Rookie Cheyenne Woods tied the course record with a 9-under-par 63 that was equaled later in the day by Cristie Kerr and P.K. Kongkraphan of Thailand, and the three shared the first-round lead in the ManuLife LPGA Classic at Whistle Bear Golf Club in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.
Woods, the 24-year-old nice of Tiger Woods, collected eight birdies, one bogey and an eagle on the ninth hole. She hit all 14 fairways, 16-of-18 greens and needed only 24 putts.
“I played really solid all day,” said Woods, who has two pro victories, including the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters on the Ladies European Tour. “I had one bogey, which was a stupid three‑putt, but overall I played solid.
“And I think the biggest thing, we were just having fun out there … and it was a very relaxed, very relaxed atmosphere while we were playing. That’s sometimes when I play my best and I guess it worked out.”
Kerr, who has won 24 times on the LPGA Tour, started at No. 10 and posted a 6-under 29 on the back, the lowest nine-hole score of her 19-year career. The 63 was her lowest score since the final round of the ManuLife a year ago.
Kongkraphan, who won four times on the China Ladies Professional Golf Association, birdied her last three holes, sinking a 15-foot putt at the ninth hole after averaging 305 yards in driving distance during the round.
Laetitia Beck of Israel shot 64 and tied for second with Sandra Gal of Germany, while Mariajo Uribe of UCLA and Colombia finished at 65 to tie for sixth with Brittany Lang, Julieta Granada of Paraguay, Sei Young Kim of South Korea and Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, who won the ShopRite LPGA Classic last week.
Stacy Lewis opened with a 70 and was tied for 70th.