Japan's Sakura Yokomine leads LPGA Taiwan Championship
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) Sakura Yokomine bogeyed the final hole for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead over Brooke Henderson, Paula Creamer and Amy Yang on Thursday in the LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Yokomine eagled the par-5 12th and had three back-nine birdies at windy Miramar before dropping the stroke on the par-5 18th in the second of six events on the tour's Asian Swing. The 30-year-old Japanese player is winless in two seasons on the LPGA Tour after winning 23 times on the Japan LPGA Tour.
Henderson birdied three of the final four holes, playing in the last group of the day. The 19-year-old Canadian has two victories this year, winning the major KPMG Women's PGA in June.
Creamer had a bogey-free round. Yang was 6 under through 13 holes, then bogeyed the next two.
Ha Na Jang, Ai Miyazato, Lee-Anne Pace, Beatriz Recari and Hee Young Park shot 69.
Defending champion Lydia Ko had a double bogey on the par-4 fifth in a 70. The top-ranked New Zealander won by nine strokes last year at Miramar. She has four LPGA Tour victories this season.
Home favorite Yani Tseng closed with a quadruple-bogey 9 on 18 for a 79. Playing on a sponsor exemption, she also had a double bogey on the 12th. Tseng won the inaugural event in 2011 at Sunrise, and took the last of her 15 LPGA Tour titles in March 2012.
Yokomine and Henderson are making their 26th starts of the year, tied with Kim Kaufman for the tour lead. Henderson plans to play all six weeks in Asia, a journey that started last week in China, will take her to South Korea, back to China, and then to Malaysia and Japan.
Kaufman had a 73.