Ashleigh Buhai makes great start in Korea

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BMW Ladies Championship R1
Posted on
October 19, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Returning from a five week break from playing due to a back injury flareup, Ashleigh Buhai recorded a new career-best 18-hole score of 62 to hold the 18-hole lead for the second time in her Tour career at the BMW Ladies Championship, and also broke the previous 18-hole tournament scoring record. The South African, who already has a win under her belt this season from the ShopRite LPGA Classic, carded 10 birdies on the day, the most of anyone of the first round.

“My wedge play was really solid today. I mean, I hit every time and just about had a wedge in my hand, I hit it to a couple feet. So I didn't have to think too hard on those putts. But then I rolled the ball really well too,” said Buhai. “When I didn't hit it too close, the ones that didn't go in burnt the edges. So I felt all round of my game is in a good place at the moment.”

Buhai credited her play in part to being able to take the forced five-week break away from competition, and though she’s still recovering from injury, this day of “boring golf” was an impressive first step back to feeling confident in her game in the Republic of Korea.

“I've had one week of practice coming into here. And my goal for this week was to play with no expectations, and that's often when you try to play well in a game,” said Buhai. “My coach came into Florida last week, we worked on three things, and I've just tried to stick to doing those three things.”

Alison Lee tied her career-low 18 hole score after shooting a 9-under 63 to sit in solo second one shot off Buhai’s lead.

“I feel like my game is in a really good place. I'm striking the ball really well. I feel really good about my swing. Just something that's been lacking over the last year has been the putting,” said the American. “And so today I was just making the putts I wanted to make. And it was a lot of fun for me out there, being able to shoot 9-under. I think that's tying my record for lowest round out here in tournament play on Tour. So I'm really happy with that.”

Japan's Ayaka Furue and Australia's Minjee Lee sit in a tie for third after shooting 8-under 64s. Lee was just 3-under through 14 holes until she took advantage of the par-5 15th, carding her seventh eagle of the season. She followed up the eagle with three-consecutive birdies in her closing holes to card her seventh round in the 60s dating back to the Kroger Queen City Championship.

“I bogeyed the par-3, the hole before the par-5, so I was like I really just want to make a birdie to get back. So, I mean, I had a really good number in. I had 204 meters to the pin. So it was a really well-struck 5-wood, and I just pitched on the front and then rolled about -- probably about 27 -- like 9 meters, like 27 feet,” said Lee. “I had a pretty good -- I mean, I read it great, and it went in. So, yeah, it was nice to see it drop.

England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Sweden's Maja Stark, Korea's Hae Ran Ryu and China's Ruoning Yin sit in a tie for fifth at 7-under, with Ryu the lowest Korean of the field through the first day.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1
1Ashleigh Buhai-1062
2Alison Lee-963
T3Minjee Lee-864
T3Ayaka Furue-864
T5Hae Ran Ryu-765
T5Ruoning Yin-765
T5Jodi Ewart Shadoff-765
T5Maja Stark-765
T9Celine Boutier-666
T9Yan Liu-666
T11Lydia Ko-567
T11Hinako Shibuno-567
T11Lauren Coughlin-567
T11Stephanie Meadow-567
T11Megan Khang-567
T16Narin An-468
T16Hyo Joo Kim-468
T16Alexa Pano-468
T16Seojin Park (a)-468
T16Brooke M. Henderson-468
T16Stephanie Kyriacou-468
T16Jeongeun Lee6-468
T16Gemma Dryburgh-468
T24Jenny Shin-369
T24Lilia Vu-369
T24Anna Nordqvist-369
T24Jiyai Shin-369
T24Angel Yin-369
T24Aditi Ashok-369
T24Sarah Kemp-369
T24Sei Young Kim-369
T24Esther Henseleit-369
T24Linnea Strom-369
T24Madelene Sagstrom-369
T24Amy Yang-369
T24Allisen Corpuz-369
T24Hannah Green-369
T38Nelly Korda-270
T38Andrea Lee-270
T38Atthaya Thitikul-270
T38Linn Grant-270
T38A Lim Kim-270
T38Albane Valenzuela-270
T38Nanna Koerstz Madsen-270
T38Peiyun Chien-270
T38Moriya Jutanugarn-270
T38Patty Tavatanakit-270
T38Sarah Schmelzel-270
T38Gaby Lopez-270
T50Soomin Oh (a)-171
T50In Gee Chun-171
T50Jieun Seo (a)-171
T50Eun-Hee Ji-171
T50Hee Young Park-171
T50Perrine Delacour-171
T50Mi Hyang Lee-171
T50Pajaree Anannarukarn-171
T50Jennifer Kupcho-171
T59Yu LiuE72
T59Danielle KangE72
T59Yuka SasoE72
T59Hye-Jin ChoiE72
T59Nasa HataokaE72
T59Chanettee WannasaenE72
T59Ariya JutanugarnE72
T59Maria FassiE72
T59Sung Hyun ParkE72
T59Grace KimE72
T69So Yeon Ryu173
T69Matilda Castren173
T69Olivia Cowan173
T69Georgia Hall173
T69Celine Borge173
T74Jin Young Ko274
T74Rose Zhang274
76Carlota Ciganda375
77Ryann O'Toole476
78Dabeen Yun (a)678
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BMW Ladies Championship 2023

Date: October 19th - 22nd 2023

Location: Seowon Hills at Seowon Valley Country Club,| Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea

Purse: $2,200,000

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