Johnson’s 62 ties course record, leads ShopRite

Jennifer Johnson of Carlsbad tied the course record with a 9-under-par 62 to grab a one-stroke lead over Haru Nomura of Japan after one round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, N.J.

The 22-year-old Johnson, who claimed her only LPGA victory last year in the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, carded 10 birdies–including five in a row through No. 13–and made her only bogey at No. 8.

“I just started out with a birdie, and on the second hole I almost made another birdie, and then just kept running off a few more birdies,” said Johnson, who was an All-American in her only year at Arizona State and lost in the final of the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur. “Just gave myself chances all day long, and that really helps on these greens when you hit it close because if not, you’re going to be hitting some bumps out there.

“I’ve been playing well the past few weeks, and so I felt pretty good about my game, and you know, if you just let it happen and just let a good round come together, normally it does.”

Nomura, who tied for 13th in the Mizuno Classic in her only other LPGA Tour start this season, birdied five of her final seven holes while finishing off a 63 on the front nine.

Christina Kim of San Jose carded a bogey-free 64 and was alone in third, and top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea shot a 66 that included only one bogey to tie for fourth with Na Yeon Choi, also of South Korea, whose round included an eagle on the ninth hole.

Stacy Lewis, ranked No. 2, shot 67 and was in a nine-way tie for sixth that included Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Sandra Gal of Germany and Chella Choi of South Korea.

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