POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 24, 2011
PITTSFORD, N.Y. » No matter how hard she tried, Paula Creamer couldn’t quite catch Yani Tseng. Neither could anyone else.
Tseng, the top-ranked player in the world, shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead over Creamer after the first round of the LPGA Championship.
The 22-year-old Tseng, already the youngest player to win three majors, made five birdies on the front nine and three more on the back to go with a pair of bogeys as she began her quest for another major title.
“I tried to put it on the fairways as much as I could,” said Tseng, who finished second to Stacy Lewis at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in March, the first major of the year. “When you put it on the fairways, you have more chance to make birdies. The second shot I hit it very good.”
Did she ever.
Among her eight birdie putts on what was mostly a sunny, calm day at Locust Hill Country Club, none was longer than the 8-footer she made at No. 15. And although Tseng hit only six of 14 fairways, her strength allowed her to hit solid shots out of the thick rough and she was able to reach 15 of 18 greens in regulation. And she was nearly flawless on the short holes, birdieing all four par 3s on a course that had been softened somewhat by an overnight thunderstorm.
Angela Stanford, Meena Lee, Diana D’Alessio and Stacy Prammanasudh were 4 under.
Defending champion Cristie Kerr, who was ailing with a light case of the flu, shot an even-par 72, as did Hawaii’s Michelle Wie.
Michael Bradley had a one-stroke lead when first-round play in the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Conn., was suspended for the day.
Bradley was 6 under with two holes left when play was stopped at 11:30 a.m. at TPC River Highlands.
Sweden’s Henrik Stenson shot an 8-under 64 in rainy conditions to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the BMW International Open in Munich, Germany. England’s Gary Boyd was second.