(Reuters) – South Korean Kim Hyo-joo enjoyed a memorable birthday by carding four birdies during a sizzling six-hole stretch to grab a share of the first-round lead at the Marathon Classic on Thursday in Sylvania, Ohio.
The 21-year-old three-time LPGA winner toured the Highland Meadows layout with six birdies and a closing bogey for a five-under-par 66 that put her in a tie for the lead with compatriot Mirim Lee and Japan’s Haru Nomura.
“It was long time ago, so I forgot kind of what it felt like (to shoot a low score),” said Kim, who finished tied for 38th at the U.S. Women’s Open last week. “But I’m still happy, yeah.”
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn (67), a three-time winner in May, was in a three-way tie for fourth with American Kelly Shon and Celine Herbin of France.
World number one and former champion Lydia Ko and world number two Brooke Henderson were among a group of nine players in a tie for seventh, two shots off the pace.
(Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)