Anna Nordqvist took a one-stroke lead over Michelle Wie at the first round of Thailand’s Honda LPGA.
The 26-year-old Swede was in inspired form as she rounded the course. Her highlights included a 60 yard eagle on the par 4 15th hole, which allowed her to score an eagle. This came after she’d shot two bogeys on the 13th and 14th. She then also completed a short birdie putt at No. 17 to maintain her lead.
Overall, the golfer shot a 66 at Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course to finish on six under. Discussing her eagle Nordqvist stated, “[I] had pretty good yardage and it was on the top tier, so I just pitched it five or six paces behind the pin and spun back. So, obviously, gave me some momentum to finish off…. I just tried to stay in there after the two bogeys, because I didn’t feel like I hit bad shots. I just got flyers out of the rough.”
Nordqvist believes that Jorje Parada, her new instructor, has inspired her upsurge in form, revealing, “It felt like at one point last year I was about ready to quit golf. I just kind of lost the reason why I play golf, the fun of it. I have good people around me now. They have been really helping me to get that inspiration back.”
Wie, who finished on a 67 after she shot six birdies and a bogey, also explained, “I birdied all four of the par 5s today, which definitely helps on this golf course.”
She added that the course actually favors players who are long hitters, noting, “It’s definitely one of those golf courses. I don’t get to use a lot of drivers during the year. This is one of the few golf courses that I get to just hit driver all the time. So it’s fun.”
American Angela Stanford scored a hole-in-one on the 135-yard eighth hole as she ended on a 68, where she was joined by her compatriots Lexi Thompson and Jennifer Johnson.
Discussing her stupendous strike, Stanford said, “It’s kind of hard with hole-in-ones because you do get almost too high and you go to the next tee box and think, ‘Oh, I have to hit another golf shot.’ It’s hard because it’s like an out-of-body experience. Well, for me, because I haven’t had many.”
The defending champion and the highly fancied, Inbee Park, only scored one under par, and she admitted the fact that it was her first start of the year hindered her efforts. “I think was just like I didn’t have much feeling that it was a tournament because it has been a while since I played a golf tournament,” Park noted. “I think I was a little bit nervous.”
[Image via CHEN WS/Shutterstock]