PEARL CITY, Hawaii (Kyodo) Up-and-coming Japanese women’s pro golfer Sakura Yokomine made a solid start in a battle of the sexes Friday with a 4-under-par 67 after the first round of the Hawaii Pearl Open.
“I’m very pleased with the way I played today,” said Yokomine. “Even though I’m surrounded by men it didn’t really bother me. I really enjoyed it out there.”
Yokomine, 19, and fellow Japanese Ai Ogawa are the only two women in the men’s event at the par-71 Pearl Country Club after teen sensation Michelle Wie pulled out with an arm injury.
Although the Hawaii Pearl Open is not a U.S. PGA event, it attracts top pros from the Japanese men’s tour, and U.S. LPGA star Wie appeared in last year’s event as the only female in the field of 192 and finished 38th.
Yokomine turned professional last summer and finished fourth in her pro debut at the Fujisankei Ladies Classic in September.
She shared second place in both the Japan Women’s Open and the Hisako Higuchi IDC Otsuka Ladies, and finished 27th on the JLPGA money list.
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