Thailand's Patty takes first-round lead in Singapore

Thailand's Patty takes first-round lead in Singapore

FILE PHOTO: Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand hits from the 9th tee during the first round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony Golf & Country Club on Feb 03, 2022 in Fort Myers, Florida. (AFP)
FILE PHOTO: Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand hits from the 9th tee during the first round of the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony Golf & Country Club on Feb 03, 2022 in Fort Myers, Florida. (AFP)

"I'm feeling pretty confident about my game right now," said the Thai player, who finished tied third at last year's tournament.

Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit fired a bogey-free, five-under-par 67 to take the lead after the first round of the HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore on Thursday.

The 22-year-old carded three birdies on holes three, seven, nine for an outward 33 before adding another pair of birdies on the 13th and 16th holes.

She holds a one-shot advantage over Danielle Kang of the United States, South Korea's Kim A-lim and two-time tournament champion Park In-bee.

It was a further boost for Patty after a stellar 2021, which saw her named LPGA rookie of the year and also capture her maiden major championship.

"I played very solid today, and I would give myself seven out of 10 for my ball striking. It's a fresh year, and I'm looking forward to what's to come."

Kang could have headed into the second round with a share of the lead with Patty but made a costly mistake at the last, dropping a shot.

"The finish was very frustrating," said Kang, who carded three bogeys in her last four closing holes.

"I just misjudged the wind and the lie. Towards the end, I really couldn't focus. It was just that I don't know what I was doing out there sometimes."

World number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea meanwhile signed for a 69 for a share of fifth place, while compatriot and defending champion Kim Hyo-joo posted a 72 to trail five shots off the lead in tied 37th place.

In a lighter moment during the day's play, South Korea's Park looked startled when she spotted a large monitor lizard -- a common sight in tropical Singapore -- on the course at the Sentosa Golf Club.

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