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Birdie deluge carries Aoyama to top

Kyodo

Kaori Aoyama rattled off eight birdies on her way to sitting one shot behind six coleaders after the first round of the Japan LPGA season-opening Daikin Orchid Ladies on Friday.

The 26-year-old protege of World Golf Hall of Fame member Ayako Okamoto signed for a 3-under 69 after a roller-coaster round that also contained five bogeys at Ryukyu Golf Club.

“I want to win this year,” said Aoyama, who has yet to win on the tour. “I’ve wanted to win for a long time. I came very close to winning a few times in the past. I’ll try to think I won’t win forever if I fail to do so this season.”