SYLVANIA – Ruoning Yuin, a Chinese rookie, turned her frustration at a bogey Thursday into six birdies over her final 10 holes for a 6-under 65. She tied for the lead in Dana Open with three other players.
Hye-Jin Choi was also awarded her LPGA Tour card last season. Carlota Cigánda from Spain also had 65 at Highland Meadow.
At 66, there was a large group that included Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, and Leona Maguire (Ireland).
The 19-year old Yin has been coping well with a wrist injury and has missed four consecutive cuts on the LPGA Tour. Although she only played two Epson Tour events, her last appearance was in mid July.
Her only goal was to avoid bogeys, which she achieved on the par-3 8th hole.
I was so mad after those, she said. I just tried making some birdies.
Choi, a South Korean player, did most of the work in the round. Ciganda also played in the morning, and completed her round on the 18th with a birdie of two-putt.
Maguire returned home to a place that brought back good memories. Inverness was where Maguire played her best golf last summer, helping Europe win the Solheim Cup. She brought a new set irons with her to Toledo.
Maguire said, Its nothing like me to change. I was at home for a couple of weeks, and did some testing while there. … They felt confident in practice and decided it was time to give them a try.
Ko is a two time winner and has every reason to believe she should have had three. She won the tournament two years ago when she gave out a late lead, then chunked a card that rolled back into bunker on the 18. This resulted in bogey and a second-place finish.
Highland Meadows is still a positive place for the Kiwi star.
Its always nice coming back to a place youve played well at. She said, Ive had good finishes other than winning, so its nice just to draw back on those memories.
Her two wins were in 2016 and 2014.
Ko stated, But at the moment, my game has changed significantly over the past few years, so its like Im playing some holes differently. So Im just trying to play the best possible golf with what I have right now.
Minjee Lee (USA Womens Open champion) was in the group at 67. Nasa Hataoka, the defending champion, opened with a score of 69.
Paula Creamer was a mom and played her first LPGA Tour event. Creamer opened her first competition in over a year with a birdie. This was Creamers only highlight, as she shot a 40 on the back 9 to earn a 77.
Azahara Munoz from Spain, another new mom, opened with a 72. Munoz has also struggled with an autoimmune thyroid condition, which she believes is now under control.
Lucy Li was one of the three dozen players who shot in 60s. She opened with a score of 68. Li, who is best known for her participation in the U.S. Womens Open at the age of 11, has an LPGA card through the Epson Tour for next year.
Gianna Clemente had a 73. The 14-year old Ohio native qualified in Canada last Monday and made it to Monday qualifying for the Dana Open.