Michelle Wie overcame a slow start to shoot a 2-under 70 in today’s opening round of the LPGA Lotte Championship played in calm conditions at Ko Olina to trail first-round leader Ariya Jutanugarn, who carded a 64, by six shots
Wie managed an even-par 36 on the front nine, bogeyed the 10th after hitting her drive into the water, but then went 3 under over her final eight holes to remain in contention. Suzanne Pettersen was one shot off the pace of Jutanugarn after shooting a 65 in the morning. South Korea’s Hee Kyung Seo tied for Pettersen for second with a 7-under round of her own in the afternoon.
Pettersen was in an early-morning pairing and had the benefit of not being bothered by the tradewinds, which stayed down through most of the round. The talented Norwegian carded nine birdies and two bogeys to seize the advantage. Jutanugarn drew even at 7 under with an eagle at the 14th, and then took the lead with a birdie at the 15th. The 8-under performance is a tournament record.
The other local entrant, Stephanie Kono, fired a 1-over 73. She had an up-and-down start. The Punahou graduate birdied her first two holes, then bogeyed the third, double-bogeyed the fourth and bogeyed the ninth to make the turn at 2 over. She was 1 under on the closing holes.