After a hot and muggy first day at Siam Country Club Pattaya’s Old Course, a logjam of 10 players are within one stroke of the first-round lead of the 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand.
Jessica Korda, Minjee Lee, Lexi Thompson and Moriya Jutanugarn each posted 6-under 66 to sit tied for the marquee position.
Thailand native Jutanugarn relied on home cooking to post the only bogey-free round among the leaders.
“I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,” said Jutanugarn, who is in search of career win No. 1.
“I just rested this offseason and ate Thai food at home.”
American Jessica Korda had the day’s most exciting round, bookending an eagle-birdie start with an eagle-birdie finish, and in between offset a pair of bogeys with two more birdies, while adding a double bogey and a near-ace on the par-3 16th.
“It’s nice, it’s really, really nice,” said Korda, who was returning from off-season jaw surgery.
“Definitely a lot of rest, but it’s just nice to be out there and be able to hit the shots again. I had a strong finish last year, and just kind of cap that off and then start today it’s pretty nice. Started with an eagle, too, and I was like, damn.”
Thompson, meanwhile, started her round with a mix of colors on her card, going eagle-birdie-bogey-par. The American star finished her final 14 holes clean with four additional birdies.
“I eagled the first hole and then birdied the second and it was great to get off to a good start,” said Thompson. “This golf course is a lot of just hitting it in the fairway. Once you’re there, it is also about the second shot.”
The Aussie Lee reached 66 the dramatic way, with a 45-foot eagle on the 18th. She also added six birdies against two bogeys.
“I hit it really solid today,” said Lee. “I hit a lot of solid putts so I’m pretty happy with today.”
Six more players are just one back at 5-under 67, including defending champion Amy Yang, and World No. 2 Sung Hyun Park, who is making her debut in Thailand.
In total, some 39 of the field’s 70 players returned sub-par rounds during a humid and wind-free day in Chonburi, Thailand.
1 Minjee Lee -6
1 Lexi Thompson -6
1 Moriya Jutanugarn -6
1 Jessica Korda -6
5 Brooke Henderson -5
5 Brittany Lincicome -5
5 Amy Yang -5
5 In Gee Chun -5
5 Sung Hyun Park -5
5 Megan Khang -5
First-round video highlights of co-leader Lexi Thompson.
“I had a strong finish last year, and just kind of cap that off and then start today it’s pretty nice. Started with an eagle, too, and I was like, damn!”
– Jessica Korda
Credits: Getty Images, LPGA Tour Communications