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Veteran and teen share Hawaii LPGA lead

·1-min read

US veteran Brittany Altomare and Philippine teen Yuka Saso share the lead after the first round of the LPGA's Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii.

Saso and Altomare each shot eight-under-par 64 at Kapolei Golf Club to sit one stroke ahead of South Korea's So Yeon Ryu and Americans Nelly Korda and Ally Ewing.

Katherine Kirk is the leading Australian, tied 27th after a 69, while Hannah Green and Gabriella Ruffels shot 70s, Minjee Lee had a 71, Su Oh (73) and Sarah Jane Smith (75).

Altomare, a 30-year-old from Massachusetts, is still seeking her first career LPGA victory after 12 top-10 finishes.

She was one under par after playing the back nine before she produced a stunning stretch to start the front nine, carding seven consecutive birdies.

"Towards the end I kind of realised, and then I chipped in on 7 and just started laughing," said Altomare. "I'm just like, 'Just one of those days,' which was fun. Hasn't happened in a while, so I was excited."

Saso, 19, became the first Philippine woman to win an individual gold medal at the Asian Games when she accomplished the feat in 2018.

She plays primarily on the LPGA of Japan Tour, but she tied for 13th at last year's U.S. Women's Open and tied for 50th at the first US major of 2021, the ANA Inspiration.

Saso's bogey-free round, which also began on the back nine, concluded with four consecutive birdies.