Australia’s Hannah Green mastered blustery conditions to fire a six-under-par 66 and take a one-shot lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Lotte Championship in Hawaii on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old rattled off eight birdies and two bogeys to edge clear of the pack on a day where strong winds buffeted the Hoakalei Country Club on Oahu island.
“It was quite hard to predict the wind the last few holes,” world number 31 Green said. “It was getting pretty gusty. You’ve got to be pretty patient out there.
“I felt like I hit the ball really well. I don’t know how many greens I hit, but all the shots I hit where I wanted them. It’s been a while since I’ve done that.”
A group of five players are lurking on Green’s shoulder after carding five-under-par 67s.
That includes England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff, South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo, India’s Aditi Ashok, Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh, and Alison Lee of the United States.
Ashok moved to within one off the lead after a birdie-birdie finish.
Dryburgh joined the chasing pack after a spectacular back nine which included five birdies.
The 28-year-old from Aberdeen was untroubled by conditions which she said were part and parcel of learning the game in Scotland.
“When we made the turn it got pretty strong,” Dryburgh said of the wind. “Just used my Scottish knowledge, I guess.”
Four players, including Mexico’s Gaby Lopez and Australia’s Sarah Kemp, are two off the lead on four under.
Taiwan’s Lee Min and New Zealand’s former world number one Lydia Ko are a further shot back on three under.