Jin Young Ko fired an opening-round 7-under 65 to secure the early lead at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
The 2018 LPGA rookie played her final 10 holes 5-under par en route to the day’s low round, and two ahead of former World No. 1 Jiyai Shin.
“I had a solid round today and I hit some great shots on the back 9, on the front 9 too. Not bad first round,” said Ko, in the understatement of the day.
Shin, who recently posted her 50th career professional win at the ActewAGL Canberra Classic, birdied 16 and 17 to finish with a bogey-free 5-under 67, one clear of a 10-player logjam at 4-under par.
“Today I played pretty good, I missed only one fairway and missed maybe one green, so my shot was great, and my putting was great too,” said Shin. “I really enjoyed today… a bogey-free round.”
The traffic jam at T3 includes another former World No. 1 in Lydia Ko, another rookie in Luna Soborn Glames of Spain, and American sophomore star Nelly Korda.
Defending champion Ha Na Jang shot even-par 72 and sits T46.
TOP 10: ROUND ONE
1 Jin Young Ko -7
2 Jiyai Shin -5
3 Caroline Hedwall -4
3 Caroline Inglis -4
3 Lydia Ko -4
3 Sun Young Yoo -4
3 Mo Martin -4
3 Jodi Ewart Shadoff -4
3 Suzuka Yamaguchi -4
3 Luna Sobron Galmes -4
3 Emma Talley -4
3 Nelly Korda -4
ROUND 1 HIGHLIGHTS
“First time in Australia and Adelaide too, but I hear it’s famous for wine here, so finish the Tournament I will drink wine.”
– Jin Young Ko
Credits: Getty Images, LPGA Communications, Golf Australia