American Park seizes LPGA Canadian Open lead

AFP
Defending champion Brooke Henderson of Canada is one of the lead of American Annie Park after the first round of the LPGA Canadian Women's Open (AFP Photo/Vaughn Ridley)
Defending champion Brooke Henderson of Canada is one of the lead of American Annie Park after the first round of the LPGA Canadian Women's Open (AFP Photo/Vaughn Ridley)

Toronto (Canada) (AFP) - American Annie Park fired an eagle and seven birdies in a seven-under par 65 on Thursday to grab a one-shot lead in the LPGA's Canadian Women's Open, where she's hoping to stake a claim to a Solheim Cup berth.

"Definitely a lot of pressure coming into this week just thinking about Solheim right after this event," Park said of the women's match play showdown between the United States and Europe.

"If I want something I try really hard to get it," said Park, who wants to make a first US Solheim Cup team.

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Her first LPGA title at the ShopRite Classic last year helped boost her chances, but it will come down to her performance this week in the last qualifying event for the US team.

Park made a good start at Magna Golf Club near Toronto, where her course record 65 carried her past defending champion Brooke Henderson, who had grabbed the clubhouse lead on 66.

Henderson was joined in second by Thailand's Pajaree Anannarukarn, Denmark's Nicole Broch Larsen, South Korean Ko Jin-young and fellow Canadian Anne-Catherine Tanguay.

Park made the turn at four-under after her eagle at the ninth, and birdies at 11, 12, 14 and 15 had her aiming to improve on her previous career-best low round of 63.

But she cooled off a bit with her second bogey of the day at the 17th.

"Hopefully maybe tomorrow or this week or someday I can break my own personal record," she said.

Although Henderson didn't finish the day in the lead, it was an assured start to the 21-year-old's title defense.

"It's nice to be in a position where I had a good round, everything seemed to go right for me," she said after firing seven birdies and one bogey in her 66.

"Hopefully I can continue to stick to my game plan, make a lot of birdies, and I would love to be in this position on Sunday."

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