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Choi leads Women's Open; Athens Drive's Perry shoots 78

Posted July 9, 2009
Updated February 14

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) - Na Yeon Choi of South Korea birdied her first three holes, and four of her first five, on the way to a 3-under 68 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the U.S. Women's Open. 

Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa, 2007 champion Cristie Kerr and qualifier Jean Reynolds opened with 2-under 69s Thursday.

Katherine Perry of Cary, N.C., who attends Athens Drive High School, shot a 7-over 78 on the first round.

Hee Young Park, also of South Korea, was another stroke back after a 70.

Birdies were hard to come by for nearly everyone but the 21-year-old Choi, a four-time international winner. Only five players were below par on the undulating greens and narrow fairways of Saucon Valley Country Club.

Ochoa's round included a birdie putt of more than 50 feet on the second hole, her 11th. Kerr hit 15 greens and 10 fairways in a round of three birdies and a bogey.

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