• Kyodo

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Nasa Hataoka carded a 3-under-par 69 on Thursday, sitting one stroke off the pace after the first round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

Hataoka, currently seventh in the world rankings, shot three birdies in a bogey-free opening round on the Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.

She trails five golfers at 4-under — France’s Celine Boutier, China’s Yu Liu, American Amy Olson, Australian Minjee Lee and Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, the current world No. 1.

South Korea’s Park Sung Hyun, the world No. 2, is one of seven women tied for sixth place along with Hataoka.

The 20-year-old Hataoka earned her first LPGA titles last season with wins at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and the Toto Japan Classic, an event co-sanctioned with the LPGA of Japan Tour.

Former world No. 1 Ai Miyazato won this tournament in 2010 when it was called the HSBC Women’s Champions, one of her nine wins on the LPGA Tour prior to her retirement in 2017.

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