KOBE (Kyodo) Yasuko Sato and Yuki Ichinose shared the first-round lead while U.S. LPGA regular Ai Miyazato got off to a lackluster start at the Suntory Ladies Open on Thursday.
Sato and Ichinose, both winless on the JLPGA tour, had 5-under-par 67s while South Korean amateur Jang Ha Na and Yukari Baba followed one stroke back in a tie for third.
Making her second appearance of the season in Japan, Miyazato struggled to carry over the form that earned her a share of sixth place at last week’s LPGA State Farm Classic, making three bogeys in a 75 at Rokko Kokusai Golf Club.
“I made a lot of poor putts and my body didn’t respond the way I hoped it would this morning,” said Miyazato, winner of this tournament in 2004.
Shinobu Moromizato made four birdies and a bogey en route to a 69 and a seven-way tie for fifth.
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