Queensland’s Karrie Webb carded a respectable one-under-par 71 in the opening round of the Honda LPGA Thailand on Thursday to be five shots adrift of Swede Anna Nordqvist.
Webb, who is coming off winning her fifth ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open title at Victoria Golf Club, posted three birdies and one bogey at the Old Course Pattaya at the Siam Country Club.
Rolex Rankings No. 27 shot a 6-under 66 to sit atop of the leaderboard. The Swede round included seven birdies, two bogeys and an eagle and leads Michelle Wie (67) by one shot. Three Americans are in a tie for third at 4-under par including Lexi Thompson, Angela Stanford and Jennifer Johnson.
Nordqvist, whose two LPGA Tour wins came back in 2009, got off to a quick start with three consecutive birdies and said it put her in a good mindset for the rest of the round.
“I always try to put my best foot forward,” said Nordqvist. “I try to be awake when I start on the first tee box. I hit it on the green in two, so it was a pretty easy birdie. But definitely getting a good start sets the pace for the rest of the day.”
Nordqvist was 5-under through 12 holes but picked up back-to-back bogeys after sailing shots over both the 13th and 14th greens.
“I just tried to stay in there after the two bogeys, because I didn't feel like I hit bad shots,” said Nordqvist. “I just got flyers out of the rough.”
The 26-year old bounced back with an eagle on the par 4 15th hole and had a short putt for birdie on No. 17 to go to 6-under.
“Had pretty good yardage (for the eagle) and it was on the top tier, so I just pitched it five or six paces behind the pin and spun back,” said Nordqvist. “So obviously gave me some momentum to finish off.”
The only other Australian in the limited field event this week is Katherine Kirk. She signed for a three-over-par, 75, to be tied for 49th.