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Teen leads LPGA event in Hawaii

KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Thai teen Ariya Jutanugarn shot 8-under 64 on Wednesday at breezy Ko Olina to take a one-stroke lead over Suzann Pettersen and Hee Kyung Seo after the first round of the LPGA Lotte Championship.

Jutanugarn, 17, played the front nine in 6-under 30 in her afternoon round, dropped a stroke on the par-4 10th with her lone bogey then eagled the par-5 14th and birdied the par-4 15th.

Jutanugarn was in position to win the LPGA Thailand in February only to collapse on the final hole to hand Inbee Park the title. Jutanugarn closed with triple bogey to blow a two-stroke lead, missing out on a playoff when she lipped out a 3-foot putt. She rebounded three weeks ago in Morocco, winning the Ladies European Tour's Lalla Meryem Cup for her first professional title.

Pettersen had nine birdies and two bogeys in her morning round. The Norwegian is a 10-time winner on the LPGA Tour and won an LET event this year in China.

"I went out (Wednesday) and tried to be really aggressive," said Pettersen, coming off a third-place tie two weeks in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. "My dad was so disappointed after the Kraft that I left all the putts short. He's like, 'You got to hit the ball past the hole to make putts.' "

Seo, the 2010 Kia Classic winner, had a bogey-free round in the afternoon.

Hyo Joo Kim, the 17-year-old South Korean who played in a group with Jutanugarn and 15-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, matched Danielle Kang with 66. Ko, who won the Canadian Open in August, had 71. Tampa's Kristy McPherson shot 71, and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse both shot 72.

Teen leads LPGA event in Hawaii 04/17/13 [Last modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 12:21am]
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