Australian Minjee Lee takes one-stroke lead at LPGA tournament

Australia's Minjee Lee watches her shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the LPGA tournament at LPGA International Busan in Busan, South Korea, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019.(Han Jong-chan/AP)

BUSAN, Korea, Republic Of — Minjee Lee overcame changing weather conditions at the Buick Ladies Championship to take a one-stroke lead with a bogey-free 6-under 66 after the first round of the LPGA tournament in South Korea.

"Sometime we had sunshine, wind, rain … we had a little bit of everything today," the 23-year-old Australian said Thursday under an umbrella at the end of her round as the showers persisted. "But whenever I had to make up-and-downs, I was able to get up-and-down."

Danielle Kang, who won last week’s tournament at Shanghai, was in a group tied for second with Jin Young Ko, Jeongeun Lee6 and Seung Yeon Lee on the LPGA International Busan course.

Minjee Lee birdied three of her opening nine holes and added three more birdies on her final nine.

Kang continued her strong play, carding her second consecutive bogey-free round.

"I stayed really patient today. I knew there were a lot of birdie opportunities but a lot of mistakes that could happen," said Kang, whose last bogey came on the second hole of her third round in Shanghai. "I didn’t attack a lot of pins — not like me — but I just tried to hit the fairways, the greens, and try to keep dry."

Ko and Lee6 also went bogey-free on Thursday while Seung Yeon Lee, playing in just her second LPGA Tour event, made one bogey to go with four birdies and an eagle at No. 18. Seven players were tied for sixth at 4 under, including Shanshan Feng.

"Somehow when I play in the wind, I’m actually more focused and more patient," said Feng. "Especially we knew that it was going to rain today, so we prepared. We brought our rain gear, umbrella, and extra towels to try to keep ourselves dry. So I think overall, I did a pretty good job."

Lydia Ko and Nelly Korda each shot 69, her sister Jessica Korda 71 and Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer had opening 74s. Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont., opened with a 71 and Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., had a 73.

It’s the second stop on the LPGA Tour’s Asian swing. There are tournaments in Taiwan and Japan over the next two weeks.

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