| Golf news | Hong takes Honda LPGA Thailand lead over all of world´s Top 10 players

Hong takes Honda LPGA Thailand lead over all of world´s Top 10 players


Jin Joo Hong of South Korea emerged as a surprise first-round leader Thursday after shooting a 6-under 66 at the $1.45 million Honda LPGA Thailand event

In a field boasting all the world's top 10 players, it was the unheralded Hong who fired six birdies and an eagle against two bogeys to open a two-stroke lead over Sweden's Helen Alfredsson and four Americans: Paula Creamer, Angela Stanford, Kristy McPherson and Brittany Lang.

Mexican Lorena Ochoa, the world's top-ranked player, struggled on the firm greens and had a 71, along with nine other players, including former No. 1 Karrie Webb of Australia.

The world's No. 3 Creamer made a late charge with birdies on three of the final five holes.

Stanford, who along with Hong had an eagle on the 11th hole, showed the form that saw her win in Hawaii two weeks ago.

McPherson was another player who said her low score did not reflect the difficulty of both the course and the tropical heat.

American Nicole Castrale (69) was alone in seventh place, a shot ahead of Sweden's Sophie Gustafson, 2006 champion Hee-won Han of South Korea, McDonald's LPGA Championship winner Yani Tseng of Taiwan and American Morgan Pressel.

Leaderboard – Round 1:

1. Jin Joo Hong                      KOR  66 - 6
2. Kristy McPherson                 USA  68 - 4
    Angela Stanford                  USA  68 - 4
    Paula Creamer                   USA  68 - 4
    Helen Alfredsson                SWE  68 - 4
    Brittany Lang                      USA  68 - 4
7. Nicole Castrale                    USA  69 - 3
8. Sophie Gustafson                SWE  70 - 2
    Hee-Won Han                    KOR  70 - 2
    Yani Tseng                         TAI  70 - 2
    Morgan Pressel                   USA  70 - 2


Source: AP, LPGA Tour


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