Jutanugarn takes No. 1 spot; Creamer, Kim lead in New Jersey

Anna Nordqvist of Sweden hits her second shot on the third hole during the first round of the Shop Rite LPGA Classic presented by Acer on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel & Golf Club in Galloway New Jersey on June 2.- AFP

Jutanugarn takes No. 1 spot; Creamer, Kim lead in New Jersey

Anna Nordqvist leads the ShopRite LPGA Classic by just one stroke after shooting a 7-under 64 on Friday.

"Starting with birdie, birdie, birdie obviously was a great feeling this morning". "I will be happy if she goes up to No. 1".

Kim won the Reignwood LPGA Classic late a year ago in China for her fourth tour title. She has won just $18,367 this season, good for 112th on the money list, and has dropped to 115 in the world rankings. I'm just trying to take it day-by-day.

"I feel like I enjoy this place, but at the same time, I don't feel like I have anything to prove here", Nordqvist said. "I'm happy with my start and I'm looking forward to the rest".

The two have been closing in on New Zealand's Ko for weeks, and Ryu is in the driver's seat this week as the only player in the trio teeing it up at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club near Atlantic City, New Jersey.

"This is my ninth year on tour, so I feel like I'm getting a little more experience".

Chasing Nordqvist is one last name the LPGA Tour has become familiar with at the top of leaderboards - Jutanugarn - but the younger of the two.

First-round leader Nordqvist battled to an even-par 71, Moriya had a 70 and Lee the same.

"That would be pretty big news", she said.

"It's a relatively short golf course from what we normally play, so it puts a premium on hitting fairways and good wedges", she said.

The participation of 144 players, including 13 of the top-21 in the Rolex Rankings, makes it an extremely strong field.

With a change at the top of the world rankings looming today, South Korea's Ryu So-yeon made little headway to make sure she is the one to supplant world No. 1 Lydia Ko at the end of the tournament. Uncharacteristically, given Ryu's sparkling start to 2017, she was 3-over-par Friday and sits tied for 99th.

Others at six-under were Jennifer Song, Jenny Shin, and Jeong Eun Lee.

Indian golfer SSP Chawrasia, who was unable to fire over the weekend at the BMW PGA Championships, will be hoping that his first appearance at the Nordea Masters after a gap of three years will be a more fruitful one. "Overall I think I was able to do as I planned".

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