LPGA Hall of Famer Park In-bee launched her 2021 marketing campaign in model Thursday, rolling in six birdies in a six-under 66 for the first-round lead at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California.
Park, whose 20 LPGA victories embrace seven main titles, seized the solo lead along with her final birdie of the day at the seventeenth, transfer a stroke forward of fellow South Korean Kim Hyo-joo at Aviara north of San Diego.
“Really happy with the round today, especially I putted really good on these greens today, so I’m really happy with that,” Park, a former world primary presently ranked fourth, mentioned.
“I know it’s going to be test of some patience this week with the putting green and obviously being my first week out I am probably a little bit rusty, so I’m just trying to get the tournament feeling going for the next three days.
“If the outcomes are good, it is nice. But if not, I’m simply warming up.”
In chilly, rainy conditions, Kim had set the early target at five-under par 67.
She had eight birdies in a round bookended by two of her three bogeys at the first and 18th.
“Today I additionally made loads of errors that I should not have made, and (Friday) I’m trying ahead to not making as many errors and having an ideal spherical,” Kim, ranked eighth in the world, said.
Kim is playing her first LPGA event since November of 2019. She won twice on the Korean LPGA in 2020.
She said her transition back to competition in the United States has been “a bit bit annoyed and awkward … simply talking English abruptly and loads of it at one time.
“But definitely happy to be back playing and even happier that the first round went to my liking,” she mentioned.
Germany’s Sophia Popov, Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow, England’s Mel Reid and South Korean Chun In-gee have been tied for third on 68.
It was an additional stroke again to South Korea’s Amy Yang and American Mina Harigae.
Defending champion Nasa Hataoka of Japan had a tough day that included a triple-bogey seven at the 18th and 5 bogeys that left her on seven-over 79.