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Aditi Ashok will face an uphill task to stay for weekend action after carding a four-over 76 in the first round of the ISPS Handa Womens Australian Open here today. The 19-year-old Bengaluru golfer is lying way down in 110th place and would need a solid showing tomorrow. Aditi, who gave herself a decent start in 2018 with a T-7 in Canberra, opened with a bogey but that was neutralized when she birdied the very next hole. A birdie on ninth meant she turned in one-under. But the Indian went through a rough patch over the next six holes as she bogeyed the 10th and then had four more bogeys in a row from 12th to 15th. The latest star from Korea, Jin Young Ko grabbed a two-shot lead over fellow Korean Jiyai Shin (67). She fired a sizzling seven-under 65 that included three birdies against no bogeys on the front nine and then she added six more birdies against two bogeys on the back nine. There were as many as 10 players on four-under 68 and that group included Kiwi Lydia Ko and Swedish Caroline Hedwall. Jin Young Ko is ranked 20th in the world and a winner of 10 KLPGA tournaments.
Ko secured LPGA Tour membership by winning the Hana Bank tournament in Korea last year, a co-sanctioned event. Jiyai Shin is the 2013 Australian Open champion and she won last week in Canberra. Perths up-and-comer Hannah Green is on the next line at three-under after he 69, closing with a birdie to be the leading Australian. Veteran Karrie Webb had a good day, shooting 70 despite a cruel break at the 11th where her near-perfect iron approach hit the flag and spun off the green. Top-ranked Minjee Lee had an even-par 72.
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