PHOENIX — Ai Miyazato took the LPGA Founders Cup first-round lead on a hot afternoon in the desert, playing a late four-hole stretch in 5 under for a tournament-record 9-under 63 Thursday.
Returning from a whiplash injury sustained in a five-vehicle crash after the tournament in Thailand three weeks ago, Miyazato birdied the par-3 14th, holed a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th and added birdies on the par-4 16th and par-3 17th to open a two-stroke lead over Jee Young Lee.
Miyazato was hurt on the way to the Bangkok airport and withdrew from the following week's tournament in Singapore as a precaution because of stiffness in her neck, shoulder and back.
Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse and Tampa resident Kristy McPherson were at 3-under 69. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome was 3 over.