Ilhee Lee sets pace in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - Ilhee Lee fired a 7-under-par 64 on Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the LPGA Malaysia.
Lee, who earned her first career victory at the weather-shortened Pure Silk- Bahamas LPGA Classic in May, went bogey-free on the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club's East Course.
Brittany Lang was tied for the first-round lead entering her final hole, where she tripped to a bogey and dropped into solo second at 6-under 65.
Paula Creamer recovered from a double-bogey 5 at the 15th, closing with back- to-back birdies wrap up a 66 and grab a share of third place. She stands alongside Beatriz Recari, Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Eun-Hee Ji.
"I played really solid, I gave myself a lot of opportunities and I made some putts," Creamer said in a televised interview.
World No. 2 Suzann Pettersen, last week's Reignwood LPGA Classic winner Shanshan Feng, Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr and I.K. Kim were part of a large group tied for seventh at 4-under 67.
"This is the best I've hit it all week so hopefully it's on an uphill swing and hopefully I can hit a few more putts out there. Today I didn't make any putts ... (it) felt like I left three or four out there," said Pettersen.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Inbee Park, a six-time winner this season, is tied for 28th after carding a 1-under 70.
Lee went out early off the first tee and opened with a birdie before reeling off five consecutive pars. From there, she birdied two of three to wrap up her outward 32, then parred three straight around the turn.
Gaining momentum, Lee birdied three in a row from the 13th, then added another at the 17th to reach 7-under. She parred the last to grab the clubhouse lead.
"I think just everything else was really good, but just my irons weren't sharp enough. But I think because of the hot weather, that really made it hard to concentrate out on the course," Lee stated.
Lang, whose lone win on the LPGA Tour came at the 2012 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, was 7-under through 14 holes when Lee wrapped up her 65.
Beginning her round at the 10th tee, Lang got off to a flying start, notching birdies on six of her first seven holes.
Around the turn, Lang reached minus-7 with a birdie at the first, but she cooled from there, tallying seven straight pars and a bogey at the last to drop into second place.
NOTES: Park is attempting to successfully defend a title for the first time in her career. Of her six wins this season, three came in major championships ... World No. 3 Stacy Lewis is tied for 21st at 2-under-par 69 ... This is the second of five consecutive events in Asia for the LPGA Tour.
10/10 10:56:14 ET