NEW YORK (AFP) – South Korea’s Kim Sei-young, seeking her first LPGA victory since 2020, fired a bogey-free six-under par 66 to grab a one-stroke lead after Thursday’s opening round of the Founders Cup.
The 30-year-old from Seoul, who won the Founders Cup in 2016 when the event was staged in Arizona, grabbed a one-stroke lead over compatriot Ryu Hae-ran after 18 holes at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey.
“This course is a favourite course,” Kim said. “Keep the fairway it’s really important this week. Greens are really fast, way faster than in practice round.”
World number 33 Kim has won 12 career LPGA titles, including a major at the 2020 Women’s PGA Championship, but last captured a crown at the 2020 Pelican Championship.
Kim birdied the par-4 third and par-3 sixth and reeled off four birdies in a row from the par-5 12th through the par-3 15th holes to seize the lead.
The event celebrates the pioneers who began the LPGA Tour and Kim appreciates the chance to pay tribute to their legacy.
“It means a lot because of the legends, legacy players,” she said. “We had a chance to meet them at 18. Really glad to meet them. It’s good emotionally to share with them, so it’s really a special tournament to me.”