, three places behind the leaders.
Hataoka, who has two LPGA wins, said, “I hit (all) 14 fairways and (all) 18 greens, so it was a nice round.”
Henseleit boasted about her iron play.
“I don’t think I made any major errors,” she explained. “I had a lot of tap-in birdies on the first nine, then I holed like two longer putts on the back nine.”
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, the defending champion and former world No. 1, got off to a sluggish start with a 74.
Jin Young Ko, the world No. 1 who won the LPGA event in Singapore last week, will not compete in the 67-player no-cut event this week.