Hataoka and Pedersen share early lead at the LPGA Tour’s LA Open

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nasa Hataoka and Emily Kristine Pedersen shared the lead with 4-under 67 midway through the first round on Thursday at the LPGA Tour’s DIO Implant LA Open. Hataoka closed with a birdie on a par-3 18 at the breezy Wilshire Country Club.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nasa Hataoka and Emily Kristine Pedersen shared the lead with 4-under 67 midway through the first round on Thursday at the LPGA Tour’s DIO Implant LA Open.

Hataoka closed with a birdie on a par-3 18 at the breezy Wilshire Country Club. The 23-year-old Japanese had seven birdies and three bogeys. She has five wins on the LPGA Tour and won twice last season.

Defending champion Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario opened for a 76. She had a triple bogey on the fourth par 3.

Pedersen had five birdies and one bogey. The 23-year-old Dane is without a win on the tour.

“I think you need a little bit of confidence to go into this class,” Pedersen said. “There are some tight drives, a little bit whimsical shots into the greens where you really have to be at the right angle and just focus on the shots.”

Sei Young Kim and So Yeon Ryu were a blow behind with Jennifer Song, Haylee Harford, Janie Jackson and Dewi Weber.

“A bit windy on the back nine, so we took a long iron for a couple of holes and just tried to make par,” Kim said. “It’s not easy. You have to pick the right number and then it gets published a lot.”

Leader Jin Young had a 71. Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que. opened with a 74 and Maddie Szeryk of London, Ontario had a 77.

The tournament kicks off a two-week stint in the Los Angeles area with the Palos Verdes Championship next week.

The Associated Press






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