Taipei, April 19 (CNA) World No. 1 woman golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who is vying for her fourth LPGA victory this year, carded a three-under 69 in the first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Honolulu Wednesday, one stroke behind Beth Bader of the United States.
The top-ranked 23-year-old tied with Jiyai Shin of South Korea, along with Angela Stanford and Brittany Lang, also of the U.S.
At a windy Ko Olina Golf Club, the Taiwanese native shot a four-under 32 with four birdies on the front nine but endured a turbulent back nine when she bogeyed the par-four 10th and 11th holes and only made a birdie at the 13th.
"I hit it in the water on No. 10, so made bogey there," Tseng was quoted as saying on LPGA.com. "I made another bogey on No. 11 hole, kind of a short hole."
"On No. 12 I had a tough -- I make 12-footer for par, so I think that's a big turning point for today. If I make another bogey, I don't know what's going to happen. But I save par there and make birdie next hole, so it's a good turn for me," she said.
Even though Tseng's average driving distance reached 281.5 yards on Wednesday, her accuracy was less than ideal at 57.1 percent.
She pointed out, however, that it was only the first day of the event and said she was happy that her name could still be seen on the leaderboard.
The four-round LPGA LOTTE Championship is the first LPGA event to be held at the Ko Olina Golf Club since 2008. The total purse is US$1.7 million, with US$255,000 going to the winner.
The Taiwanese golfing star, who earlier in the week made it onto Time magazine's "Time 100" list of the most influential people in the world of 2012 in honor of her outstanding performance, has captured three LPGA victories out of the six events in which she has competed this season and 15 worldwide wins since 2011. She has been in the top spot in the Rolex golf rankings for 62 straight weeks.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's Candy Kung tied in 12th with a one-under 71, while Amy Hung shot a six-over 78, putting her 112th position.
(By Lung Bo-an and Nell Shen)