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Shin & Uehara Take Lead in Mizuno Classic
South Korea's Jiyai Shin and Japan's Ayako Uehara posted 4-under 68s to rise to the top of the leaderboard after one round of the Mizuno Classic. The $1.2 million, 54-hole tournament began Friday at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Shima, Japan.
Shin, who won the tournament in 2008 and '10, posted two birdies and a bogey on the front nine before firing three straight birdies on Nos. 12-14 for her 68. After two birdies on the outward half, Uehara carded a bogey on the 10th then reeled off birdies on Nos. 11-13.
Conditions were not amenable to scoring on Friday due to high winds, but Shin felt she managed her game. "I'm glad I was able to play well in such tough conditions," said the two-time winner this year.
"The wind really made it tough to drive, but I was able to make up for that with my approach shots and putting. It was a good start and I only had one bogey, hopefully the last one for the week."
Sharing third after 69s are Maiko Wakabayashi, Na Yeon Choi, Shanshan Feng, Beatriz Ricari, Angela Stanford and defending champion Momoko Ueda.
Ueda is trying to become the first Japanese player to notch back-to-back victories in the tournament's 40-year history. "I really feel like this course suits my game," said the 26-year-old, who also won the event in 2007. "If I can keep my nerves in check I can play well here and get a good result.
"I have never experienced such strong wind at this course. At first I thought today (was) going to be a tough," added Ueda. "But after the birdies at fifth and seventh, and the birdie comeback on the ninth after the bogey on eighth . . . I managed to keep . . . momentum."
The hottest female player on the planet, Inbee Park, who won the Evian Masters in July and the LPGA Malaysia two weeks ago, posted a 70. The 24-year-old South Korean also finished second in last week's tournament in Taiwan.
The top-two ranked players in the world, Yani Tseng and Stacy Lewis, both shot 71s.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.