By Anthony Rhoads
Christina Kim recorded nine birdies and shot a 7-under-par 65 Thursday to lead after the first round of the Chick-fil-A Charity Championship.
Kim leads Grace Park by one stroke going into the second round. Park made seven birdies on her way to shooting a 6-under 66 to open the tournament at Eagle's Landing Country Club.
Kim and Park were followed by Lorie Kane, Becky Morgan and Cristie Kerr, who all shot a 5-under 67.
"This is a really good way to start what I call the big chunk of the season and with all that Chick-fil-A does for us here in Atlanta and Nancy (Lopez) having her name on the tournament, it sure is one that I would like to have," Kane said. "There is a lot of work ahead of me but to start off with the day I had, considering I made a double bogey, I'm pretty proud of myself."
Kane was at 1-under going into the par 3 hole 6 but double bogeyed to go to even par.
"I was proud of myself because I didn't lose my marbles; I was patient," Kane said. "If you make a mistake, you're going to make mistakes, but you just can't follow up a mistake with another one."
Kane birdied holes 6 and 10 before recording an eagle at the par-5 hole 13.
Kane hasn't won at the Chick-fil-A but finished as runner-up to Rachel Teske in a playoff in 1999. That season, Kane won her first career LPGA event and followed with three more wins in 2000 but she hasn't won since.
"I'm very ready; I'm more than ready," she said. "But again, I have to be patient and I sometimes feel like I am that old Lorie that just is continuing to try to build, build, build and now I know one thing is that I'm not afraid to win and I think there was a time when I might have been."
Defending champion Se Ri Pak finished round 1 with a 4-under par 68. She was 2-under par going into hole 18 but eagled the par 4 hole to go to 4-under for the day.
"It was great for me today," she said. "I usually play well at this golf course and at this tournament. I had confidence; that helps me a lot with the golf course. I'm happy about the way I played today."
Cartriona Matthew and Lorena Ochoa also finished at 4-under after the opening round.
"I felt like I played pretty well," Matthew said. "Maybe could have hit my irons a little better...but made some up and downs on 9 and 12 that kept my round going and finished with a nice couple of birdies."