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Top-ranked Yani Tseng, Miyazato share lead in LPGA Taiwan Championship
YANG MEI, Taiwan (AP) ' Top-ranked Yani Tseng opened her home event with a 4-under 68 on Thursday in front of a large gallery to join Japan's Ai Miyazato atop the leaderboard in the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
The 22-year-old Tseng overcame early nerves to finish strongly and match Miyazato.
"I saw so many fans on the first hole and I was nervous. I asked my caddie, 'What should I do?'" Tseng said. "I told myself to relax. ... I am enjoying it. Every shot you have a big crowd, every putt if I don't make it they always say, 'It's OK, you can do it, the next hole you will be fine.' You always have so many supporters no matter how good or bad you play."
Tseng won the season-opening LPGA Thailand in February at Siam Country Club for the first of her tour-high six victories. She has nine worldwide victories this year, including major victories in the LPGA Championship and Women's British Open, and leads the money list with $2,563,629.
The seventh-ranked Miyato birdied the par-5 18th at Sunrise Golf and Country Club to rally from a bogey-4 at the 16th as gusting wind forced cautious play and low tee shots.
"I grew up in a windy place so I really like to play in this wind," Miyazato said. "Today it wasn't too bad with the wind, but still just to make sure I'm trying to hit the fairways, hit the greens, trying to play really simple out there."
Americans Jennifer Song and Morgan Pressel and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist of Sweden opened with 69s.
"It was very windy on the front nine," Song said. "It's really tough on us because mentally it wears you out. I don't know I somehow managed to play well here."
Cristie Kerr topped a group at 70, and Suzann Pettersen had a 71.
On Tuesday, Tseng was honored as the Rolex Player of the Year for the second straight year.
"It feels really good and thank you to LPGA for announcing it in Taiwan so I can share this honor to all the fans here," Tseng said.