Michelle Wie's 2017 LOTTE Championship began with two birdies on the first three holes. From there it was a grind with two bogeys, a birdie and eight consecutive pars to close out her round with a one-under 71.
"I just felt really slow out there today. Just tired a little bit," the 2014 champion said. "I just made a couple mental errors out there, but for the most part I'm happy finishing under par."
Wie failed to take advantage of the par 5's, but in the wind red figures were good enough. The Honolulu native is tied for 47th, five shots off the lead heading into the second round.
"Definitely need to make a lot more birdies coming in, but I'm excited," Wie said.
The Punahou graduate is enjoying the best start to a season since 2014 when she won at Ko Olina and the U.S. Open. This year, Wie already has two top ten finishes, and today her gallery was the largest on the course throughout the day.
"I love playing in front of everyone from Hawaii," Wie said. "It's great playing in front of the home crowd. I definitely feel the love, and it's just very honoring to come back."
Wie wasn't the only local player in the field. Hilo native Britney Yada made her first career start at the LOTTE which got off to a rocky start. The Waiakea graduate put her first tee shot in the water on the 10th hole and made double bogey. Yada bounced back with a birdie on 11 and finished with a one-over 73.
"It was a grind today and I fought hard," Yada said. "Some days it's about making your bad days not so bad, keeping it under control, and think I did that well."
Yada is currently tied for 86th and will battle to make the cut with the likes of 2016 champion Minjee Lee and world number one Lydia Ko.
"The cut line is going to be out of my vocabulary," Yada said. "If i just keep it steady tomorrow, I'm sure I won't be quite as nervous on the first tee. Just make some pars and bogeys and see what happens."
Paula Creamer and Mi Hyang Lee share the lead at six-under, finishing in the dark after heavy rains soaked Ko Olina and forced a 44-minute weather delay.
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