INCHEON, South Korea(AP) Katherine Hull shot a 6-under 66 to open a two-shot lead over Amy Yang after the first round of the LPGA's Kolon Championship on Friday.
Defending champion Suzann Petterson struggled to a 5-over 77 in windy, gloomy conditions at the new Sky 72 golf club in Incheon, just to the west of Seoul. Petterson made the turn at 4-over and managed only one birdie in her round.
Hull, ranked No. 35 in the world, didn't have nearly as much trouble. She shot 3-under on the front side and, after a slip-up at the par-4 11th, birdied four of her final six holes to take the early lead in the $1.6 million event.
``Everything kind of clicked today,'' Hull said. ``I only made probably a couple bad swings, and I putted well all day and made a couple of good par saves, and then I was able to make a few birdies. I just stuck to my routine today finally, and it paid off.''
The Australian has been playing her best over the second half of the season. She hasn't missed a cut since the Wegmans LPGA in June, finishing in the top 10 five times, and won the CN Canadian Women's Open in August.
``It's nice to actually be the one that everyone is chasing, as opposed to the one doing the chasing. I've been doing that a lot lately,'' Hull said. ``I'm happy with the way I'm playing and I believe I can win. I've just got to go out there and execute it.''
Yang got to 5-under through 11 before the local star stumbled to a pair of bogeys over the final five holes.
``If I could play like this for the next two days, I think I'll finish well,'' Yang said. ``It's my first professional tournament in Korea, so I was pretty nervous. (But) I was happy with the results today.''
Fellow South Korean Chae Young Yoon is one shot back in third, and eight others were in a pack at 2-under, including Christina Kim and Mi Hyun Kim.
Se Ri Pak was in a group at 1-under. Morgan Pressel shot an even-par 70, and Paula Creamer struggled to a 3-over 75.