South Korea’s Jiyai Shin has put two shots on the rest of the field at the Canberra Classic after a blistering opening round.
The former world No.1 is clubhouse leader at Royal Canberra after carding a seven-under 65 on Friday although Norway’s Karoline Lund is mounting an unlikely challenge.
The world No.663 stormed into a tie for second with Australian star Minjee Lee and German Leticia Ras-Anderica.
Lund approached the final hole of the day just one shot behind Shin but a bogey brought her back with Lee and Ras-Anderica for a round of 67.
Brazil’s Luiza Altmann, English legend Laura Davies, Spain’s Luna Sobron, Holland’s Anne Van Dam, Thai Ploychompoo Wirairungrueng, Scotland’s Kylie Henry and Swede Pernilla Lindberg share fifth after managing rounds of 68.
European No.1 Georgia Hall teed off in an early group with Shin and Lee, finishing the day at three-under in a tie for 11th with Australian Stephanie Na and Thailand’s Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras.
Hall of Famer Davies tipped Shin and Lee to be the ones to beat before the tournament but Lund’s excellent day has added some intrigue to the mix.
Shin has fond memories of Royal Canberra having won the Australian Open at the venue the last time she visited in 2013.
“I have great memories at this golf course and I think that Canberra has been very nice to me,” she said.
“The course has changed a lot since I was here last. It’s quite a narrow course and a few holes are quite tight, so it makes you more focused and I like the challenge.”
Australia’s Doey Choi is the highest placed amateur after an even opening round.