South African Paula Reto fired a nine-under par 62 to seize a two-stroke lead over South Korea’s An Na-rin after Thursday’s first round of the LPGA Canadian Women’s Open.
Reto, who teed off on the 10th hole, birdied five of the last seven holes on her front nine and closed her bogey-free round with a birdie at the ninth to set a course record at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.
“It was a good putting day,” Reto said. “A lot of putts went in and that makes the round easier, seeing my lines and it made the speed a lot easier. I was like, ‘Just get on the green.'”
The 32-year-old from Cape Town won her first professional title in February at a Sunshine Tour event in Sun City.
She fired the lowest round of her nine-year LPGA career by two strokes and matched the lowest round on tour this year.
“When you get a few putts to go in, it makes you more comfortable and that does make a difference,” Reto said.
“I had a lot of fun out there. To go low is nice, and to have no bogeys. I made two good par saves that kept the momentum going for a low round.”
Reto opened with a birdie, made three in a row starting at 12, then a par save at the 16th to set up back-to-back birdies. She made another par save at the third before birdies at four and six and closed with another at the par-5 ninth. She managed birdies on all four par-5 holes.
“I’m happy and hoping to do some more good rounds,” Reto said after taking her first 18-hole LPGA lead in six years.
The old course record was set by Canada’s Brooke Henderson in 2017.
LPGA rookie An fired a bogey-free 64 to seize second, one stroke ahead of the US trio of Emma Talley, Lilia Vu and Robynn Ree.
A pack of 10 on 66 shared sixth, including South Korean Kim A-lim, France’s Perrine Delacour and Pauline Roussin, Taiwan’s Chien Pei-yun and Hsu Wei-ling, Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul and Americans Lucy Li, Mo Martin and Elizabeth Szokol.
World number two Minjee Lee of Australia withdrew due to illness midway through her round.
62 – Paula Reto (RSA)
64 – An Na-rin (KOR)
65 – Robynn Ree, Lilia Vu, Emma Talley
66 – Perrine Delacour (FRA), Chien Pei-yun (TPE), Hsu Wei-ling (TPE), Atthaya Thitikul (THA), Nasa Hataoka (JPN), Lucy Li, Mo Martin, Elizabeth Szokol, Kim A-lim (KOR), Pauline Roussin (FRA)