Australian Karrie Webb is well positioned but ruing a double bogey on the par 4 17th after the opening round of the HSBC Women’s Champions being played at the Siam Country Club, Pattaya Old Course, Chonburi, Thailand.
Webb finished with a 3-under-par 69 after being at five-under, posting consecutive birdies on the 7th and 8th holes, followed by birdies on the 10th, 12th and 15th. Despite the hiccup at 17, it wasn’t a bad day at all for Webb who is currently tied for 10th position and chasing good friend and Rolex World No. 3 Stacy Lewis who got off to a sensation start with a nine-under-par, 63.
Lewis leads by three over France’s Karine Icher, with American Gerina Piller, Scot Catriona Matthew and South Koreans Inbee Park and Amy Yang a further shot back at five-under-par.
Lewis, who turns 28 on Saturday, got off to a hot start by holing out her second shot from 145 yards with an eight iron on the par-4 third hole for eagle. She would go on to play nearly mistake-free golf with eight birdies and one bogey en route to tying her career-low round.
“Coming off of last week I didn’t hit it very well,” said Lewis, who finished T15 at the season-opening ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
“So I came out today and I really started hitting the ball solid early on. Holed out for eagle on No. 3 and from there, I don’t know, that shot just really gave me the confidence to really start swinging at it. I think I missed two greens all day. I just had a ton of birdie putts and I even left a few out there. The fact that it could be lower – I’m not complaining.”
The only other Australian in the limited field event is Webb’s fellow Queenslander Katherine Hull-Kirk who had a disappointing day to shoot a six-over-par 78 to be tied for 67th position. Hull-Kirk’s round included five bogeys, a double bogey and a birdie on her final hole.
Defending champion Yani Tseng couldn’t continue the form she showed during the final round of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and posted a three-over-par 75 to be tied for 54th.
15-year-old amateur sensation, Lydia Ko is playing this week as a sponsor invite and is tied for 10th position at three-under-par.