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Golf: Hataoka, Pedersen share early lead in LPGA Tour's LA Open

Nasa Hataoka of Japan putts at the 10th green during the first round of the LPGA's DIO Implant LA Open golf tournament at Wilshire Country Club on April 21, 2022, in Los Angeles, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Nasa Hataoka and Emily Kristine Pedersen shared the lead at 4-under 67 halfway through the first round Thursday in the LPGA Tour's DIO Implant LA Open.

    Hataoka closed with a birdie on the par-3 18th at breezy Wilshire Country Club. The 23-year-old Japanese player had seven birdies and three bogeys. She has five LPGA Tour victories, winning twice last season.

    Pedersen had five birdies and a bogey. The 23-year-old from Denmark is winless on the tour.

    "I think you need a bit of confidence going into this course," Pedersen said. "There are a few tight drives, a bit quirky shots into the greens where you really have to be on the right angle and just commit to the shots."

    Sei Young Kim and So Yeon Ryu were a stroke back with Jennifer Song, Haylee Harford, Janie Jackson and Dewi Weber.

    "A little windy on the back nine, so couple holes we took a long iron, just trying to make the par," Kim said. "It's not easy. You have to pick right number and then it's going to be release a lot."

    Top-ranked Jin Young had a 71.

    Defending champion Brooke Henderson opened with a 76. She had a triple bogey on the par-3 fourth.

    The tournament opens a two-week stay in Los Angeles area, with the Palos Verdes Championship next week.

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