THREE birdies in her final four holes saw Australia’s Minjee Lee remain in touch with the leaders after the first round of the Rio Olympics Women’s Golf.
The 20 year old finished with a 2-under 69 to be four behind tournament leader Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand.
Jutanugarn, the hottest player on the LPGA this season, was at 6-under with Korean pair Inbee Park and Sei Young Kim a stroke further back.
Melbourne’s Su Oh was also still in the mix after her 71. After a somewhat erratic opening Oh fought back and consolidated with a great par saving putt on the 17th then almost eagled the last.
Lee (pictured above) was two under early in her round but after back to back bogies on 10 and 11 looked in trouble.
“I thought I was solid through the first nine … but then when I was one over, I thought I had to finish strong looking at the scoreboard,” the two-time LPGA Tour winner said.
“And I finished strong, so I’m happy with that. You can always play yourself out of it on first day, but you can’t win it.
“I’m in a pretty good position going into tomorrow (and) happy with where I stand.”
Oh had a nervous start and compounded it with a double bogey on the par three fourth after hitting her tee shot into a sandy wasteland area.
“I really fought hard out there, I didn’t get off to a great start and then it kind of just unravelled (on the fourth),” the 20 year old said.
“I didn’t do anything bad, but I hit three really bad shots and I just couldn’t get back into play.
“But (later) I made some really good saves … (so) I’m happy with even for today.”
New Zealand’s World No.1 Lydia Ko, who made a spectacular eagle from 110m out on the 15th, was equal with Lee on 2-under.
Rio Olympics Women’s Golf LeaderboardRio Women’s Golf Leaderboard