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Four share lead in South Korea
Incheon, South Korea (SportsNetwork.com) - Anna Nordqvist opened with a 5- under 67 on Friday to grab a share of the lead after the first round of the LPGA KEB - HanaBank Championship.
Nordqvist was joined atop the leaderboard by Amy Yang, Katherine Hull-Kirk and Ju Young Pak.
Caroline Hedwall carded a 4-under 68 and was alone in fifth place on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club.
Defending champion Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie notched matching 3-under 69s. They share sixth place with Brittany Lang, Carlota Ciganda, Jenny Shin, Ha-Neul Kim and Jiyai Shin.
Women's world No. 1 Inbee Park and Natalie Gulbis are among five players tied for 13th at 2-under 70.
Nordqvist dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 11th. She tripped to a bogey at the 14th, but later birdied the 18th to make the turn at minus-2.
The Swede made it two in a row with a birdie on the first. After four straight pars, Nordqvist made consecutive birdies for a third time at six and seven. She closed with a pair of pars to post 67.
"I would definitely like to win again, that's why we're out here. I feel like I put myself in a couple of good positions, I just haven't really finished well," said Nordqvist, whose two LPGA Tour wins came in 2009. "All I can do is try to get better each day and right now that's what I'm trying to focus on. Everything else will happen."
Yang stumbled out of the gate with a bogey at the second. After a par on the third, she poured in five straight birdies from the fourth to soar within one of the lead.
After pars on nine and 10, Yang birdied the par-4 11th to gain a piece of the lead. She ran off seven consecutive pars from the 12th to remain one of the leaders.
Hull-Kirk used a hot start to gain a share of the lead. She opened with a par on the 10th, then drained three straight birdies from the 11th. Hull-Kirk ended her run with a par on No. 14.
The Australian dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 15th to move to minus-5. She parred three in a row around the turn.
Hull-Kirk tripped to a bogey at the second. She came back with birdies at four and seven to gain the lead. Hull-Kirk stumbled to a bogey on the ninth to fall into a share of the lead.
"The last few years have been a little bit frustrating, but at the same time, I've learned a lot and I think I'm a better player now than I was even when I won," said Hull-Kirk, who won once in 2008 and 2010. "I think my best golf is still ahead of me, so I'm excited for the future and hopefully a lot more wins."
Pak faltered to a bogey at the third, but birdied three of the next four holes. On the back nine, the South Korean converted birdie chances at 10 and 11 to move to 4-under. She birdied the 14th to gain a piece of the lead and ended there after closing with four pars in a row.
NOTES: Yang and Pak, the other two first-round co-leaders, are both looking for their first LPGA Tour titles ... Pak is a member of the Korean LPGA Tour ... Pettersen, who also won this title in 2007, is looking to become the first player to win this tournament three times.
10/18 05:06:19 ET
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