ASAKURA, Fukuoka Pref. (Kyodo) Yuko Saito and South Korea’s Kim So Hee shot 5-under 67s to share the first-round lead at the Vernal Ladies on Friday.

Both one-time winners on the Japan LPGA Tour, Saito and Kim each had six birdies and a bogey at Fukuoka Century Golf Club.

Defending champion Lim Eun A of South Korea, Sakura Yokomine and Yuko Mitsuka sat one shot behind the leaders. Chie Arimura was alone in sixth a further stroke back.

Shinobu Moromizato opened with a 71 after winning the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup last week for her second major title.

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