Yuka Saso blasted a bogey-free seven-under-par 64 to share the early lead with five others at the start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas Friday, Sept. 23 (Saturday in Manila).
Saso played flawlessly at the front nine after firing five birdies and added two more from the 10th and 18th holes to gain the top leaderboard along with Koreans Sei Young Kim and Jeongeun Lee, and Americans Megan Khang, Ryann O’Toole and Lauren Coughlin.
Kim exploded with six birdies in the first 10 holes, then stumbled into a lone bogey on the 11th, before picking up her game with two more birdies on the 14th and 18th.
Like Saso, Lee also went bogey-free by firing seven birdies including four at the back nine while Coughlin highlighted her round with an eagle on the 18th apart from six birdies and a bogey.
O’Toole, for her part, exploded with six birdies from the second through seventh holes and finished with eight birdies against a lone bogey on the 11th while Khang also registered with eight birdies and a bogey.
Vivan Hou and Lilia Vu trail by one shot with identical 65s, while Charley Hull, Sophia Schubert, Muni He, Georgia Hall, A Lim Kim and Jenny Shin posted similar 66s.
Saso tees off for the second round at 1:22 p.m., while Khang and O’Toole start at 1 p.m. Coughlin competes at 12:16 p.m., Kim starts at 8:11 a.m. and Lee at 7:38 a.m.
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