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Past champ Moriya Jutanugarn rebounds with back-nine 29 to take early lead at LA Open

It definitely didn’t begin off promising for Moriya Jutanugarn, who discovered herself 4 over by her first 5 holes at Wilshire Country Club, web site of her break-through win on the LPGA in 2018.

And then one thing flipped.

Jutanugarn birdied the subsequent six consecutive holes. In reality, she birdied 10 of her final 13 to rebound with a 6-under 65 and lead the sphere at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open.

“I mean, I don’t realize until I sign the scorecard I shot 29 on the backside today,” mentioned Jutnaugarn. “It was pretty fun.”

Austin Ernst and Nelly Korda, two winners in 2021, are tied for second 5 below. Korda, who missed the reduce in her earlier two begins at Wilshire, holed out for eagle on the 16th gap (her entrance aspect) with a pitching wedge to give her spherical an early increase.

“I hit some really close,” mentioned Korda, who completed in a share of second final week in Hawaii. “On 11 I hit it to tap-in range. It’s definitely nice when you have those tap-ins out here. … when you do make a par, the key is to hit your first putt close, not leave yourself the longer putt.

“I kind of learned that hopefully over the past two, three years, and I can take that into the next three days.”

Hugel-Air Premia LA Open: Leaderboard

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko headlines a gaggle at 4 below that features current main winners Sei Young Kim and A Lim Kim.

Inbee Park opened with a 68. Three years in the past, Park reclaimed the No. 1 rating for the fourth time in her profession with a share of second at Wilshire.

“The greens are just really tricky,” mentioned Park. “I mean, like some putts are really quick, some really slow. It’s very slopey, so just don’t know which way it’s going to break, how much it’s going to break. It’s very tough.

“I think nobody is going to really have a great putting week this week. I mean, it’s poana greens and it’s quite quick on the downhill putts, so I think we just got to watch out for the speed of the putts and try to hit it close as you can.”

Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda

Nelly Korda tees off at the 14th gap through the first spherical of the LPGA’s 2021 Hugel-Air Premia LA Open event at Wilshire Country Club. (Photo: Ashley Landis/Associated Press)

When Moriya gained the LA Open in 2018, her sister Ariya’s emotional response was probably the most memorable a part of the end. With Koreatown only some blocks away from the town membership, Asian followers got here out in droves to watch Sunday’s finale.

Ariya broke down sobbing after Moriya clinched her first title, displaying extra emotion for her older sister’s success than any of her personal earlier victories, together with her first main.

“It’s amazing,” Ariya mentioned within the second three years in the past. “I mean, to me, I feel like not only did she reach her goal, but I feel like our family reached our goal.”

Needless to say, Moriya loves coming again to Los Angeles. She enjoys the climate, the meals and the problem of Wilshire. Ariya opened this week’s occasion with a 71.

“You just have to put yourself into good position to play and sometimes just to make a two-putt,” she mentioned.

“I just like happened to be make a little bit more putts today.”


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