Hannah Green takes the lead in the LPGA Lotte Championship

EWA BEACH, Hawaii (AP) — Hannah Green shot a 6-under 66 on Wednesday to take the lead midway through the first round of the LPGA Tour’s Lotte Championship.

Green birdied eight times, including five of the first nine at Breezy Hoakalei Country Club, a first venue in the 10th edition of the tournament. The Aussie hit 11 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 regulation greens and only needed 26 putts.

“I hit the ball well,” Green said. “I just felt like with the putter, I just needed to see a few of them go in. So that’s kind of what led to my score today. I got some put some longer, which is fine. I just made the hole look a little bigger.

She won both of her tour titles in 2019, winning the KPMG Major Women’s PGA Championship and the Cambia Portland Classic.

“I really love coming to Hawaii,” Green said. “It’s such a relaxed vibe, and I think that’s what we need a little more when we’re on the golf course. This afternoon I’m probably going to go to the beach. Hopefully it’s not too windy or it’s not too pleasant.”

Aditi Ashok, Alison Lee and Gemma Dryburgh were a blow back.

“We were lucky to get out of it before it really started to blow,” Dryburgh said. “When we made the turn, it got pretty strong. Yeah, I just used my Scottish knowledge.

Defending champion Lydia Ko opened with a bogey-free 69.

“I felt like I kept it in play for most games,” Ko said. “The wind picked up a lot on my back nine, which is the front nine, so that made things much more difficult.”

Brooke Henderson, the only player to win the tournament twice, had a 74. She had back-to-back bogeys on the sixth and seventh holes, then lost two more shots with a double bogey on the 180-yard, par-3 ninth .

Jennifer Kupcho, coming off a big win two weeks ago at Rancho Mirage in the California desert, played in the afternoon.

This is the 10th edition of the Lotte Championship, but the first time the tournament has been held at Hoakalei Country Club.

The event was played at Ko Olina Golf Club for its first eight years, was canceled in 2020 and moved to Kapolei Golf Club last year.


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