Even as the likes of Ji-Yai Shin, Momoko Ueda, Sakura Yokomine, and Rikako Morita prepare to tee off in Okinawa to begin the JLPGA season, there's another sequel to last week's Showdown in Singapore happening right now over in East Asia: the Melee at Mission Hills.
World #2 Suzann Pettersen has jumped out to an early lead at the LET's World Ladies Championship thanks to an opening 67, which included an eagle, 5 birdies, and a bogey (yes, it's a par-73 course!). But #1 Inbee Park is only 2 back and #5 So Yeon Ryu is only 3 off the pace, while wunderkinds Minjee Lee (-5), Ha Na Jang (-1), and Ariya Jutanugarn (E) are right in the mix. Meanwhile, France leads the team competition, as Gwladys Nocera and Valentine Derrey opened with 69s to take a 1-shot lead on the Park/Ryu team representing Korea and a 5-shot lead on Team Norway, who were held back by a 76 from Marianne Skarpnord.
Let's see if Shanshan Feng, who opened with a roller-coaster 74, can play consistently better today and help LPGA rookie Xi Yu Lin (72) make a move on the lead teams. While the overall strength of the field may not be as deep as the Daikin Orchid JLPGA event, there are certainly some fascinating face-offs among some of the very best female golfers in the world in store over the next 54 holes!