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LPGA Tour: Golfer Hyo Joo Kim fights off attack from fire ants during Honda LPGA Thailand

Patty Tavatanakit and Atthaya Thitikul share the early lead at the Honda LPGA Thailand ahead of Ariya Jutanugarn and Nanna Koerstz Madsen; Hyo Joo Kim nine strokes back after struggling to a one-over 73

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LPGA Tour golfer Hyo Joo Kim had to fight off an attack from fire ants during the opening round of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

LPGA Tour golfer Hyo Joo Kim was given an unusual surprise by a colony of fire ants during the opening round the Honda LPGA Thailand.

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Honda LPGA Thailand

The world No 7 - winner of the HSBC Women's Championship last week - is one of the headline names in action at Siam Country Club in Chonburi, where she experienced an unwanted encounter with ants during her opening round.

Kim started the week with back-to-back pars and sent her tee shot at the par-four third into the rough, where she suddenly began jumping up and down in an effort to fight off the insects that had already started crawling into her clothing.

The Korean was given relief to move her ball away from the area where the ants were predominately congregated, with Kim quickly running away from the area immediately after playing her second shot.

Kim was still scratching due to the effects of the ants after rolling in her four-foot putt for par, with the four-time LPGA Tour winner eventually carding a one-over 73 to sit nine strokes behind early pacesetters Patty Tavatanakit and Atthaya Thitikul.

Tavatanakit mixed nine birdies with a sole bogey to set the clubhouse target at eight under, only for her compatriot Thitikul to make two eagles on her back nine - including at the par-five last - to grab a share of the lead.

Ariya Jutanugarn sits a shot off the pace in tied-third alongside Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen, with former world No 1 Lydia Ko in a share of fifth spot after opening with a bogey-free 66.

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English duo Charley Hull and Jodi Ewart Shadoff are tied-33rd and seven behind the early lead, with Georgia Hall and Bronte Law in the group on level par that also includes AIG Women's Open champion Sophia Popov.

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