World Number 1 Jiyai Shin fired a blemish-free six-under par 67 to share the lead with American Jennifer Song in the opening round of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open at Commonwealth Golf Club.
Shin finished with three birdies on either side of the course, including three straight birdies on holes 12, 13 and 14 to give her a score that was better than her daily goal.
“This morning my goal was five under par because I had a good feeling. It is not an easy course but I am very comfortable,” Shin said.
“I played early morning so I played without the wind. There was a little bit of rain that soaked the greens so I was really aggressive with every shot to the pin. I missed three or four greens but my short game and putting were good.”
American Jennifer Song, on her first visit to Australia, also finished with three birdies on either side of the course to share the lead.
“I was draining a lot of putts from everywhere, like if I had birdie chances, close putts, I definitely made it and I made a couple of long putts that really got me going,” the LPGA Tour rookie said.
Ireland’s Rebecca Coakley is in outright third place following her five-under par 68.
Canberra local and Japanese Tour player Nikki Campbell is one of three players tied in fourth place following her opening round four-under par 69 and said she was still adjusting to the Australian conditions.
“Whenever I play in Australia it takes me a while to feel comfortable because it is such a fast game. The ball rolls a lot more. In Japan we allow for elevation, 10 yards for uphill or downhill. Here is is one or two,” Campbell said.
Australia’s Karrie Webb finished with a one-under par 72 to be in a tie for 24th.
“My whole round was very scratchy,” Webb said.
“I actually hit more quality shots in my first nine holes than I did on the back nine. I managed to get it around. I did some good things.”
Defending champion Yani Tseng bogeyed her final hole to finish at three-under par.
England’s Laura Davies is in a tie for 16th place following her two-under par 71.
The second round begins on Friday.
All proceeds from tickets go to Queensland Flood Relief.
Championship Tickets are available at the Gate or through Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au or by calling 132 849.
Tickets: Adults- $20, Conc- $15, Children Under 15 – Free
For parking information visit: http://www.womensaustralianopen.com.au/
ALL 4 ROUNDS LIVE ON ABC TV:
LIVE FRIDAY: 3.00pm- 6.00pm on ABC1
(Check Local Guides for details)
The 2011 HANDA Women’s Australian Open will be played at Commonwealth Golf Club
from 3- 6 February.