Ariya Jutanugarn takes early lead at Buick LPGA Shanghai

Zhe Ji/Getty Images

Ariya Jutanugarn takes early lead at Buick LPGA Shanghai

LPGA Tour

Ariya Jutanugarn takes early lead at Buick LPGA Shanghai

SHANGHAI (AP) — Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Buick LPGA Shanghai tournament on Thursday.

The Thai player had six birdies in a bogey-free round, including three straight on Nos. 4, 5, and 6.

“I always have so much fun when I play in Asia,” said Jutanugarm, who added her key was “just not to expect anything. Just go out have fun and enjoy everything.”

Sei Young Kim and Danielle Kang (both 67) were one shot back, with six other players only two shots off the lead.

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA’s annual Asian swing.

Kang credited her improved play to new coach Butch Harmon.

“We just kind of simplify the game a lot,” the American said. “Just trying to calm it down and get back to how I used to play. Just more feel golf. Thinking less mechanics and going with the flow.”

Kang tied for third last week at the KEB Hana Bank championship in Incheon, South Korea.

“Today’s round went very smooth,” Kang said. “Coming off very good momentum after last week, and I’ve been hitting the ball really well, playing great. I’ve just been trusting my game and just keep giving myself birdie chances. They kept rolling in.”

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