Kim In-kyung leads at Lotte Championship, 5 S. Koreans in top-5

April 16, 2015
Na Yeon Choi of South Korea watches the flight of her ball from the 10th tee during the first round of the LPGA's Coates Golf Championship at Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club in Ocala, Fla., on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/The Star-Banner Photo, Bruce Ackerman)

(AP Photo/The Star-Banner Photo, Bruce Ackerman)

By Brian Han

South Korea’s Kim In-kyung shot a 7-under 65 to take a 2-stroke lead Wednesday during the Lotte Championship at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii.

The 26-year-old golfer bogeyed her second hole and finished out the rest of her round with eight birdies.

Four other South Koreans populated the top-5 just a few strokes behind Kim.

World No. 3 Park Inbee along with Choi Na-yeon and Kim Sei-young are tied for second.

The three golfers shot an opening round 5-under 67 that included six birdies and a bogey. Park birdied four of her six final holes.

Jenny Shin shot a 4-under 68 to hold a solo fifth position while Lee Mirim and Kim Hyo-joo shot a 3-under 69 to join Kim Hyo-joo at tied-for-sixth.

Both world No. 1 Lydia Ko and world No. 2 Stacy Lewis are not in the field this week.

Many of the golfers seemed relaxed while playing at the tropical destination following the pressure at the LPGA’s first major just two weeks ago in Southern California.

“I don’t know why, but just like this area just make me kind of chill out,” said Choi Na-yeon. “I can see so many different things on the course like water, flower.”