Day one of the Lotte Championship teed off bright and early Wednesday morning at Ko Olina Golf Club.
Winds were down – an uncommon event – so there were good scoring conditions, likely the easiest of the tournament.
But Punahou-grad and the unofficial host of the tournament, Michelle Wie did not have a good day. She teed off in the afternoon and appeared to be experiencing more pain in her right hand. On one drive, her come off the club as the ball that sailed out of bounds. Wie had surgery on that hand in October and was still having pain on it in February when she had to withdraw from an event. Wie did finish her round at five over par. Wie is scheduled to tee off at 8:17am Thursday morning.
American Nelly Korda leads the Lotte Championship after round one at nine under par. One stroke behind Korda is Eun Hee Ji who had six birdies on the back nine.
“I struggled with my tee shots on the first couple holes but I recovered pretty good with my irons,” said Ji, who won the U.S. Open ten years ago. “So that makes it a little bit easier to make birdies. Actually my putting feels really good right now. So I think that’s the key for this week. Because it didn’t wind today but it’s going to wind maybe later this weekend. So I have to putt it well I think.”
Defending champion Brooke Henderson is in third place by herself at -7.