• Kyodo News

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NANJO — Sakura Yokomine fired a 4-under-par 68 for a share of the lead in the first round of the season-opening Daikin Orchid Ladies Friday to jump-start her campaign to win her career first money rankings crown.

Yokomine made four birdies in a bogey-free journey and was tied with defending champion Song Bo Bae of South Korea, followed by local favorite Shinobu Moromizato, Australian Tamie Durdin and Ayako Uehara in third, one shot behind under sunny skies at Ryukyu Golf Club in Okinawa Prefecture.

South Korean Jeon Mi Jeong, Yuko Mitsuka and Erina Hara were at 2-under, while last year’s money title winner Miho Koga had two birdies against one bogey in a round of 71 to feature in a 10-way tie for ninth.

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