Red-hot Hataoka tied for lead at Meijer Classic

Japan's Nasa Hataoka watches her drive on the 16th hole during the first round of the Meijer LPGA Classic

Japan's Nasa Hataoka, who is seeking her fourth win on the LPGA Tour, fired a 65 in the opening round of the Meijer LPGA Classic to finish in a four-way tie for the lead on Thursday.

The 2021 US Women's Open runner-up Hataoka is level with Lauren Stephenson, Leona Maguire of Ireland and England's Charley Hull at seven under on the Blythefield Country Club course.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Taiwanese star Lee Min were one stroke behind at six under. Eleven more players were tied at five under.

Hataoka closed her round with a birdie, the seventh on the day. She had four birdies in five holes on the front nine, starting on the par-five fourth.

The 22-year old lost to Yuka Saso on the third playoff hole at the Women's Open in May after both women finished 72 holes at four-under 280.

Hataoka hasn't won since the 2019 Kia Classic.


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