Frida Kinhult grew up on an island in Sweden. This week, she’s playing on the Hawaiian islands. Although the two have stark differences, there is one commonality: wind.
The wind was blowing Wednesday during the first round of the LPGA’s Lotte Championship at Hoakalei Country Club in Ewa Beach. And it provided difficult conditions for everyone in the field, but Kinhult excelled.
The 23-year-old shot 6-under 66 to share the first-round lead with Natthakritta Vongtaveelap. Kinhult’s round included seven birdies and one bogey, which came on her last hole of the day, the par-3 ninth.
“It was very solid. Nothing crazy really happened,” Kinhult said. “Throughout the day tried to hit some fairways, and then I think I hit most greens, which is helpful in this wind. Just tried to stay patient out there shot by shot for real in this wind. A lot of the math in my head, so probably going to fall asleep pretty good tonight.
“Super happy with the start and pumped for the rest of the week.”
It’s the first time Kinhult has held a share of the 18-hole lead in her LPGA career.
Vongtaveelap had a bogey-free performance, which included an eagle on the par-5 fifth. She credited a strong driver with her great start.
Four players are tied for third at 4 under: Yu Jin Sung, Bailey Tardy, Nasa Hataoka and Hyo Joo Kim.