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Trio from South Korea leads LPGA Lotte Championship

Three players, all from South Korea, managed the winds at Ko Olina Golf Club just a bit better than the other 141 players in the LPGA Lotte Championship to close the first round in a tie atop the leaderboard.

So Yeon Ryu set the early pace in the morning and was matched in the afternoon by Hyo Joo Kim and Se Ri Pak at 4-under-par 68.

Japan’s Ayako Uehara was the only other player to shoot in the 60s and ended the day alone in second a stroke behind the leaders.

Hawaii’s Michelle Wie closed her round as part of a five-way tie at 2-under 70. World No. 1 Inbee Park was also part of the group at 2 under.

Wie teed off on No. 10 and made the turn at even par. She bogeyed her first hole and nearly aced the par-3 16th to set up the first of her five birdies.

All three leaders made it through the day with just one bogey on their cards. Ryu, ranked seventh in the world, birdied three of her first five holes and had two more on her back nine.

Kim, an 18-year-old playing on a sponsors exemption, was bogey free until her final hole. Pak was alone in the lead at 5 under after an eagle on the fifth hole. She bogeyed No. 8 and ended her round with a sand save to finish in the tie at 4 under.

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