Two players who have enjoyed success at Whistle Bear Golf Club are once again atop the leaderboard.
Suzann Pettersen and Mi Hyang Lee share the early lead on day one of the Manulife LPGA Classic. Pettersen, who captured her 15th career win at Whistle Bear in 2015, carded an opening round eight-under par, 64 to lead the morning wave with Lee, who matched her with a bogey-free, 64. Lee finished tied for second at Whistle Bear in 2016.
“I hit it so solid today. Just happy to play with great players today,” Lee said after her round. “I had good start with No. 2 hole and then No. 3 eagle, so I had a lot of confidence from those two holes.”
Lee, who has struggled in recent weeks with five missed cuts in her last eight starts, caught fire with the putter in round one, taking advantage of the morning’s calm conditions. She made it around in 26 putts with six birdies and an eagle.
“Great golf course and great condition, but little more softer than last year so getting more longer distance,” Lee said. “Hopefully can play 8-under again tomorrow, but just I want to just keep playing. Then I have three more days, so hopefully getting better.”
It’s been a week of unfamiliarity for Pettersen who has a new caddie on her bag this week and after her opening round 64, told Golf Channel’s Karen Stupples that she lost her yardage book heading into this week's event. But Pettersen’s game thrives north of the border where, in addition to her victory, she has three times finished in the top-10, and was able to lean on that success on day one.
“I had to get all my new notes, which is kind of a big deal because I have a lot of good notes from the past. Had to start from scratch,” Pettersen said. “We woke up this morning to perfect conditions. You can fire at pins and get to par-5s, which is fun. I think it's the best way to set up a golf course and kind of get low scores.”
Pettersen and Lee hold a two-stroke lead ahead of Alena Sharp, Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Emily Pedersen.