Nordqvist claims early lead in Thailand

 

The Sports Network

Chonburi, Thailand (SportsNetwork.com) - Anna Nordqvist fired a 6-under 66 on Thursday to claim a 1-stroke lead after the first round of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Nordqvist is seeking her third career win on the LPGA Tour and first since the 2009 LPGA Tour Championship.

"Today is a good start," said Nordqvist.

Michelle Wie carded a 5-under 67 on the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Country Club to sit alone in second place, while Lexi Thompson, Jennifer Johnson and Angela Stanford shared third at 4-under 68.

World No. 1 and defending champion Inbee Park shot a 1-under 71 in her 2014 debut to sit among a group of 11 players tied for 14th. Also among that group is Stacy Lewis and ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open winner Karrie Webb.

Nordqvist wasted no time getting into red numbers on the day, opening her round with three straight birdies to jump the 3-under.

After cooling down a bit with pars over her next four holes, she birdied the eighth to make the turn at 4-under.

She picked up another shot at the 12th before tripping to consecutive bogeys at the 13th and 14th. The Swede quickly got those shots back, however, as she holed out her second shot at the par-4 15th for an eagle to jump back to minus-5.

She then followed a par at the 16th with a birdie at the 17th to reach 6-under and parred the last to finish there.

Wie started on the back nine and opened her round with a birdie at the 10th. She later added a gain at the 15th before reeling off three straight birdies from the 18th to move to 5-under.

A bogey at the third halted her momentum and dropped her two strokes behind Nordqvist, but she bounced back with a birdie at the seventh and parred her final two holes to remain a shot off the pace.

Johnson countered a lone bogey with five birdies, while Thompson had an eagle, three birdies and a bogey during her opening round.

Stanford, meanwhile, responded to a pair of bogeys with four birdies and a hole-in-one at the eighth to earn her share of third place.

NOTES: Nordqvist's other win came at the 2009 McDonald`s LPGA Championship ... Wie is searching for her first title since the 2010 Canadian Women's Open ... Ariya Jutanugarn, who recorded a triple bogey on the 72nd hole of the tournament last year to hand the win to Park, carded an even-par 72 Thursday and owns a share of 25th place.

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