Pettersen has put herself in position to defend her title as she carded six birdies and two bogeys on Thursday to take a three-stroke lead over Swede Caroline Hedwall, Americans Irene Cho and Alison Walshe, and Karine Icher of France heading into tomorrow’s second-round.
“It was a tough day out there, conditions were not great,” said Pettersen. “I've played this course in nicer conditions. Once the rain stopped, the wind picked up, so I mean, it's your pick, if you want rain or you want wind.”
On a day where only five players were under-par, Pettersen faltered early in her round with a bogey at the second but was able to quickly recover with back-to-back birdies at Nos. 5 and 6.
After an opening 1-under 35 on the front-nine, the birdies began to trickle in for the Norwegian as she recorded three consecutive birdies beginning at the 10th. Pettersen went on to pick-up another birdie at the 15th before giving a shot back with a bogey at the 16th to finish the day at 4-under-par.
The 13-time LPGA Tour winner claimed a three-shot victory at last year’s Sunrise LPGA Taiwan Championship but despite the win and the impressive opening round on Thursday, Pettersen admitted to feeling a bit uncomfortable with the swirling winds at Sunrise Golf & Country Club.
“I don't know, I don't really feel comfortable around this place because the wind is all over, but I feel pretty good with my game,” said Pettersen. “I feel my ball-striking is pretty much where I want it to be. I've got to just be very clear on what I'm trying to do and step up and do it. I hit some great approaches on the back and I hit some good ones on the front.”
While Pettersen feels uncomfortable in the windy conditions, she has every reason to feel comfortable with her game as of late. In her previous four tournaments, Pettersen has claimed two victories, including The Evian Championship, and two tie for third finishes.
As Pettersen continues to close-in on Inbee Park’s lead in the Rolex Player of the Year race and LPGA Official Money List, she admitted to being on the verge of playing the best golf of her career.
“I don't know, I mean, I work really hard on my game,” said Pettersen. “I've said for a long time, I feel like my best game is ahead of me so I think I'm just about to kind of touch on where I feel like I should be and when I put down the work that I feel is needed and kind of trust what I do, I feel this is where I should be.”
Topics: LPGA Taiwan Championship