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Christina Kim grabs early lead at LPGA Ochoa Invitational

American Christina Kim, seeking her first LPGA title since 2005, fired a seven-under-par 65 to grab a one-stroke lead after Thursday`s first round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

Christina Kim grabs early lead at LPGA Ochoa Invitational

Mexico City: American Christina Kim, seeking her first LPGA title since 2005, fired a seven-under-par 65 to grab a one-stroke lead after Thursday`s first round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.

The 30-year-old US standout took a one-stroke lead over Spain`s Azahara Munoz with New Zealand teen Lydia Ko, this season`s LPGA Rookie of the Year, alone in third on 68.

Kim`s bogey-free round included eagles at the par-five second and 17th holes in Mexico City.

Her only two LPGA titles came at the 2004 Longs Drugs Challenge and 2005 Tournament of Champions. She won a Ladies European Tour event, the Sicilian Ladies Italian Open, in 2011.

A closing bogey cost Munoz a share of the lead. 

The Spaniard opened with birdies at the first and third holes, took a bogey at the fourth but closed the front nine with a birdie. She ran off three birdies in five holes starting at the par-4 12th and eagled the 17th.

Ko, a 17-year-old South Korean-born Kiwi, has already clinched top newcomer honors with two events remaining this season. 

She has won twice this year after two Canadian Women`s Open wins as an amateur pushed the LPGA to allow her onto the tour a year ahead of the usual minimum age of 18.

Ko opened with a bogey but answered with back-to-back birdies on the next two holes and again at the sixth and seventh. She took another bogey at the par-5 11th and closed with back-to-back birdies to stand alone in third.

Thailand`s Pornanong Phatlum and Americans Lizette Salas and Gerina Piller shared fourth on 69.

World number two Park In-Bee of South Korea, trying to overtake US rival Stacy Lewis for the top spot in the rankings, was in a pack of seven on 70 that included defending champion Lexi Thompson.

Lewis was on 76 and without a birdie in her opening round. 

From Zee News

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