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LeBlanc leads with flawless performance in LPGA Seri Pak Championship opener

Posted : 22 March 2024

Maude-Aimee LeBlanc of Canada surged ahead in the LPGA Seri Pak Championship in Los Angeles with a stellar performance, finishing with three consecutive birdies for a bogey-free round of seven-under par 64, claiming a one-stroke lead.


LeBlanc, aiming for her first LPGA title, showcased her excellent ball-striking abilities, including clutch saves when needed, particularly impressed by her proficiency in getting up and down whenever she missed the greens. She started steadily with two birdies before the turn and gained momentum on the back nine, closing strong with birdies on the seventh, eighth, and ninth holes.


American rookie Malia Nam, a former University of Southern California golfer, utilized her familiarity with the course to shoot an impressive 65, trailing LeBlanc by just one stroke. Nam, who had five birdies and an eagle along with a solitary bogey, credited her extensive experience on the Palos Verdes golf club course, having played it numerous times during her collegiate career, which provided her with a strategic advantage in club selection and course management.


Despite acknowledging the course's challenges, Nam expressed satisfaction with her performance, particularly her exceptional start with six-under through the first seven holes, although she found the back nine more challenging, missing some birdie opportunities.


Yuka Saso of Japan, Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden, and Americans Alison Lee and Lauren Hartlage shared the third spot on the leaderboard with a score of five-under 66. Defending champion Yin Ruoning of China posted a respectable one-under 70, placing her in a group tied for 28th position.


Renamed in honor of South Korean LPGA Hall of Famer Pak Se-ri, the LPGA Seri Pak Championship marks the tour's return to the United States following its Asian swing. Notable players like world No. 1 Lilia Vu and second-ranked Nelly Korda faced mixed fortunes in the opening round, with Vu carding a 73 while Korda posted a 72, each contending with different challenges on the course.


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