Island tour

Hataoka and Pedersen share LPGA Tour LA Open lead

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nasa Hataoka and Emily Kristine Pedersen tied the lead at 4 under 67 midway through the first round on Thursday in the LPGA Tour’s DIO Implant LA Open. Hataoka closed with a birdie on the par-3 18 at the Breezy Wilshire Country Club.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nasa Hataoka and Emily Kristine Pedersen tied the lead at 4 under 67 midway through the first round on Thursday in the LPGA Tour’s DIO Implant LA Open.

Hataoka closed with a birdie on the par-3 18 at the Breezy Wilshire Country Club. The 23-year-old Japanese player had seven birdies and three bogeys. She has five LPGA Tour wins, winning twice last season.

Defending champion Brooke Henderson, of Smiths Falls, Ont., started with a 76. She had a triple bogey on the par-3 fourth.

Pedersen had five birdies and a bogey. The 23-year-old Dane is winless on the circuit.

“I think you need a little confidence for this course,” Pedersen said. “There are some tight drives, some weird shots on the greens where you really have to be in the right angle and just engage on the shots.”

Sei Young Kim and So Yeon Ryu stood back along with Jennifer Song, Haylee Harford, Janie Jackson and Dewi Weber.

“A little windy on the back nine, so a few holes we took a long iron, just trying to make par,” Kim said. “It’s not easy. You have to pick the right number and then there will be a lot of exits.

Top-ranked Jin Young had a 71. Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., started with a 74 and Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., a 77.

The tournament kicks off a two-week stint in the Los Angeles area, with the Palos Verdes Championship next week.

The Associated Press