WELLINGTON – Sweden’s Pernilla Lindberg struggled in difficult conditions Thursday when she became the first female golfer to compete at the New Zealand Open as Korean teenager Kim Joo-hyung stormed to the early lead.
Lindberg, who won her first major at the 2018 ANA Inspiration, shot a nine-over par 80 in strong winds in the Asian Tour event at the Millbrook Resort course in Queenstown and finished the first round in a two-way tie for 152nd in the 156-player field.
But the 33-year-old was on track to meet her tournament goal to “beat just one man,” ending the day ahead of three, including Australian veteran Brett Rumford.
Talented youngster Kim, 17, who became the second-youngest winner on the Asian Tour at the Panasonic Open in India last year, shot a seven-under par 64 at Millbrook to top the first-day leaderboard.
The first two rounds are played over two courses with Australian Brad Kennedy, who played the neighboring Hills course, lying a stroke behind at six-under and holding a share of second place with Ben Eccles and recent Hong Kong Open winner Wade Ormsby who were both played Millbrook.