Karrie Webb sits in the top 10 after the opening round of the Mizuno Classic in Japan.
Webb, who was coming off a three week break, carded a two-under-par 70 at the at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Shima-Shi, to be just three shots behind American Morgan Pressel.
The Queenslander’s round included three birdies and one bogey. Starting on the front nine, Webb recorded a bogey on the par 4, 3rd, before she hit back with a birdie on the par 5, 7th to go out in even par, 36. On the back nine Webb played solid golf, with back-to-back birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to come home in 34.
Webb is looking for her third LPGA victory this year is chasing the American who fired an opening round of 67 and takes take a one-shot lead into the weekend.
“My day was good,” Pressel said. “It was tough out there with the winds. Especially early, some of those holes played really tough. I didn’t get myself in a lot of trouble and when I did I made a good putt for par. I definitely putted well today and I think that’s why I ended up at 5-under.”
Pressel carded one of just two bogey-free rounds and tallied five birdies en route to her 5-under-par round.
“I love playing in Japan,” Pressel said with a smile.
“I love playing in front of the crowds. The golf courses are a lot of fun to play and I just really enjoy being in this country. Everybody is very nice here and very supportive so I do enjoy playing in Japan very much.”
Chasing down Pressel on the weekend will be a strong group of players including Chella Choi and Dame Laura Davies who each sit one shot back entering Saturday. Japan’s Kotono Kozuma, South Koreans Mi Hyang Lee and Illhee Lee and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum share fourth position at three under. Webb is in a group of eight players at two-under and tied for eighth.
The only other Australian in the field this week is Sarah Jane Smith. Smith didn’t have a get first round and is well back in a share of 66th position at four-over-par.