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Sagstrom seizes LPGA Founders Cup lead with sizzling 63

NEW YORK (AFP) – Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom fired a bogey-free nine-under par 63 to grab a one-stroke lead over American Megan Khang after yesterday’s opening round of the LPGA Founders Cup.

Sagstrom, last year’s Women’s British Open runner-up, began her round with four consecutive birdies and reeled off four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey.

That put her just ahead of Khang, who made eight birdies without a bogey in shooting 64, and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, third after a bogey-free 65.

“It was one of those days. Like everything was easy,” Sagstrom said. “It’s like I was hitting the fairways, hitting the greens, and I was making all the putts.

“The hole just kept growing. I told my caddie, Shane, I was like, you know, everything feels like tap-ins today.

Madelene Sagstrom hits off the 11th tee during the first round of the LPGA Founders Cup. PHOTO: AP

“It’s one of those days. You just trying to hold on to momentum and just keep it going.”

Sagstrom, ranked 35th, followed her sizzling start with a birdie at the par-4 seventh hole then began her back-nine birdie run at the par-5 12th.

Khang, ranked 41st, had runs of four birdies in six holes on both the front and back nines, starting at the par-5 second and par-5 12th.

Sagstrom won her only LPGA crown at the 2020 Gainbridge at Boca Rio while Khang seeks her first tour title.

Hataoka didn’t miss a fairway. “My swing feels really good,” she said. “I was able to hit a lot of really good shots and put them close and that allowed me to go low.”