Nasa Hataoka leads KEB Hana Bank Championship by 2 after first round

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Nasa Hataoka leads KEB Hana Bank Championship by 2 after first round

By Kim Jeong-kyoo

Contestants in the KEB Hana Bank Championship teed off on Thursday. Seeking the title was a star-studded field boasting the best female golfers in the world. Twenty players who competed in the UL International Crown last week are jostling for the crown over four days. Twenty-seven of the 78 competitors who started battling it out for the 200 million won purse are natives of Korea.

Among the batch packed like sardines, Nasa Hataoka from Japan was one of those who climbed high atop the leader board on the opening day. She outshone the competition, hitting great shots on the hilly course and making superb putts on the undulating greens. Her overall play was a tour de force.

Nasa Hataoka, the reigning champion of the 2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, shot a 7-under 65 with eight birdies against a bogey. She is leading the field by two strokes over Danielle Kang and Charley Hull.

Hataoka got off to a great start. She made three birdies in a row on the fourth, fifth and sixth holes. Making the turn at a three-under, she birdied the 10th, picking up another two birdies on the 12th and 13th. After a birdie on the 15th, she had a lucky break on the 16th. She chipped in her third shot for a birdie. She hit her chip shot a little bit too hard just off the green. If the ball had not hit the pin, she would have bogeyed the hole.

On the par-3 17th, she hit a 9-iron into the deep rough short of the green, failing to get up and down in two. She had her lone bogey of the day thrust on her. She parred the 18th to place her atop the leader board.

Danielle Kang, despite her nervy start, hit a 5-under 67 with six birdies against a bogey on the opening hole. She shared second place with Charley Hull.

Hull shot a 5-under 67, mixing an eagle and seven with four bogeys for a two-way tie for second place. She started with a bogey on the first hole, bouncing back with a birdie on the fifth. But she bogeyed the 6th, compensating for it again with a birdie on the 7th. Collecting a birdie on the 9th, she made the turn with a one under 34.

Reeling two birdies successively on the 11th and 12th, she bogeyed the next two holes. Then, she eagled the reachable par-4 15th, reeling in another two consecutive birdies on the 16th and 18th. She settled for second place after the first round.

Park Sung-hyun got off to a nervy start with a bogey on the second hole. But she birdied the third and fifth holes, picking up three birdies in a row on the 7th, 8th and 9th holes. Making the turn on a four-under 32, Park double-bogeyed the 17th after birdying the 12th. Finishing the final hole with a birdie, she hit a four-under 68 to share the fourth place with Lee Min-jee.

Lee Min-jee, finishing the front nine with two birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes, reached the turn at a two-under 34. She picked up three birdies in a row on the 12th, 13th and 14th holes but double-bogeyed the 16th. With another birdie on the last hole, she closed the day with a four-under 68, placing her in lone fifth place.

Jang Ha-na and Kim Ji-hyun had a good start with a three-under 69 for a five-way tie for sixth place. Jang recorded four birdies against a bogey, Kim making six birdies, offset by three bogeys.
Sharing the sixth place is Amy Olson who birdied five holes against two bogeys.

Chun In-jee hit a two-under 70, mixing four birdies with a double-bogey on the 10h for a five-way tie for 10th place.

Defending champion Ko Jin-young birdied two holes and bogeyed the par-4 6th hole, shooting a one-under 71 for a six-way tie for 15th place.



By Kim Jeong-kyoo

Contestants in the KEB Hana Bank Championship teed off on Thursday. Seeking the title was a star-studded field boasting the best female golfers in the world. Twenty players who competed in the UL International Crown last week are jostling for the crown over four days. Twenty-seven of the 78 competitors who started battling it out for the 200 million won purse are natives of Korea.

Among the batch packed like sardines, Nasa Hataoka from Japan was one of those who climbed high atop the leader board on the opening day. She outshone the competition, hitting great shots on the hilly course and making superb putts on the undulating greens. Her overall play was a tour de force.

Nasa Hataoka, the reigning champion of the 2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, shot a 7-under 65 with eight birdies against a bogey. She is leading the field by two strokes over Danielle Kang and Charley Hull.

Hataoka got off to a great start. She made three birdies in a row on the fourth, fifth and sixth holes. Making the turn at a three-under, she birdied the 10th, picking up another two birdies on the 12th and 13th. After a birdie on the 15th, she had a lucky break on the 16th. She chipped in her third shot for a birdie. She hit her chip shot a little bit too hard just off the green. If the ball had not hit the pin, she would have bogeyed the hole.

On the par-3 17th, she hit a 9-iron into the deep rough short of the green, failing to get up and down in two. She had her lone bogey of the day thrust on her. She parred the 18th to place her atop the leader board.

Danielle Kang, despite her nervy start, hit a 5-under 67 with six birdies against a bogey on the opening hole. She shared second place with Charley Hull.

Hull shot a 5-under 67, mixing an eagle and seven with four bogeys for a two-way tie for second place. She started with a bogey on the first hole, bouncing back with a birdie on the fifth. But she bogeyed the 6th, compensating for it again with a birdie on the 7th. Collecting a birdie on the 9th, she made the turn with a one under 34.

Reeling two birdies successively on the 11th and 12th, she bogeyed the next two holes. Then, she eagled the reachable par-4 15th, reeling in another two consecutive birdies on the 16th and 18th. She settled for second place after the first round.

Park Sung-hyun got off to a nervy start with a bogey on the second hole. But she birdied the third and fifth holes, picking up three birdies in a row on the 7th, 8th and 9th holes. Making the turn on a four-under 32, Park double-bogeyed the 17th after birdying the 12th. Finishing the final hole with a birdie, she hit a four-under 68 to share the fourth place with Lee Min-jee.

Lee Min-jee, finishing the front nine with two birdies on the 2nd and 3rd holes, reached the turn at a two-under 34. She picked up three birdies in a row on the 12th, 13th and 14th holes but double-bogeyed the 16th. With another birdie on the last hole, she closed the day with a four-under 68, placing her in lone fifth place.

Jang Ha-na and Kim Ji-hyun had a good start with a three-under 69 for a five-way tie for sixth place. Jang recorded four birdies against a bogey, Kim making six birdies, offset by three bogeys.
Sharing the sixth place is Amy Olson who birdied five holes against two bogeys.

Chun In-jee hit a two-under 70, mixing four birdies with a double-bogey on the 10h for a five-way tie for 10th place.

Defending champion Ko Jin-young birdied two holes and bogeyed the par-4 6th hole, shooting a one-under 71 for a six-way tie for 15th place.




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