Buhai just 3 off LPGA Tour’s Drive On Championship lead

Three birdies and a bogey saw Ashleigh Buhai start solidly with a two-under-par 70 on Thursday in the LPGA Tour’s LPGA Drive On Championship presented by Volvik at the Golden Ocala course in Ocala, Florida.

That put her in a share of 16th after the first round, three shots off the lead which was shared at five-under between last week’s champion Nelly Korda and her American compatriots Jennifer Kupcho, who battled a migraine throughout, and Austin Ernst.

Buhai picked up two birdies on her opening nine on the fifth and seventh holes in a card filled with pars as testimony to her steady play. She dropped a shot on the 17th, but got the shot straight back on the par-five 18th. It was a day of good driving for Buhai, as she averaged 258 yards off the tee and hit 13 of 14 fairways. She was a little less accurate going for the greens, however, hitting only 11 of 18. Her work once she was on the greens, however, was solid as she had 28 putts.

She shared 16th with 12 other players.

Korda played alongside her older sister, Jessica, who had a three-under 69, and Jin Young Ko, the number one player in women’s golf who had a three-over 75. Jessica won a play-off to start the LPGA season at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. Nelly had a three-shot victory last week in the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona.

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