Feb 16, 2016: Katherine Kirk takes the early lead, going out in 33 and bringing it home with a 32. India’s Aditi Ashok scored one-over-par 74.
The Australian native carded a bogey-free 8-under par, 65 on Thursday to take a two-stroke lead at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, taking advantage of ideal conditions in the morning at Royal Adelaide.
Kirk, a 14-year veteran, has been winless on the LPGA Tour since 2010, finishing 110th on the money list in 2016.
Armed with a hot putter, she made birdies on four of the first five holes finishing with eight on the day, hitting 12 of 15 fairways.
“I had a lot of birdie chances. I think I hit maybe 16 greens, 15 greens, so that helps. But I had a couple of tap-ins too for birdie,” explained Kirk. “There are low numbers to be had out there. There are a lot of birdie opportunities. I was just fortunate I got off to a good start and just kept the momentum going.”
Kirk will sleep on a two-shot lead over Min Lee, Chella Choi, Marissa Steen and Jane Park, all at 6-six under-par.
Lee cruised to a 6-under par today in the afternoon wave.
Steen attributes several factors to her success today; weather, putting and ball striking.
Park carded a bogey-free 6-under, 67, which included four birdies and an eagle on the par 4 No. 3.
India’s Aditi Ashok carded three birdies with four bogeys to close at T-81 with 1-over 74.
Defending champion Haru Nomura struggled on day one and sits T-99 at 2-over par carding three birdies and five bogeys on the day.
LPGA Tour Release