Blumenherst leads Kia Classic; Gal one back

Amanda Blumenherst during the first round of the 2011 Kia Classic.

INDUSTRY, Calif. – Amanda Blumenherst birdied the final four holes for a 7-under 66 and a one-stroke lead over Germany’s Sanda Gal on Thursday in the Kia Classic.

Blumenherst, the former Duke star seeking her first LPGA Tour victory, had nine birdies and two bogeys in her opening round on the Industry Hills Golf Club course at Pacific Palms.

Michelle Wie birdied the par-5 18th for a 68. The Kia endorser, returning to the tour after finishing finals at Stanford, played in chilly conditions late in the afternoon.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng, the winner of the season-opening LPGA Thailand and three other worldwide events this year, opened with a 71. Karrie Webb, coming off her second straight victory Sunday in Phoenix, shot a 72.

The tournament is the tour’s first in the Los Angeles area in six years.

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