Rosales ahead at Delaware

Jennifer Rosales shot a five-under par 66 on Thursday to take the lead after the first round of the LPGA Championship.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:07 IST
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Delaware:The second major of the 2004 LPGA season got underway on Thursday, the LPGA Championship at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Delaware. Suzy Whaley, the Connecticut club pro who qualified for the Greater Hartford Open last year on the PGA Tour, had a hole-in-one on the 158-yard 17th with a six-iron. Whaley qualified for this tournament through an LPGA teaching pro championship. Annika Sorenstam birdied two of her first three holes to make her presence felt quickly on a steamy day at DuPont, but she was to have problems at the par-four seventh, her 16th hole. But Sorenstam recovered to birdie the 8th and 9th - her 17th and 18th - to finish with a 68, leaving her in a good position after one round. Grace Park, who lost to Sorenstam in a playoff last year at the LPGA Championship, was also reasonably content with her position going into the second round. It could have been even better, though, were it not for a disappointing final two holes. Tied for the lead at five under after a birdie on the 14th hole, Park bogeyed the 17th and 18th to finish at three-under par 68. Moira Dunn also finished with a 68. Juli Inkster birdied the last two holes to join Beth Daniel among those at 70. Japan's Chiharu Yamaguchi, meanwhile, played a steady, bogey-free round to finish just one behind first round leader Jennifer Rosales. Sitting alongside Yamaguchi at four-under after day one, are Karen Stupples and Gloria Park. It was Rosales' first 18-hole lead on the LPGA Tour - at a major, no less. But the 25-year-old Filipino, who won the NCAA title as a "freshman" at Southern Cal, has been around long enough to know that doesn't mean much, especially with Sorenstam and Grace Park only two shots behind at 68. Rosales did most of her work over the final 10 holes, making birdie on all three of the par fives. She hit a wedge inside 10 feet on nine and 11, and after belting a drive on the 465-yard 16th, she fired a three-iron to the back of the green and then two-putted from 35 feet. It was a near flawless round from Rosales, who picked up her first LPGA victory last month in Atlanta.(AP)

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