Tue, 07 Dec 2021

Na Rin An opens with 64, takes lead at BMW Ladies Championship

Field Level Media
22 Oct 2021, 01:40 GMT+10

Na Rin An shot an 8-under 64, tying a tournament record, to take a one-shot lead after the first round at the rainy BMW Ladies Championship in Busan, South Korea, on Thursday.

An had nine birdies on the day, including five in the final seven holes, in taking the lead over fellow South Koreans Ju Young Pak and In Gee Chun, who recorded rounds of 65.

For An, the round was one to remember. She hit nine of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, with 25 putts. A two-time winner on the Korean tour, she is playing in just her second LPGA Tour event after a T63 finish at the 2020 U.S. Women's Open. She is signed up for the LPGA-Q series, hoping to qualify for the tour, but a win in Busan would give her LPGA Tour membership.

"I think when it comes to my mindset or my goals, they are largely the same regardless of whether I'm playing on the KLPGA or any other event. I think coming into this event, I hoped that I could win. So that is a hope for me at this point," she said.

In all, 25 players finished within five strokes of An.

Chun was one of 14 players to conclude the round without a bogey, mixing three birdies on the front nine with four on the back.

"My ball-striking wasn't going very well, so I practiced a lot and I prepared a lot," she said. "And going into this round, my ultimate goal was to have a bogey-free round, which I did. So I would like to pat myself on the back for that. And another goal I had was to not really miss any opportunities that arise, and I think I did that too."

Three players shot rounds of 6-under 66 to finish in a tie for fourth -- Danielle Kang, 2020 U.S. Women's Open champion A Lim Kim and Hae Ran Ryu. Another shot back in a tie for seventh place were seven players, including German rookie Esther Henseleit and Australian Minjee Lee.

Henseleit got off to a blistering start with six birdies in 11 holes but finished the final seven with three bogeys, two birdies and two pars. She was especially pleased by her front-nine 31.

"I holed a few long putts on the first few holes. Almost holed one 5-iron on -- I think it was on 5. So that was a tap-in birdie. And another solid birdie from about two and a half meters," she said. "Yeah, it was nice to start that way."

Defending champion Ha Na Jang of South Korea finished with a round of 2-over 74, tied for 72nd place.

--Field Level Media

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