Miyazato and Lewis share LPGA lead
Japan’s Mika Miyazato and American Stacy Lewis hit almost identical rounds of six-under par 65 to share the first round lead at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey.
Playing in the first group of the morning, Miyazato birdied the par five third hole before adding a second birdie at the fifth and rolling in a 20-foot putt at the ninth for an eagle to make the turn at four-under.
Further birdies at the ninth, 11th and 17th saw Miyazato make the most of her early tee-time by taking the clubhouse lead.
“I hit it almost perfect,” said the Japanese player looking for her maiden LPGA title.
“I think putting was more off today and second shot, I had more confidence.”
A double bogey at the par four second failed to rattle Lewis, who began her round on the 10th hole, and the American as she quickly found her range with an eagle at the fifth and a total of six birdies, to take a share of the lead on the Bay Course.
“The wind just came out of nowhere,” Lewis said of the sudden change in conditions in the afternoon.
“Came back and made an eagle on three so that really kind of got things going,” she added of her double bogey just after the turn. “And then I made a few putts coming in, so it was nice.”
Lewis’s fellow American Paula Creamer was tied for third with Colombia’s Mariajo Uribe, the only one of the afternoon starters to be in contention, two shots back on 67. Canadian Maude-Aimee LeBlanc shot a round of 68 to sit alone in fifth ahead of a group of seven players, including Lexi Thompson, Azahara Munoz and Anna Norqvist, all on 69.
World number one Yani Tseng recorded an even par 71 while defending champion Brittany Lincicome carded a round of 72.