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Hannah Green leads Lotte Championship in Hawaii

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Australia’s Hannah Green has recorded back-to-back birdies three times while grabbing the first-round lead at the Lotte Championship in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

Green shot a six-under-par 66 at Hoakalei Country Club in blustery conditions, sitting one stroke ahead of the chasing pack of five.

Australia’s Sarah Kemp is a further shot back, tied for seventh with three others at 68.

Defending champion Lydia Ko of New Zealand is tied for 11th after shooting a bogey-free 69.

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Green had three birdies and no bogeys on the back nine before an eventful run through the front nine.

Lydia Ko is three shots back after shooting a 69.(Getty Images: Sean M. Haffey)

She had no pars from number two to number eight, making five birdies and two bogeys in that span.

“I really enjoy coming to Hawaii,” Green said.

“It’s such a relaxed vibe and I think that’s what we need a little bit more of when we’re on the golf course.

Conditions at the Hoakalei Country Club were tough, but Green, whose two LPGA event championships both came in 2019, said that favoured her game.

“I feel like the windier it gets and the harder it gets, I like that,” Green said.

“I feel like I like the challenge. I might not say that tomorrow if I have a bad score, but, you know, it makes you think.”

“I’ve been hitting the ball good. I just felt like with the putter I just needed to see a couple go in, so that’s kind of what led to my score today. [I] holed a couple of longer ones, which is nice. It just made the hole feel a little bit bigger.”

Aditi Ashok winces as the wind blows across her holding her golf club in her left hand
Conditions were not particularly favourable on course at the Kapolei Golf Club.(Getty Images: Sean M. Haffey)

Aditi Ashok, who is looking for her first career LPGA win, birdied the second, third and fourth holes and closed with birdies at numbers 17 and 18.

“I think when it got windy, it just took me a bit of time to get used to it,” Ashok said.

“I think from 10 to like 17, really, I didn’t have any good looks at birdie. I was just kind of scrambling, which is fine, because you expect that in the wind.

“Yeah, it was nice to finish with a couple birdies there, but … I’m definitely looking forward to [Friday].”

The 10th edition of the event is being played at Hoakalei Country Club for the first time.

It was held at Kapolei Golf Club last year following eight years at Ko Olina Golf Club.

Reuters/AAP

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