Ko's steady round not enough as rivals extend lead in Lotte Championship

Michelle Wie

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) - A amusing thing happened in sunny Hawaii while waiting for someone to break away from a pack of leaders in the opening round of the LPGA Lotte Championship Wednesday.

Ko carded seven birdies and managed to stay bogey-free - which has been the knock on the Kiwi in 2017.

Lee, a 24-year-old South Korean, hit the first 15 greens in regulation and finished in the dark, getting her only bogey on the final hole. She's now just three shots off leader Su-Yeon Jang entering the final round. Canadian Alena Sharp joined them in the afternoon wave. She bogeyed the 10th just before play was suspended, but got it back with her sixth birdie of the day, at the 13th.

England's Bronte Law is three shots off the lead after her three-under-par 69.

Wales' Becky Morgan is one shot off the lead with two holes of the second round to play at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii. He was one of nine players on 2-under and just a shot behind. A pair of bogeys on the front nine kept her out of the lead.

Ko said she is unfazed by talk around her ranking - she acknowledges the talent on course but just wants to continue to improve her own game.

"This week we really just tried to be aggressive from the get-go", said Salas, who broke 70 just twice in her first seven tournaments this year. Almost half the field broke par on a day when the tropical breeze came and went, leaving a huge dark cloud over the course that let loose just before 4 p.m.

Jang, who doesn't have a bogey this week, also played in the final group previous year at Lotte and finished fifth.

In Gee Chun, the 2015 U.S. Women's Open champ, was 12 under after a 65.

Canada's Sharp, meanwhile, carded a round of 66, as she looks for her first LPGA Tour win.

"Overall, my shots didn't feel particularly solid, but my putts fell really well and gave me a number of birdies", Jang said.

"At the end of the day it's golf. I thought I'd try it again on the LPGA".

Sharp has not won in 240 LPGA starts, but is coming off her best year.

"All the girls are playing so consistently - So Yeon's had all her finishes in the top seven I'd heard, and that's very impressive".

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