Miyazato in seven-way tie for lead in the Bahamas

Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:40pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Japan's Mika Miyazato got off to a red-hot start on Thursday on the way to a seven-way share of the lead after a drama-filled opening round in the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at Paradise Island.

Miyazato, who won her only LPGA title at the 2012 Safeway Classic, birdied six of her first nine holes before running out of steam after the turn to card a five-under-par 68 on a breezy day at the picturesque Ocean Club Golf Course.

The 26-year-old from Okinawa ended the round level with compatriot Haru Nomura, Scotland's Catriona Matthew, England's Charley Hull and Americans Paula Creamer, Ashlan Ramsey and Alison Lee.

South Korea's Kwak Min-seo and American Jennifer Johnson opened with 69s while Swede Anna Nordqvist, American Brittany Licicome, Israel's Laetitia Beck and South Korean Kim Hyo-joo were among eight players bunched on 70.

American Michelle Wie and South Korean world number two Inbee Park, however, provided the most surprising headlines of the day.

Wie needed medical treatment on the 16th tee, her seventh hole of the round, after being stung by a bee in her right hand and she was never at her best as she struggled to an opening 76.

Park, the highest-ranked player in the field, fared even worse as struggled with a sore back on the way to a seven-over 80 before withdrawing from this event and also next week's Coates Golf Championship.

"I've always had a lower back problem and some weeks it just gets a bit worse," seven-times major winner Park told reporters. "Today happened to be one of those days."

Miyazato, in contrast, relished playing in the breezy conditions as she mixed six birdies with a lone bogey.   Continued...