Tokyo Olympics: Madelene Sagstrom grabs early lead over Nelly Korda at women's golf competition
Team Ireland duo Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow lie five and six shots back respectively; Team GB's Mel Reid seven behind after a two-over 73 and Jodi Ewart Shadoff eight strokes off the early lead
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 05/08/21 11:35pm
Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom sits top of a strong leaderboard after the opening round of the women's golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics.
The world No 75 birdied five of her opening 10 holes on her way to a bogey-free 66 at hot and humid Kasumigaseki Country Club, giving her a one-shot advantage over world No 1 Nelly Korda and India's Aditi Ashok.
European duo Carlota Ciganda and Matilda Castren sit two off the pace alongside world No 2 Jin Young Ko, while five-time LPGA Tour winner Danielle Kang and defending Olympic champion Inbee Park are both in the group three behind.
"I was striking the ball all right but not great, so having a strong short game and just giving myself the chances, like solid par chances was kind of the key of my round today," Sagstrom said. "I'm not going to lie, it's very hot. But it's manageable."
Korda cancelled out a bogey at the second by birdieing the next, before responding to a three-putt bogey at the fourth by making three birdies in a four-hole stretch from the fifth and then back-to-back gains from the 14th to get to four under.
Ashok missed out on a chance for a share of the lead when she bogeyed her final hole, while Ko - one of four Korean players in the 60-strong field - birdied four of her last six holes to sit in tied-fourth.
Former world No 1 Lydia Ko, a silver medallist in Rio in 2016, opened with a one-under 70 and was one of 22 players to shoot under par during the opening day, while Ireland's Leona Maguire is five strokes back after mixing three birdies with as many bogeys to card a level-par 71.
Stephanie Meadow birdied two of her last three holes to get back within six of the leader, while Team GB duo Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff lie seven and eight strokes off the pace respectively after rounds of 73 and 74.