Kia Classic R1

Inbee Park takes lead in California

Kia Classic 2021 R1
March 25-28
Aviara Golf Club, Carlsbad, California
$1,800,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Estimated reading time: 7 minutes


20-time LPGA Tour winner Inbee Park posted a bogey-free, 6-under 66 on Thursday to take the opening lead, the eighth time in her storied career that she has either held or shared an 18-hole lead.


Kia Classic 2021 R1

“Really happy with the round today, especially I putted really good on these greens,” said Park, who finished her round in 27 putts. “I know it’s going to be a test of some patience with the putting greens and obviously, being my first week out, I am probably a little bit rusty.”

“I’m just trying to get the tournament feeling going for the next three days. If results are good, it’s great, but if not, I’m just warming up. It’s a good warmup for a first day.”


Kia Classic 2021 R1

Park’s average finish in the event is 10th. She has never missed a cut in eleven starts, and finished runner-up three times. Her worst result was a tie for twenty first in 2017.

“The course is not overly long and I hit quite a few short irons into the greens so I get opportunities for birdies,” said Park. “It’s just a matter of holing some putts out here. With poa annua greens, it’s really tough to get the speed and break right. I seem to do quite well on these greens.” 


Kia Classic 2021 R1

Hyo Joo Kim, who has not played on the LPGA since the 2019 CME Group Tour Championship, fired eight birdies on her way to a 5-under 67.

“I think I was able to get a lot of birdies because of the first hole where I bogeyed and after the bogey, I told myself to focus a lot more,” said Kim. “I also made a lot of mistakes today that I shouldn’t have. Tomorrow, I’m looking forward to not making as many mistakes and having a great round.”

Stephanie Meadow is tied at 4-under alongside In Gee Chun, Sophia Popov and Mel Reid.

“Hopefully I don’t finish like I did in 2019,” said Meadow, who opened with a 5-under 67 and then went 4-over on the weekend. “I like this golf course. I feel like if you hit good golf shots you will be rewarded, and if you don’t hit it in the fairway it’s really penalizing, so that kind of plays into the strength of my game. It’s a pretty walk, gorgeous course and just easy to be happy out there.”


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Kia Classic 2021 R1

Hyo Joo Kim, who has not played on the LPGA since the 2019 CME Group Tour Championship, fired eight birdies on her way to a 5-under 67.

Making her first start on the LPGA Tour since June 2019 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Michelle Wie West found a birdie but then battled to a 9-over 81. Local favorite Haley Moore, a native of Escondido, Calif., is 3-over following round one and defending champion Nasa Hataoka finds herself tied for 135th at 7-over. In her first start as a LPGA Tour Member, 2020 U.S. Women’s Open champion A Lim Kim shot 6-over and is tied for 127th.

Kia Classic 2021 R1

Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
1
Inbee Park
-6
66
2
Hyo Joo Kim
-5
67
T3
In Gee Chun
-4
68
T3
Stephanie Meadow
-4
68
T3
Sophia Popov
-4
68
T3
Mel Reid *
-4
68
T7
Mina Harigae *
-3
69
T7
Amy Yang
-3
69
T9
Celine Boutier
-2
70
T9
Nicole Broch Larsen *
-2
70
T9
Ashleigh Buhai
-2
70
T9
Kristen Gillman *
-2
70
T9
Danielle Kang
-2
70
T9
Christina Kim *
-2
70
T9
Azahara Munoz
-2
70
T9
Jasmine Suwannapura
-2
70
T17
Wei-Ling Hsu
-1
71
T17
Mi Jung Hur
-1
71
T17
Eun-Hee Ji *
-1
71
T17
Jin Young Ko *
-1
71
T17
Bronte Law *
-1
71
T17
Brittany Lincicome
-1
71
T17
Pernilla Lindberg
-1
71
T17
Anna Nordqvist *
-1
71
T17
Gerina Piller *
-1
71
T17
Jenny Shin *
-1
71
T17
Elizabeth Szokol *
-1
71
T17
Patty Tavatanakit *
-1
71
T29
Jennifer Chang *
E
72
T29
Jenny Coleman
E
72
T29
Ally Ewing *
E
72
T29
Jiwon Jeon
E
72
T29
Sarah Kemp *
E
72
T29
Sei Young Kim
E
72
T29
Cheyenne Knight
E
72
T29
Mi Hyang Lee
E
72
T29
Minjee Lee *
E
72
T29
Leona Maguire *
E
72
T29
Giulia Molinaro
E
72
T29
Liz Nagel *
E
72
T29
Yealimi Noh
E
72
T29
Jane Park
E
72
T29
Annie Park *
E
72
T29
Madelene Sagstrom
E
72
T29
Sarah Schmelzel *
E
72
T29
Yujeong Son *
E
72
T29
Mariah Stackhouse
E
72
T29
Lexi Thompson *
E
72
T29
Ayako Uehara *
E
72
T50
Marina Alex *
1
73
T50
Ssu-Chia Cheng *
1
73
T50
Cydney Clanton
1
73
T50
Hannah Green
1
73
T50
Brooke M. Henderson *
1
73
T50
Dani Holmqvist
1
73
T50
Caroline Inglis
1
73
T50
Ariya Jutanugarn
1
73
T50
In Kyung Kim
1
73
T50
Brittany Lang
1
73
T50
Esther Lee *
1
73
T50
Stacy Lewis
1
73
T50
Haru Nomura *
1
73
T50
Emma Talley
1
73
T50
Maria Torres *
1
73
T50
Jing Yan
1
73
T66
Brittany Altomare
2
74
T66
Aditi Ashok *
2
74
T66
Chella Choi *
2
74
T66
Perrine Delacour *
2
74
T66
Juli Inkster
2
74
T66
Moriya Jutanugarn
2
74
T66
Lydia Ko *
2
74
T66
Nanna Koerstz Madsen *
2
74
T66
Andrea Lee
2
74
T66
Roberta Liti
2
74
T66
Caroline Masson *
2
74
T66
Sung Hyun Park *
2
74
T66
Katherine Perry-Hamski
2
74
T66
Pornanong Phatlum
2
74
T66
So Yeon Ryu *
2
74
T66
Maia Schechter
2
74
T66
Alana Uriell *
2
74
Projected Cut: ( +2 )
T83
Dana Finkelstein *
3
75
T83
Muni He
3
75
T83
Nelly Korda *
3
75
T83
Jennifer Kupcho *
3
75
T83
Mirim Lee *
3
75
T83
Jeongeun Lee6
3
75
T83
Xiyu Lin
3
75
T83
Gaby Lopez *
3
75
T83
Wichanee Meechai
3
75
T83
Haley Moore *
3
75
T83
Amy Olson
3
75
T83
Lizette Salas *
3
75
T83
Alena Sharp
3
75
T83
Sarah Jane Smith
3
75
T83
Jennifer Song
3
75
T83
Angela Stanford *
3
75
T83
Albane Valenzuela
3
75
T100
Sarah Burnham *
4
76
T100
Matilda Castren *
4
76
T100
Tiffany Chan
4
76
T100
Carlota Ciganda *
4
76
T100
Daniela Darquea
4
76
T100
Maria Fassi *
4
76
T100
Sandra Gal *
4
76
T100
Charley Hull
4
76
T100
Haeji Kang *
4
76
T100
Cristie Kerr
4
76
T100
Megan Khang *
4
76
T100
Jaclyn Lee
4
76
T100
Ryann O’Toole
4
76
T100
Morgan Pressel *
4
76
T100
Robynn Ree *
4
76
T100
Jackie Stoelting *
4
76
T116
Na Yeon Choi
5
77
T116
Jaye Marie Green
5
77
T116
Tiffany Joh
5
77
T116
Lauren Kim
5
77
T116
Mo Martin *
5
77
T116
Hee Young Park *
5
77
T116
Linnea Strom *
5
77
T116
Lindsey Weaver
5
77
T116
Suzuka Yamaguchi
5
77
T116
Anne van Dam
5
77
T126
Georgia Hall *
6
78
T126
A Lim Kim
6
78
T126
Min Seo Kwak
6
78
T126
Mind Muangkhumsakul *
6
78
T126
Su Oh *
6
78
T126
Paula Reto *
6
78
T126
Lauren Stephenson *
6
78
T126
Angel Yin
6
78
T134
Pajaree Anannarukarn *
7
79
T134
Lindy Duncan *
7
79
T134
Austin Ernst
7
79
T134
Nasa Hataoka *
7
79
T134
Jeongeun Lee *
7
79
T134
Yu Liu *
7
79
T134
Kelly Tan *
7
79
141
Jillian Hollis
8
80
142
Michelle Wie West
9
81
T143
Katherine Kirk
10
82
T143
Yani Tseng *
10
82
* Player started on the back nine
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