Wie shares LPGA lead with Kung, Stanford

Wie shares LPGA lead with Kung, Stanford

Michelle Wie had six birdies in a six-under 66 on Thursday to seize a share of the first round lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational alongside Candie Kung and Angela Stanford.

Wie, whose 2009 triumph here was the first of her two LPGA tour victories to date, opened with back-to-back birdies at Guadalajara Country Club, and strung together four successive birdies from the 10th through the 13th.

It was a great start for a player who has struggled to just two top-20 finishes this season and needed a sponsor invitation to get into the 36-player field after failing to qualify.

Taiwan’s Kung and American player Stanford both had seven birdies and one bogey in their six-under efforts.

World No. 2 Stacy Lewis, who won her fourth title of the season last week in Japan, was one shot off the pace on 67, tied with Evian Masters winner Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu of South Korea, France’s Karine Icher and Cristie Kerr.

Lewis has a 58-point lead over Park with two events left in the LPGA Player of the Year points race.

She is bidding to wrap up the honor this week and become the first US golfer to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994.

Tournament host Lorena Ochoa, the Mexican superstar who won 27 LPGA Tour titles before retiring in 2010, opened with a 71.

This time last year Ochoa, 28, was expecting the birth of her son Pedro, who was born in December.

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