(Reuters) - Australian Hannah Green held a one-shot lead at the end of the opening round of the Women’s PGA Championship on Thursday after Michelle Wie was reduced to tears as she pondered her future in the wake of an opening round 84.
Green fired four birdies in an otherwise flawless round for a four-under-par 68 on a wet and windy day in Chaska, Minnesota to earn her first career lead at a major tournament.
South Korean Kim Hyo-joo made the early running at the Hazeltine National Golf Club with four birdies and a bogey in her 69 but that was only good enough for a share of second place with England’s Melissa Reid.
Another three South Koreans were among six players tied for fourth after shooting 70s, including defending champion Park Sung-hyun who stumbled to a double bogey at the par-four 14th in an otherwise solid round.
The tough weather conditions played havoc on scorecards with only 16 of the 154 players in the field going under par for the day.
Among those struggling was world number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea who carded five bogeys and in a round of 77 to sit at five-over par in a tie for 102nd.
Inbee Park, who won the tournament three consecutive years from 2013-15, and American Lexi Thompson, who has three consecutive top-two finishes including a one-stroke victory at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, both finished with par 72s.
Canadian Brooke Henderson, fresh off her ninth LPGA Tour victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday, was unable to build off the momentum as she struggled to a four-over 76.
Michelle Wie, back in action after a two-month layoff dealing with a lingering wrist injury, endured a dismal return to competition in a round that included a quadruple-bogey, two double-bogeys, six bogeys and two birdies.
The former U.S. Women’s Open champion, who has endured a start-stop return to competitive golf after hand surgery last October, hit just six of 14 fairways and 10 of 18 greens in regulation while needing 35 putts to complete her round.
“It’s hard,” the tearful 29-year-old said.
“It’s just one of those situations where I’m not, you know, I’m not entirely sure how much more I have left in me, so even on the bad days, I’m just, like, trying to take time to enjoy it,” said the five-time winner on the LPGA Tour.
“But it’s tough.”
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto and Rory Carroll in Los Angeles, editing by Ed Osmond