PALM DESERT, United States (AFP) — Brazilian-born Angela Park carried on with her impressive rookie season firing a five-under 67 to grab a share of the first round lead at the Samsung World Championship on Thursday.
The 19-year-old rolled in seven birdies and made two bogeys to share the lead with American Paula Creamer at the one million dollar event.
"I started off really well," Park said. "I think knowing the course out here and playing it a couple of times gave me a little bit of an advantage."
There are five golfers within two shots of Park and Creamer.
Park isn't known as a long ball hitter but she has adapted well to the conditions at the Bighorn Country Club course.
"When I first saw it, I totally thought this was a long hitter's course because the greens are so wide and the fairways are really wide," she said. "I hope I prove them wrong this week."
South Korea's Kim Mi-Hyun is tied for second with two others after shooting a six-under 30 on the back nine. Mexico's Lorena Ochoa and Morgan Pressel are also one stroke off the pace.
"On the front nine, my body was not comfortable," said Kim.
"My caddy helped me a lot, read the lines and I made a couple of birdies on the back and I got more comfortable."
World No 1 Ochoa stumbled at the end of her round shooting a double bogey on the par-four, 355-yard 18th hole.
"It was 17 really good holes, a lot of birdie chances," Ochoa said. "Unfortunately, I did finish with a double-bogey. It didn't feel good, but I did get a couple of good saves for par before."
Creamer carded a 33 on the front nine and then rolled in birdies on No 10 and 15 on the back.
"I really like this golf course a lot," said Creamer. "I'm not hitting the ball very far, but when it comes to irons, you have to be able to hit it in the right sections of these greens. That's the biggest part of my golf game, is giving myself lots of opportunities."
Michelle Wie turned 18 on Thursday but she wasn't celebrating after struggling to a seven-over 79 and last place in the 20-player field.
"I just couldn't get anything going," Wie said. "I have to go home and study. I have to read a book, so it should be an exciting birthday."
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