COQUITLAM, British Columbia (AP) – Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 6-under 66 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Canadian Women's Open.
Emerging from a midseason slump, Tseng had eight birdies and a double bogey at The Vancouver Golf Club. The Taiwanese star opened the season with victories in three of her first five events, then had a series of missed cuts and poor finishes before tying for 11th last week in Oregon in the Safeway Classic.
“If I miss a couple shots, I don't worry about it, not like I did before, so I feel that this is the way I used to play,'' Tseng said.
She won a Canadian Women's Tour event in 2007 on the tree-lined course.
“I wish I didn't finish today,'' Tseng said. “I wish I could keep going – keep playing. But 18 holes are finished. (Friday) is a new day, but I'll try to keep that momentum going and try to do the best I can.''
U.S. Women's Open champion Na Yeon Choi was second.
The South Korean player praised English tutor Greg Morrison, a Vancouver native, for giving her considerable insight on his hometown.
“This is my first trip in Vancouver, but I feel very comfortable, because I heard a lot of things,'' Choi said. “I go to a Korean restaurant (for) every meal if I can, and (Wednesday) night, I found a great restaurant. (It) was just like my mom cooked.''
Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander who won the U.S. Women's Amateur two weeks ago, was two strokes back at 68 along with South Korea's Inbee Park. In January, Ko won the New South Wales Open in Australia at 14 to become the youngest player to win a professional tour event.
Brittany Lincicome, the winner last year at Hillsdale in Mirabel, Quebec, opened with a 72.
Michelle Wie, the 2010 champion at St. Charles in Winnipeg, Manitoba, had a 74.
After three-putting on the final hole, Wie cursed and threw her putter.
“I tapped in and I missed and, on that last one, I didn't feel too good,'' Wie said “But other than that, I had a really solid round.''