Ryu shoots 65 to share lead at LPGA ShopRite Classic

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England's Jodi Ewart-Shadoff makes a putt on 14th green during the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, New Jersey (AFP/Sarah Stier)

Ryu So-Yeon shot a six-under 65 in the opening round of the LPGA Tour's ShopRite Classic on Friday to grab a share of the lead with Jodi Ewart-Shadoff.

Starting on the back nine, South Korea's Ryu began her round with back-to-back birdies then closed with three straight birdies beginning at the par-three seventh. In between she made an eagle on the par-five third hole.

This was her first start in this event in three years.

"I made a birdie-birdie start, after that it was a bit slow," said Ryu. "I did make an eagle on No. 3. To be honest, the eagle putt I think was a little bit too much speed, but I was able to hit the center of the cup. That one really picked me up."

There are 18 players who are within two strokes of the leaders at the course in Galloway, New Jersey.

A group of eight players are one stroke back of the lead and tied for third at five-under, including world No. 2 Ko Jin-young, South Korean Park In-bee and 10-time LPGA Tour winner Brooke Henderson.

There are 10 golfers that shot four-under 67 and are just two shots within Ryu and England's Ewart-Shadoff. That list features Filipina Yuka Saso, Caroline Masson of Germany, American Brittany Lincicome and social media sensation He Muni of China.

Ko, a two-time winner this year, said she wants to improve on her only other appearance in this event, when she was a tour rookie in 2018.

"I played this tournament in 2018 when I was a rookie and I did not play good, so I want to play better," said Ko. "This course is not too long, so I have to get a lot of birdies."

Park is making her first LPGA Tour start since August when she competed in the Women's Open.

"I took a good couple of weeks off," Park said. "Played one event in Korea. It was nice to have good rest. Didn't play a lot of golf the last couple weeks, so I was a little bit worried. But I played really good."

He's solid round included two eagles, two birdies and two bogeys. She said it was not the first time she has had two eagles in a round.

"As long as you put yourself in a good position and it's reachable, it's doable," she said.

gph/mlm

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