Phatlum claims early Lorena Ochoa Invitational lead
Guadalajara, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Pornanong Phatlum carded a 6-under 66 on Thursday to grab a 1-stroke lead at the end of the opening round of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Phatlum is seeking her first official victory on the LPGA Tour. Phatlum has recorded an unofficial win at the 2012 LPGA Brasil Cup.
"Well, today, my putting was very good," said Phatlum. "I had a complete game today."
Amy Yang shot a 5-under 67 to sit in second place at Guadalajara Country Club, while six-time winner this season Inbee Park is among three players sharing third at 4-under 68.
Park is joined by So Yeon Ryu and Anna Nordqvist.
Michelle Wie and Jenny Shin are tied for sixth following their matching 69s.
Phatlum started her strong round with three straight birdies to quickly move to 3-under.
After parring her next three holes, she rolled in four gains in a six-hole stretch from the seventh to jump to 7-under. A bogey at the 14th halted her momentum, and she closed with four straight pars to set the clubhouse mark at minus-6.
Yang, meanwhile, followed an opening par with a birdie at the second. She then reeled off three straight gains from the fourth to make the turn at 4-under.
A birdie at the 11th pulled her within a stroke of the lead, but Yang later bogeyed the 15th to fall two shots off the pace. She closed with a birdie at the par-5 18th to move back within a stroke of Phatlum.
"I think I did everything so well today, especially putter," stated Yang. "I felt really good over the ball every time."
Park recorded four birdies during her bogey-free round, while Ryu countered two bogeys with six birdies and Nordqvist recorded five birdies and a bogey to claim her portion of third place.
NOTES: Yang defeated Hee Kyung Seo in a playoff to capture her first victory at the LPGA KEB - HanaBank Championship in October ... Park can clinch the Rolex Player of the Year honor with a win this week ... Defending champion Cristie Kerr struggled to a 5-over 77 during her opening round to sit in last place of the 36-player field.
11/14 19:45:43 ET