• Kyodo

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Rui Kitada, who has been struggling all season on the Japan LPGA tour, came back to the top of the leaderboard after shooting a first-round 64 that put her in a tie for the lead with Paula Creamer and Wei Yun-jye at the NEC Karuizawa 72 tournament Friday.

Defending champion Kitada, who missed the cut in 10 of her 17 events this year after winning three titles in 2004, U.S. LPGA rookie Creamer and Taiwan’s Wei all made eight birdies in bogey-free rounds on the Karuizawa 72 Golf North Course.

Kitada carded six of her birdies on the back nine of her favorite course, including three straight from the 16th, while Creamer and Wei matched each other by making four birdies in each half. Creamer is making her first appearance in a JLPGA tour event after winning twice on the U.S. LPGA Tour this year.

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