Lowest round not enough for Lydia Ko in Phoenix

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 22/03/2014

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Lydia Ko's lowest round since turning professional wasn't enough to put her inside the top 10 on a low-scoring opening day of the LPGA Tour's JTBC Founders Cup.

Ko, one of the first golfers on Phoenix's Wildfire Golf Club course yesterday, opened with a five-under 67 and held the outright lead in the $1.76 million tournament before being passed by several competitors later in the day.

The 16-year-old Kiwi finished day one in a tie for 11th, three shots behind first round leader, South Korea's Mirim Lee.

Behind leader Lee is American Morgan Pressel, who was on track to break 60 when she got to nine-under through 11-holes.

Pressel dropped two shots to give Lee the lead, but stayed in front of an eight-way tie for third at six-under which includes world No 1 and Ko's playing partner Inbee Park, world No 3 Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie and 2011 tournament winner Karrie Webb.

Meanwhile, Kiwis Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson both went under par at the $7.3m Arnold Palmer Invitation tournament, but are a long way off the lead.

The Kiwi pair shot matching one-under 71s at the PGA Tour event to be in a tie for 40th.

World No 2 Adam Scott was the early runaway leader after shooting a 10-under 62.

In Central America, Steve Alker shot an opening round one-under 69 to be in a tie for 13th at the Web.com Tour's Panama Claro Championship.

Alker turned in one-over, but made three birdies on the Panama Golf Course's front nine – his back nine – to get to one under, three behind Australian leader Aron Price.


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