The quest continues. Suzann Pettersen has had a good winter so far, finishing T4 at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore and 10th at the Honda LPGA Thailand. A final-round 80 dropped her to T28 in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, but other than that, she’s played like someone hungry to take over the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Rankings.
But she needs a win. And while you can’t win a tournament on Thursday, Pettersen put herself in a good spot today by firing a 6-under 67 to lead after the opening round of the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Haikou in China.
The woman Pettersen is chasing in the rankings, Inbee Park, shot 69 and is tied for third with Trish Johnson and the French duo of Gwladys Nocera and Valentine Derrey. Australian amateur Minjee Lee is just one shot back after her 68 in the opening round.
Pettersen also made a splash by introducing her boyfriend to a giggling Chinese crowd.
“His name is Christian,” she said. “He hides behind the cameras. We’re both Norwegian, we’re the same age and from the same town. We met through common friends.
“He’s an ex-skier who used to ski when he was younger. He has a great understanding of the lifestyle we live and the sacrifices we make and really respects our hours on the golf course so it’s very helpful and great to have someone you can share what you do with.”