Japan’s Mika Miyazato fired a seven-under par 65 on Friday to grab a share of the lead with American Sydnee Michaels after the opening round of the LPGA Safeway Classic.
Miyazato had eight birdies against a lone bogey to stand atop the leaderboard with Michaels, who birdied four holes in a row on her way to making a career low and sharing the lead in the 54-hole event at Pumpkin Ridge.
“My golf game is very confident right now,” Miyazato said.
“To begin the season I was not so good. I started to shoot right in four or five events. So I’m gaining more confidence in my golf game.”
Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, American Cristie Kerr and South Korean Inbee Park shared third on 66 with South Koreans So Yeon Ryu and Jee Young Lee on 67 along with Americans Brittany Lincicome and Alison Walshe.
Katherine Hull is the best placed Australian at two-under in a share of 28th spot.
Miyazato began with a birdie and followed with back-to-back birdies at the par-4 fourth and par-5 fifth holes. After taking her lone bogey at the par-4 sixth, she birdied four holes in a row starting at the ninth and closed with a birdie at 18 to claim a share of the lead.
“My short game was very, very good,” Miyazato said.
“It’s more important the short game on this course. The greens were hard and had more speed, very quick.”
Michaels, the youngest of nine children in her family, began on the back nine and birdied her first four holes in a row and added another at the par-5 15th. She added a birdie at the first but followed with a bogey at the par-4 second, then birdied the seventh and ended with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.
“I definitely picked a good day to play well. My family is here and my boyfriend is here,” Michaels said. “It feels great.”