Meadow and Maguire make strong starts in Hawaii
Irish pair inside the top-15 after round one as Brittany Altomare and Yuka Saso share lead
Leona Maguire is in a tie for 14th after the first round of the Lotte Championship. Photo: Michael Owens/Getty Images
Stephanie Meadow and Leona Maguire both made strong starts at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii on Wednesday.
With American Brittany Altomare and 19-year-old Phillipines native Yuka Saso sharing the lead at eight under par following rounds of 64, Meadow sits just three shots back after a 67 while Maguire signed for an opening round of 68.
Still chasing her first LPGA title in her seventh year on the tour, 29-year-old Meadow started brilliantly with five birdies in a blemish-free first 12 holes, before cancelling three more birdies with three bogeys in her last six to post six under for the first day.
While there may have been some disappointment for Meadow in dropping three shots on her way home, Maguire opened with a bogey-free card which included birdies at the seventh, 13th, 14th and 17th to get to four under, continuing the good form which saw her finish in the top-30 at the first women’s Major of the year two weeks ago.
One shot off the lead are South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu and Americans Ally Ewing and Nelly Korda.
England’s Georgia Hall was six shots off the lead. She began strongly to be three-under after seven holes, but a patchy back nine — rescued by a birdie at 17 — left her with a two-under 70.
Three years ago Saso became the first Philippine woman to win an individual gold medal at the Asian Games when she accomplished the feat in 2018.
She plays primarily on the LPGA of Japan Tour, but she tied for 13th at last year’s US Women’s Open and tied for 50th at the ANA Inspiration.
Saso’s bogey-free round, which also began on the back nine, concluded with four consecutive birdies.
“I made some good putts, had good up and downs, my driving was very consistent today,” Saso said.
“I think, yeah, that made me lucky.”
She is playing in the event, and on her first visit to Hawaii, thanks to a sponsors’ exemption.
“It’s really a good opportunity for me to learn and also learn from other golfers that here, so ... I’m really thankful,” she said.
Collated first round scores in the LPGA Tour, LOTTE Championship, Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii, USA (USA unless stated, Par 72)
64 Yuka Saso (Phi), Brittany Altomare ,
65 Nelly Korda, Som-Yeon Ryu (Kor), Ally Ewing
66 Stacy Lewis
67 Rose Zhang, Sei-Young Kim (Kor), Jessica Korda, Mi-Hyang Lee (Kor), Lydia Ko (Nzl), Wei Ling Hsu (Tai), Stephanie Meadow (NIrl)
68 Hinako Shibuno (Jpn), Brooke Henderson (Can), Alexis Thompson, Danielle Kang, Hyo-Joo Kim (Kor), Yu Liu (Chn), Jennifer Kupcho, Nicole Broch Larsen (Den), Ind-Gee Chun (Kor), Leona Maguire (Irl), Anne van Dam (Ned), Muni He (Chn), Brianna Do
69 Paula Reto (Rsa), Jeon-Geun Lee (Kor), Amy Yang (Kor), Azahara Munoz (Spa), Jenny Shin (Kor), Katherine Kirk (Aus), Amy Olson, Sarah Schmelzel, Xiyu Lin (Chn), Austin Ernst, Angela Stanford, Jennifer Coleman, Jeong-Eun Lee (Kor), Linnea Stroem (Swe), Aditi Ashok (Ind), Nam-Yeon Choi (Kor), Yealimi Noh, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor), Klara Spilkova (Cze), Kyung Kim, Luna Sobron (Spa)
70 Gabriela Ruffels (Aus), Hannah Green (Aus), Kristen Gillman, Chella Choi (Kor), Georgia Hall (Eng), Maria Torres (Pur), A-Lim Kim (Kor), Ssu-Chia Cheng (Tai), Jillian Hollis, Tiffany Chan (Hkg), Lindy Duncan, Haley Moore, Sarah Burnham, Louise Ridderstroem (Swe), Lauren Coughlin, Celine Palomar-Herbin (Fra), Alison Lee
71 Min-Jee Lee (Aus), Lizette Salas, Nasa Hataoka (Jpn), Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha), Ind-Bee Park (Kor), Alena Sharp (Can), Gerina Piller, Pornanong Phatlum (Tha), Cheyenne Knight, Perrine Delacour (Fra), Robynn Ree, Maria Fassi (Mex), Mina Harigae, Matilda Castren (Fin), Esther Henseleit (Ger), Nuria Iturrios (Spa), Kendall Dye, Jacqui Concolino
72 Eun-Hee Ji (Kor), Cydney Clanton, Pajaree Anannarukarn (Tha), Ryann O’Toole, Harukyo Nomura (Jpn), Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul (Tha), Giulia Molinaro (Ita), Lindsey Weaver, Albane Valenzuela (Swi), Jennifer Chang, Kelly Tan (Mal), Lee Lopez, Anne-Catherine Tanguay (Can), Cheyenne Woods
73 Kim Metraux (Swi), Su-Hyun Oh (Aus), Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha), Caroline Inglis, Cristie Kerr, Brittany Lang, Pernilla Lindberg (Swe), Lauren Kim, Yui Kawamoto (Jpn), Dana Finkelstein, Elizabeth Szokol, Wichanee Meechai (Tha),Alana Uriell, Youngin Chun
74 Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha), Caroline Masson (Ger), Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa), Jennifer Song, Lauren Stephenson, Katherine Perry, Min-Seo Kwak (Kor), Marissa Steen
75 Ana Belac (Slo), Jing Yan (Chn), Sarah Jane Smith (Aus), Ayako Uehara (Jpn), Esther Lee, Daniela Darquea (Ecu), Jaclyn Lee (Can), Elizabeth Nagel, Ji-Won Jeon (Kor), Linnea Johansson (Swe), Andrea Lee, Dottie Ardina (Phi)
76 Tiffany Joh, Christina Kim, Kim Kaufman, Yu-Jeong Son (Kor), Bianca Pagdanganan (Phi), Gemma Dryburgh (Sco)
77 Mo Martin, Pavarisa Yoktuan (Tha), Emma Talley, Maia Schechter
78 Mariah Stackhouse, Suzuka Yamaguchi (Jpn), Min Lee (Tai)
79 Yani Tseng (Tai)