LPGA

Buick LPGA Shanghai 2018

October 18-21

Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf Club, Shanghai, China

$2,100,000

October 18-21

Shanghai Qizhong Garden Golf Club, Shanghai, China

$2,100,000

Round 1

Ariya Jutanugarn takes opening lead in China

October 18, 2018

Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Buick LPGA Shanghai tournament on Thursday.

The Thai player had six birdies in a bogey-free round, including three straight on Nos. 4, 5, and 6.

"I always have so much fun when I play in Asia," said Jutanugarm, who added her key was "just not to expect anything. Just go out have fun and enjoy everything."

Sei Young Kim and Danielle Kang (both 67) were one shot back, with six other players only two shots off the lead.

The tournament is the second of five being played in South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan in the LPGA's annual Asian swing.

Kang credited her improved play to new coach Butch Harmon.

"We just kind of simplify the game a lot," the American said. "Just trying to calm it down and get back to how I used to play. Just more feel golf. Thinking less mechanics and going with the flow."

Kang tied for third last week at the KEB Hana Bank championship in Incheon, South Korea.

"Today's round went very smooth," Kang said. "Coming off very good momentum after last week, and I've been hitting the ball really well, playing great. I've just been trusting my game and just keep giving myself birdie chances. They kept rolling in."

10-time LPGA Tour winner Paula Creamer is in the field this week thanks to a sponsor’s invitation, and the 32-year-old is wasting no time proving she deserves to be in Shanghai. Aiming for her first win since 2014, Creamer fired a 4-under par 68 to put herself in a tie for fourth on Friday in her first round in over a month.

“It definitely has been a learning experience for sure,” said Creamer of her 2018 season. “I have had so many up and downs, but it was good out there and play good golf. Had a good couple weeks off after Evian and kind of resituated some things and worked hard with my coach, Kevin (Craggs). See what happens this week.”

The numbers don’t lie – “May” Ariya Jutanugarn has been far-and-away the best player on the LPGA in 2018. Here is a glimpse at what she is accomplishing this year:

• Ranks tied for first with three wins – one of three players with multiple wins in 2018

• Ranks first in top-10 finishes with 14 in 24 starts, two more than the next closest player (Minjee Lee, 12)

• Ranks first on the Official Money List with $2,357,788, nearly $1 million more than the next closest player (Brooke Henderson, $1,392,602)

• Ranks first in the Rolex Player of the Year standings with 207 points, 71 points more than the next closest player (Sung Hyun Park, 136)

• Ranks first in the Race to the CME Globe with 3,702 points, nearly 1,000 more than the next closest player (Minjee Lee, 2,728)

• Ranks first in scoring average (69.385), birdies (404) and rounds in the 60s (50-of-91, 54.95%)

17-year-old Wenbo Liu (T4, -4) was the low player from China on the first day of play in Shanghai. Liu, who is competing in her second career LPGA tournament this week, made waves last April by winning the Zhangjiagang Shuangshan Challenge to become the youngest winner in China LPGA Tour history at the age of 16 years, two months, 11 days.

2018 LPGA rookie Yu Liu, who ranks fourth in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings, shot a 3-under par 69 in her first start in China as an LPGA member. She came over to Qizhong Garden Golf Club to practice during her three weeks off from playing after The Evian Championship and says she “knows the course pretty well.”

“I used to like watching LPGA a lot because the Golf Channel in China, they have coverage every week,” said Yu Liu, who lists top-ranked Chinese player Shanshan Feng as her role model. “I used to be the one sitting in front of the TV.”

2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner Danielle Kang (T2, -5) has carried over her form after last week’s T3 finish in the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, where she was the co-leader heading into the final round. Kang has shot in the 60s in four of her last five rounds.

“Today's round went very smooth,” Kang said. “Coming off a very good momentum after last week and I've been hitting the ball really well, playing great. Just been trusting my game and just kept giving myself birdie chances. They kept rolling in. Excited for this week.”

Player notes

Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (66, -6)

• Jutanugarn, 23, is from Bangkok, Thailand

• Jutanugarn leads after the first round for the ninth time in her career and third time in 2018

• Jutanugarn ranks tied for second on Tour in first round scoring average this season (69.08)

• In 2018, Jutanugarn has three wins and 14 overall top-10 finishes in 24 starts

• Jutanugarn was the 2016 Rolex Player of the Year after capturing the first five titles of her LPGA career

• Jutanugarn has never won an LPGA tournament in Asia – she has six wins in the U.S., two in Canada, one in England and one in Scotland

Rolex Rankings No. 15 Sei Young Kim (67, -5)

• Kim, 25, is from Seoul, Republic of Korea, 23

• Kim’s 67 on Thursday was her 30th round in the 60s of the season

• Kim is a seven-time LPGA winner, including the 2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic where she finished at 31-under par breaking the all-time LPGA 72-hole scoring record by four strokes

• Kim and Brooke Henderson are the only players with LPGA Tour wins in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018

• Only one of Kim’s seven wins have come in Asia (2015 Blue Bay LPGA)

Rolex Rankings No. 29 Danielle Kang (67, -5)

• Kang, 25, is from San Francisco, Calif. and played collegiately at Pepperdine University

• Kang will celebrate her 26th birthday on Saturday, October 20

• Kang has six top-10 finishes in 2018 including a tie for second at the HSBC Women’s World Championship

• Kang’s lone LPGA victory came at the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

• Kang posted a 3-1-0 record as a rookie on the victorious 2017 U.S. Solheim Cup Team

Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
1
Ariya Jutanugarn
-6
66
T2
Sei Young Kim
-5
67
T2
Danielle Kang
-5
67
T4
Minjee Lee
-4
68
T4
Paula Creamer
-4
68
T4
Lydia Ko
-4
68
T4
Wenbo Liu
-4
68
T8
Wei-Ling Hsu
-3
69
T8
Yu Liu
-3
69
T8
Brittany Lincicome
-3
69
T8
Bronte Law
-3
69
T12
Carlota Ciganda
-2
70
T12
Nelly Korda
-2
70
T14
Jacqui Concolino
-1
71
T14
Pernilla Lindberg
-1
71
T14
Brittany Altomare
-1
71
T14
Aditi Ashok
-1
71
T14
Jeong Eun Lee
-1
71
T14
Mi Hyang Lee
-1
71
T14
Megan Khang
-1
71
T21
Shanshan Feng
E
72
T21
Jin Young Ko
E
72
T21
Marina Alex
E
72
T21
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
E
72
T21
Ashleigh Buhai
E
72
T21
Lindy Duncan
E
72
T27
Charley Hull
1
73
T27
Chella Choi
1
73
T27
Yan Liu
1
73
T27
Ying Luo
1
73
T27
Mo Martin
1
73
T27
Haeji Kang
1
73
T27
Jaye Marie Green
1
73
T27
Mirim Lee
1
73
T35
Ruixin Liu
2
74
T35
Hyo Joo Kim
2
74
T35
Katherine Kirk
2
74
T38
Xiyu Lin
3
75
T38
Brooke M. Henderson
3
75
T38
Eun-Hee Ji
3
75
T41
Moriya Jutanugarn
4
76
T41
Sandra Gal
4
76
T41
In-Kyung Kim
4
76
T41
Mohan Du
4
76
T45
Peiyun Chien
5
77
T45
Jiayun Li
5
77
47
Jingfan Deng (a)
7
79
48
Liqing Chen
11
83
T49
Lizette Salas
-4
68
T49
Ryann O'Toole
-4
68
T51
So Yeon Ryu
-3
69
T51
Su Oh
-3
69
T51
Annie Park
-3
69
T51
Jane Park
-3
69
T55
Amy Yang
-2
70
T55
Sakura Yokomine
-2
70
T57
Ally McDonald
-1
71
T57
Pornanong Phatlum
-1
71
T57
Mariah Stackhouse
-1
71
T57
Azahara Munoz
-1
71
T61
Caroline Masson
E
72
T61
Jenny Shin
E
72
T63
Sung Hyun Park
1
73
T63
Anna Nordqvist
1
73
T63
Xiang Sui
1
73
T63
Angel Yin
1
73
T63
Weiwei Zhang
1
73
T63
Jennifer Song
1
73
T69
Sarah Jane Smith
2
74
T69
Jienalin Zhang
2
74
T71
Yuting Shi
3
75
T71
Emma Talley
3
75
T71
Thidapa Suwannapura
3
75
T71
Lei Ye (a)
3
75
T75
Taoli Yang
4
76
T75
Ayako Uehara
4
76
77
Mariajo Uribe
6
78
T78
Amy Olson
7
79
T78
Yunjie Zhang
7
79
T80
Xiaowen Yin (a)
12
84
T80
Baining Wang (a)
12
84
Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
1
Ariya Jutanugarn
-6
66
T2
Sei Young Kim
-5
67
T2
Danielle Kang
-5
67
T4
Minjee Lee
-4
68
T4
Paula Creamer
-4
68
T4
Lydia Ko
-4
68
T4
Wenbo Liu
-4
68
T8
Wei-Ling Hsu
-3
69
T8
Yu Liu
-3
69
T8
Brittany Lincicome
-3
69
T8
Bronte Law
-3
69
T12
Carlota Ciganda
-2
70
T12
Nelly Korda
-2
70
T14
Jacqui Concolino
-1
71
T14
Pernilla Lindberg
-1
71
T14
Brittany Altomare
-1
71
T14
Aditi Ashok
-1
71
T14
Jeong Eun Lee
-1
71
T14
Mi Hyang Lee
-1
71
T14
Megan Khang
-1
71
T21
Shanshan Feng
E
72
T21
Jin Young Ko
E
72
T21
Marina Alex
E
72
T21
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
E
72
T21
Ashleigh Buhai
E
72
T21
Lindy Duncan
E
72
T27
Charley Hull
1
73
T27
Chella Choi
1
73
T27
Yan Liu
1
73
T27
Ying Luo
1
73
T27
Mo Martin
1
73
T27
Haeji Kang
1
73
T27
Jaye Marie Green
1
73
T27
Mirim Lee
1
73
T35
Ruixin Liu
2
74
T35
Hyo Joo Kim
2
74
T35
Katherine Kirk
2
74
T38
Xiyu Lin
3
75
T38
Brooke M. Henderson
3
75
T38
Eun-Hee Ji
3
75
T41
Moriya Jutanugarn
4
76
T41
Sandra Gal
4
76
T41
In-Kyung Kim
4
76
T41
Mohan Du
4
76
T45
Peiyun Chien
5
77
T45
Jiayun Li
5
77
47
Jingfan Deng (a)
7
79
48
Liqing Chen
11
83
T49
Lizette Salas
-4
68
T49
Ryann O'Toole
-4
68
T51
So Yeon Ryu
-3
69
T51
Su Oh
-3
69
T51
Annie Park
-3
69
T51
Jane Park
-3
69
T55
Amy Yang
-2
70
T55
Sakura Yokomine
-2
70
T57
Ally McDonald
-1
71
T57
Pornanong Phatlum
-1
71
T57
Mariah Stackhouse
-1
71
T57
Azahara Munoz
-1
71
T61
Caroline Masson
E
72
T61
Jenny Shin
E
72
T63
Sung Hyun Park
1
73
T63
Anna Nordqvist
1
73
T63
Xiang Sui
1
73
T63
Angel Yin
1
73
T63
Weiwei Zhang
1
73
T63
Jennifer Song
1
73
T69
Sarah Jane Smith
2
74
T69
Jienalin Zhang
2
74
T71
Yuting Shi
3
75
T71
Emma Talley
3
75
T71
Thidapa Suwannapura
3
75
T71
Lei Ye (a)
3
75
T75
Taoli Yang
4
76
T75
Ayako Uehara
4
76
77
Mariajo Uribe
6
78
T78
Amy Olson
7
79
T78
Yunjie Zhang
7
79
T80
Xiaowen Yin (a)
12
84
T80
Baining Wang (a)
12
84