SEOUL, South Korea — Ashleigh Buhai shot a bogey-free 10-under 62 to take a one-stroke lead Thursday after the first round of the LPGA tournament in South Korea.
Buhai, the 2022 Women’s British Open winner from South Africa, took advantage of calm morning conditions on the newly-renovated Seowon Valley Country Club course outside Seoul. But it was a day for low scores — only 10 players in the 78-player, no-cut field were over par.
American Alison Lee was in second place after a 63, followed a stroke back by Ayaka Furue of Japan and Minjee Lee of Australia with 64s.
Defending champion and South Korean-born New Zealander Lydia Ko shot 67. Brooke Henderson had a 68 and No. 1-ranked Lilia Vu shot 69.
“My wedge play was really solid today. Just about every time I had a wedge in my hand, I hit it to a couple feet,” Buhai said. “So, I didn’t have to think too hard on those putts.”
Lee’s 63 was a career low. She is comfortable in Korean events, finishing in the top 10 in both previous appearances in the tournament.
“I feel like my game is in a really good place,” Lee said. “I’m striking the ball really well. I feel really good about my swing. Just something that’s been lacking over the last year has been the putting. And so today I was just making the putts I wanted to make.”
This is the second of four tournaments in the LPGA Tour ‘s Asian swing. Angel Yin, who shot 69 Thursday, won the LPGA Shanghai event last week. The tour moves to Malaysia and Japan over the next two weeks.