Tseng among three leaders at Kia Classic
Carlsbad, CA (Sports Network) - Coming off her win last week in Arizona, Yani Tseng carded a five-under 67 to grab a share of the lead after the opening round of the Kia Classic.
Tseng, the top-ranked player in the world, was joined in the lead by Ji Young Oh and Caroline Hedwall.
World No. 3 Suzann Pettersen posted a four-under 68. She stands alongside Americans Brittany Lincicome and Jennifer Johnson, as well as South Korea's Jiyai Shin in fourth place.
Amy Yang, Sun Young Yoo and Stephanie Sherlock share eighth as they carded three-under 69s on the Legends Course at La Costa Resort & Spa.
Tseng, who won for the 14th time on the LPGA Tour last week, started on the back nine Thursday and birdied both par-fives, Nos. 12 and 17. Around the turn, she caught fire.
The 23-year-old birdied the first and followed with birdies on two and three to move into a share of the lead at minus-five.
Tseng stumbled to a bogey on the par-three eighth after finding sand off the tee, but atoned for that mistake with a birdie at the par-four ninth.
"Today, I was just really patient because I didn't hit lots of fairways," Tseng said. "This golf course is very narrow, and the rough is really long. If you don't hit on the fairways, it's very hard to get close to the pin. But I got pretty lucky. I got some good bounces, and even if I hit into a rough, I still had a good lie. It was a pretty happy day."
Oh, who has two LPGA Tour wins to her credit, got off to a quick start with birdies on the first and third. After four pars in a row, Oh stumbled to a bogey at the eighth.
Around the turn, Oh birdied 12 and 14 to move to three-under. She birdied the final two holes to get in first at minus-five.
"Today everything was good for me," Oh said. "I'm really calm. My shot is really good, so I have a good score today."
Hedwall, who was in the next to last group, flew out of the gate with birdies on the first three holes. She got within one of the lead when she birdied the eighth.
The Swede stumbled to bogeys on 10 and 13 to slide back to minus-two. Hedwall responded in fine fashion as she poured in three straight birdie chances from the 14th to grab a piece of the lead. The LPGA Tour rookie parred the final two to remain there.
NOTES: Tseng is the last player to win back-to-back events as she titled at the LPGA State Farm Classic and Wegmans LPGA Championship in consecutive weeks last year...Na Yeon Choi and Ai Miyazato shared second behind Tseng last week. Choi managed a one-over 73 and is tied for 45th, while Miyazato was one better with her even-par 72.
03/22 22:45:09 ET