Nordqvist leads in Thailand with 66

Anna Nordqvist of Sweden posted a 6-under-par 66 to grab a one-stroke lead over Michelle Wie after the first round of the Honda LPGA Thailand on the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Golf Club in Chonburi, Thailand.

The 26-year-old Nordqvist, who captured the McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the LPGA Tour Championship in 2009 but has not won on the circuit since, birdied the first three holes and had six birdies in all, in addition to an eagle on the 15th hole.

“I always try to put my best foot forward,” said Nordqvist, who was a two-time All-American at Arizona State. “I try to be awake when I start on the first tee box. I hit it on the green in two (on the par-5 first), so it was a pretty easy birdie. But definitely getting a good start sets the pace for the rest of the day.

“Had pretty good yardage (for the eagle) and it was on the top tier, so I just pitched it five or six paces behind the pin and spun back (close to the hole). So obviously it gave me some momentum to finish off.”

Wie, the Stanford graduate who has not won since the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Open, also carded six birdies–three on each nine–and made her only bogey on the third hole.

Angela Sanford recorded a 68 that included a hole in one on the eighth hole, and was tied for third with Jennifer Johnson of Carlsbad and Arizona State, and 19-year-old Lexi Thompson, who started her day with an eagle on the first hole.

Top-ranked Inbee Park of South Korea, playing for the first time this year, birdied the last two holes to open with a 71 and tie for 14th, No. 2 Suzann Pettersen of Norway was tied for sixth after a 69, and No. 3 Stacy Lewis rallied with an eagle and two birdies in the last four holes to shoot 71.

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