England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff conjured a late birdie spree to surge into a two-shot first-round lead at the LPGA Tour’s Mediheal Championship in California on Thursday.
The 34-year-old world No 93 reeled off four birdies in her final five holes to shoot an eight-under-par 64 at The Saticoy Club in Somis, west of Los Angeles.
South Africa’s Paulo Reto is three shots behind Shadoff after an opening round that included seven birdies and two bogies.
Shadoff’s barnstorming finish followed a blistering outward nine, when she sank three birdies and an eagle after teeing off on the 10th hole to reach the turn at five under.
The lone blemish on an otherwise flawless day for the Englishwoman came with a bogey five on the par-four 1st.
“I think everything was just clicking,” Shadoff said. “I hit my driver really great and I gave myself a lot of opportunities. The putter just got hot, so I was giving myself a lot of opportunities and just rolling it in.
“I just felt really relaxed today. Everything was just kind of flowing.”
Shadoff, who has yet to win a tournament in 12 seasons on the LPGA Tour, leads from China’s Liu Ruixin and American Alison Lee, who share second after carding six-under-par 66s.
Elsewhere on Thursday, there was an impressive homecoming for California’s Danielle Kang, who is playing in only her fifth tournament following a three-month layoff after undergoing treatment for a spinal tumor.
Kang, an honorary member at Saticoy where she played regularly during her college career, shot a five-under-par 67 to share fourth place alongside Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul and South Africa’s Paula Reto.
Kang’s round included six birdies and one bogey but the 29-year-old was frustrated after struggling to build on her front nine, when she reached the turn at four under.
“I kind of stalled a little bit in the back so I was a bit disappointed,” Kang said. “I’m excited to see what I can do in the next three days. Hopefully, I make a lot of run for it and make some birdies.”
© Agence France-Presse