LPGA Release – 18 October 2018: Aditi Ashok returned to the LPGA circuit with a composed 71 in the opening round of the Buick LPGA Shanghai. The Indian was spotless for 14 holes before making her lone bogey at the par-4 15th hole. Aditi also made two birdies, at the 11th and 18th holes.
Ariya Jutanugarn got off to another hot start on Thursday, opening with a 6-under par 66 to take a one-shot lead through the first round at the inaugural edition of this event. The LPGA’s leader in scoring average, official money, Rolex Player of the Year and Race to the CME Globe points will attempt to add a fourth win in 2018 and 11th overall LPGA victory to her resume this week.
“I always have so much fun when I play in Asia,” Jutanugarn said. “Really looking forward to come back here again. What the key I think just not expect anything. Just go out have fun and enjoy everything.”
The United States’ Danielle Kang and Republic of Korea’s Sei Young Kim are one shot behind Jutanugarn at 5-under par, while a group of six players stand at 4-under par including Paula Creamer, who is playing on a sponsor invitation this week, and 17-year-old CLPGA player Wenbo Liu.
WENBO LIU, YU LIU PACE CHINESE PLAYERS
17-year-old Wenbo Liu (T4, -4) was the low player from China on the first day of play in Shanghai. Liu, who is competing in her second career LPGA tournament this week, made waves last April by winning the Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Challenge to become the youngest winner in China LPGA Tour history at the age of 16 years, two months, 11 days.
2018 LPGA rookie Yu Liu, who ranks fourth in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings, shot a 3-under par 69 in her first start in China as an LPGA member. She came over to Qizhong Garden Golf Club to practice during her three weeks off from playing after The Evian Championship and says she “knows the course pretty well.”
“I used to like watching LPGA a lot because the Golf Channel in China, they have coverage every week,” said Yu Liu, who lists top-ranked Chinese player Shanshan Feng as her role model. “I used to be the one sitting in front of the TV.”
KANG BUILDS OFF STRONG RESULT IN KOREA
2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner Danielle Kang (T2, -5) has carried over her form after last week’s T3 finish in the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, where she was the co-leader heading into the final round. Kang has shot in the 60s in four of her last five rounds.
“Today’s round went very smooth,” Kang said. “Coming off a very good momentum after last week and I’ve been hitting the ball really well, playing great. Just been trusting my game and just kept giving myself birdie chances. They kept rolling in. Excited for this week.”
CREAMER TAKES ADVANTAGE OF SPONSOR INVITATION
10-time LPGA Tour winner Paula Creamer is in the field this week thanks to a sponsor’s invitation, and the 32-year-old is wasting no time proving she deserves to be in Shanghai. Aiming for her first win since 2014, Creamer fired a 4-under par 68 to put herself in a tie for fourth on Friday in her first round in over a month.
“It definitely has been a learning experience for sure,” said Creamer of her 2018 season. “I have had so many up and downs, but it was good out there and play good golf. Had a good couple weeks off after Evian and kind of resituated some things and worked hard with my coach, Kevin (Craggs). See what happens this week.”