Hurst, Kim share lead in South Korea

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, Last Updated: 10:49 AM ET

INCHEON, South Korea -- Vicky Hurst and Song-Hee Kim carded rounds of four-under 68 on Friday to share a one-shot lead after the first round of the Hana Bank Championship.

Defending champion Na Yeon Choi had a 69 and was tied with Amy Hung for third place, while Michelle Wie led a group of eight players at 70.

The LPGA Tour is in Asia for the second week of a three-tournament swing on the continent.

Jimin Kang won last week's Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia and was one of the players tied with Wie for fifth place on Friday. The Asia stint wraps up with next week's Mizuno Classic in Japan.

World No. 1 Cristie Kerr leads this week's field of 74 players on the Ocean Course at Sky 72 Golf Club.

Kerr, who regained the No. 1 ranking on Monday, opened with a 71 and was part of a 10-way tie for 13th place that also included Juli Inkster, Brittany Lincicome and world No. 4 Suzann Pettersen.

Hurst took an early lead. Playing in the first group off the No. 1 tee, the 20-year-old American mixed five birdies with just one bogey on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course.

Three of those birdies came in her first seven holes as Hurst fought off the chilly weather for a hot start.

"I just tried to keep warm starting out and stay steady because balls aren't going to be flying as far, and I probably won't be able to attack pins right away," said Hurst, who is seeking her first LPGA win.

"I just tried to hit fairways, greens, two-putt, make pars and keep going and staying warm. But I made a couple birdies, played very consistently, held it through the finish."

Like Hurst, Kim made five birdies and a lone bogey on Friday. She is also chasing her first win -- indeed, the 22-year-old South Korean has appeared ready to break through for some time.

She has finished in the top 10 in 20 of her last 26 starts, including 15 of 19 tournaments this season. They included back-to-back runner-ups at the LPGA Championship and Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.

"It gives me some pressure, but it's not my last tournament," Kim said of her string of top finishes without a win. "I'm still young and will have a lot of chances to win. I will not be disappointed if I don't win this tournament. But one thing for sure is I will try to my best."

NOTES: Hurst's mother is from South Korea...Kim grew up about an hour away from the course in Seoul...Pettersen was the 2007 champion...World No. 2 Jiyai Shin had a 73.


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