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Oyama takes lead in Japan

The SportsXchange

Japan's Shiho Oyama fired a 4-under 68 Friday to take a one-shot lead in the first round of the Mizuno Classic at the Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club in Shima-Shi, Mie, Japan.

Oyama had six birdies and two bogeys. She overcame neck pains she has been battling since earlier in the week, and hopes the pain will subside as the tournament continues.

"It was really great being able to play with Brittany (Lang) again," Oyama said through an interpreter. "This week I'm not actually aiming for the win though, I'm just looking forward (to) playing with the U.S. LPGA players and hopefully my neck won't get any worse than now."

Lang was one of nine players who shot a 2-under 70.

But nine others shot 69s, including LPGA players Brittany Lincicome, Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg and South Koreans Jiyai Shin, Chella Choi and Hee-Wan Han.

Oyama is a 13-year member of the JLPGA with 12 tournament wins.

Lincicome, an American, eagled the par-5 first hole to start off.

"It was actually pretty funny because I was looking at the leaderboard before I teed off," Lincicome said. "I don't usually look at the leaderboard but I caught a glimpse of it when I was walking to the tee and it said the leader was at 2-under. I was like, all I've got to do is eagle No. 1."

American Stacy Lewis, No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings, had two birdies and one bogey to tie for 20th with a 71. She won the tournament in 2012.

"It was kind of up and down," Lewis said of her round. "I probably could have played a lot better but I think it could have been worse. I played really tough through a lot of cross winds and I just hung in there all day. I knew scores weren't going to be low and I just needed to hang in there and try my best. But I definitely kept myself in the tournament and that was the goal."
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