TSUKUBAMIRAI, Ibaraki Pref. – Morgan Pressel shot a 4-under 68 Friday to hold a three-stroke lead over fellow U.S. LPGA player Tseng Yani at the halfway point of the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup.
American Pressel had five birdies and one bogey to get to 5-under 139 in the first major of the Japan LPGA Tour season at Ibaraki Golf Club.
Pressel, whose 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship victory made her the youngest-ever major winner on the U.S. tour at age 18, opened her round by making birdies on three of the first four holes.
Taiwan’s Tseng shot a 73, while overnight co-leader Mihoko Iseri sat four shots off the lead in third after a 75.
Another stroke back were Young Kim (70), Teresa Lu (72), Miki Saiki (74) and Mayu Hattori (76), the other first-round leader.
Among other notables, Sakura Yokomine had a 71 to share eighth at 1 over and Ai Miyazato moved up into a tie for 20th at 4 over with a 72.