Kuala Lumpur, October 10 – South Korea’s Ilhee Lee shot a 7-under-par 64 to tie the tournament record and take the first round lead in the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC).
Lee nailed three birdies on the front nine of KLGCC’s East Course and added another four on the back nine in a bogey-free round to take a one-stroke lead over American Brittany Lang.
“Everything was good today. The putter was good, the driver was good and the 6-iron was good. My goal was 3-under-par every day this week, so I feel like I’m okay for the next couple days, I think,” said the 24-year-old Lee, who is currently ranked 39th in the world.
Lang meanwhile launched her campaign spectacularly with four straight birdies and was seven-under-par with just one hole to go. But a three-putt bogey on her final hole saw the 28-year-old Texan drop into second place on the leaderboard.
“It was great – I love this event. Sime Darby is a great host, I like Malaysia, the people are so nice, so I always have a good attitude coming in here,” said Lang. “I’ve been swinging it good but haven’t made too many putts lately. So just tried to commit to my lines today and really got off to a hot start. I felt really comfortable out there.”
In third place on 5-under-par 66 were South Korea’s Eun-Hee Ji, England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff, American Paula Creamer and Spain’s Beatriz Recari.
23-year-old amateur Michelle Koh was the highest-placed Malaysian after carding an opening 70 to lie in joint 28th position with 10 other golfers, including defending champion and World No. 1 Inbee Park.
“I went out there with the mindset of enjoying myself and to follow my game plan. The main plan today was to place the ball well and I
gave myself the best opportunity to make birdies. Mindset wise, it was more like going out there, stay calm and stay focused. I’m happy with my score today. I think I played well, hit the ball pretty solid and ended well. Tomorrow will be the same strategy – to stay calm and keep focused,” said Koh.
“I think everything else was really good, but just my irons weren’t loose enough, weren’t sharp enough. But I think [it’s] because of the hot weather, that really made it hard to concentrate a lot out on the course. So I’m trying to relax a little bit more and go for it tomorrow,” said Park.
Round 2 of the 2013 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia tees-off at 7.55am tomorrow.