INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — Nasa Hataoka of Japan fired a 7-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the KEB Hana Bank Championship on Thursday.
Danielle Kang and Charley Hull were two shots back on a chilly, windy, damp day at the Sky 72 Ocean Course.
Sung Hyun Park, the U.S. LPGA Tour’s top-ranked player, was among a handful of players three shots back.
Park could have been closer but took a double-bogey 5 on the par-3 17th.
Hataoka was matter-of-fact about the tough conditions.
“As a professional golfer, I believe that we need to be able to play solid and under any condition, including very strong winds,” she said.
She had eight birdies through 16 holes to reach 8 under, but then dropped a shot at 17.
The 19-year-old Hataoka was ranked in triple digits just a year ago but has climbed to No. 14 in the LPGA rankings — the top…