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Grace Park Takes Lead in LPGA Opener

Posted February. 18, 2006 02:59,   


Grace Park’s LPGA season (Nike Golf) is off to a good start.

Park took the lead and tied the course record in the first round of the LPGA’s 2006 SBS Open (prize money: $1 million) at the Turtle Bay Resort Palmer Course (par 72) in Oahu, Hawaii yesterday. Park made six birdies without a single bogey for a 6-under-par 66.

While some players were unable to finish their game due to heavy rains, Park pulled away from Lee Mina (25, KTF) in second place with a 4-under 68. Park’s score of 66 yesterday tied the course record set by last year’s champion Jennifer Rosales of the Philippines.

Park opened the season and the tourney with consecutive birdies on holes 1 and 2, then soared to the top of the leader board with birdies on holes 6 (par 4) and 10 (par 4). She ended the match on top by adding more birdies on holes 16 (par 4) and 18 (par 5).

“Last year wasn’t so great because I had a back injury and other problems. I spent the whole winter practicing. Finishing the first game with a good score has made me more confident,” said Park.

Five Korean golfers, including Park and Lee, were ranked in the top-10 yesterday. Kang Ji-min, Bae Gyeong-eun (CJ), and Lim Seong-ah (Nonghyup Hansamin) are tied for sixth at 3-under-par, and have yet to finish the round due to a rain delay.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com