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S. Korean Kim Hyo-joo takes opening-round lead at Ladies European Tour event at home

May 10, 2024 - 21:08 By Yonhap
Kim Hyo-joo (Courtesy of Aramco Team Series)

South Korean veteran Kim Hyo-joo grabbed the first-round lead at the very first Ladies European Tour taking place on her home soil Friday.

Kim shot a four-under 68 to seize sole possession of the lead at the Aramco Team Series at New Korea Country Club in Goyang, on the northwestern outskirts of Seoul.

This is the second leg of the Aramco Team Series, presented by the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund.

This $1 million event is a hybrid of an individual competition and a team battle.

Team captains, seeded based on their world ranking positions, selected one additional player to join their team. Each side was then randomly assigned an amateur player and another professional player from the remaining pool.

At No. 12, Kim is the top-ranked South Korean player in the field this week.

The Aramco event uses a "two-from-four" scoring system for the team competition over the first two days, meaning the two best scores on each hole count for teams. For instance, if two players on a team each score a birdie and the remaining two players pick up pars on a given hole, the score for that team is two-under. This setup allows amateurs to contribute to the results of their teams.

The professional players' scores on every hole over three days will be used for their individual competition.

Kim began her day on the back nine, and had two birdies and a bogey over her first nine holes. She then picked up an eagle on the par-5 eighth before closing her day with a birdie on the very next hole.

Mariajo Uribe of Colombia and Pranavi Urs of India are one stroke behind Kim. Only eight players submitted an under-par score at New Korea Country Club.

Among other notables, Charley Hull of England, the top-ranked player in the field at No. 8, sits tied for ninth at even-par 72. Former major champion Danielle Kang, a Korean American veteran, carded an 80 with three bogeys, three double bogeys and a birdie.

On the team leaderboard, Kim's team is tied for 22nd at five-under. The team captained by Johanna Gustavsson of Sweden had the best opening score at 13-under, three shots better than Team Pauline Roussin-Bouchard and Team Sara Kjellker. (Yonhap)