INCHEON, South Korea — Sung Hyun Park birdied her final two holes for a 6-underneath sixty six and a share of the lead within the LPGA KEB Hana Financial institution Championship because the South Korean bolstered her bid to win LPGA rookie of the yr and participant of the yr.

Park was tied for the primary-spherical lead with Min-Solar Kim and Minjee Lee.

Cristie Kerr, coming off a victory final week in France, was amongst these at sixty seven.

Park, who gained the U.S. Ladies’s Open this yr for her first main and is No. 2 on the earth, was enjoying Thursday within the featured group at Sky seventy two Golf & Resort comprising the highest three gamers on the earth rating. The highest-ranked So Yeon Ryu opened with a seventy two, whereas Lexi Thompson had a sixty nine.

“I’m off to a very good begin,” Park stated. “I’m feeling actually good. My solely hope at this level is that I keep this. My placing was actually robust at the moment, particularly I used to be holing a whole lot of my mid-vary putts. So I’m fairly glad with that.”

The 24-yr-previous Park gained six occasions final yr on the Korean LPGA. In her first season on the American tour, she already has gained the U.S. Ladies’s Open and the Canadian Ladies’s Open. She leads the LPGA cash record and is No. three on the factors listing of participant of the yr behind Ryu and Thompson.

Even on a cool, overcast day, Park performed earlier than a big gallery and fed off the power.

“At one level, it did cross my thoughts that there is probably not many spectators in the present day,” she stated. “I used to be fairly stunned once I reached the primary gap and noticed the dimensions of the gang. I’ve by no means felt that it’s uncomfortable to have a bigger crowd. The bigger the cheering is the extra enjoyable for me, so I had a very good time on the market at present.”

Lydia Ko was within the giant group at sixty eight.