TSUKUBAMIRAI, IBARAKI PREF. – South Korea’s Shin Ji Yai and Morgan Pressel of the United States each shot 7-under 65s Friday to share the lead after the first round of the World Salonpas Cup.
Both players reeled off seven birdies without a bogey at Ibaraki Golf Club in the first major of the Japan LPGA season. Pressel is the 2010 winner of the tournament.
South Korea’s Jeon Mi Jeong and Chie Arimura, who won the CyberAgent Ladies last week, were one stroke behind the leaders.
Crowd favorite Ai Miyazato and 2011 World Salonpas champion Ahn Sun Ju were among seven players at 5 under.
Michelle Wie, playing alongside Miyazato, struggled to a 76, leaving her tied for 106th in her first start on the Japanese women’s tour. She played against men at the Casio World Open in 2005 and 2006, missing the cut both times.
The top 60 and ties will survive Saturday’s 36-hole cut in the event. The event has been reduced to 54 holes after rain washed out play on Thursday.