PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. (AP) — Minjee Lee shot an 8-under 63 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Jin Young Ko midway by way of the primary spherical of the Palos Verdes Championship.
Coming off a third-place tie Sunday within the LA Open at Whilshire Country Club, Lee had a bogey-free spherical at hilly Palos Verdes Estates within the first-year occasion that wraps up the LPGA Tour’s West Coast swing.
“I took Monday off. Didn’t even come to the course,” Lee mentioned. “Tuesday, I played nine holes and then I saw the other nine in the pro-am. … I think it’s so hilly out here that you want to keep your legs fresh.”
The Australian closed with a 5-under 31 on the entrance 9.
“I think it’s just the way like the holes are set up,” Lee mentioned. “There are a lot of birdie opportunities starting the front nine. Even like the first hole and the second and third, they’re all wedges in. … I just think there are a lot of opportunities in a row that you can kind of capitalize on.”
She received the Evian Championship final season for her first main title and sixth LPGA Tour victory.
Ko had six straight birdies on Nos. 2-7 on her closing 9. She stumbled to a tie for twenty first final week after sharing the lead with winner Nasa Hataoka late within the third spherical at tough Whilshire.
“Before starting today I just remind (myself) that golf is golf,” Ko mentioned. “Don’t think about last week. Starting again, new routine.”
Charley Hull, Moriya Jutanugarn and Jennifer Chang shot 65, and Albane Valenzuela had a 66.
Lexi Thompson performed within the afternoon.
Anna Davis, the Augusta National Women’s Amateur winner, opened with a 71 in her first LPGA Tour begin. The 16-year-old is from Spring Valley east of San Diego. She acquired a sponsor exemption.
“I think it was pretty much like every other tournament I would say,” Davis mentioned. “There weren’t like as many people, but I’m expecting the next few days to see some more people out here. … I wasn’t super nervous or anything.”
Hataoka is taking the week off.
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