Ai Suzuki won the 2019 Toto Japan Classic co-sanctioned edition, but she did not become an LPGA member. After an opening 7-under 65, she will co-lead this week with her compatriot Momoko Urda. This event was won by Ueda in 2007 and 2011. Japanese players are in the top five spots on the leaderboard at Seta Golf Course.
Suzuki is a 17-time winner of the JLPGA. He has five top-10 finishes but no victories.
Suzuki said that she was struggling to swing, referring to her 2022 winless campaign. I had a swing coach but it didn’t work. It was then that I decided to stop using a swing coach and play with my own coach.
Ueda recorded five consecutive birdies at Nos. 10-14. This week, she changed the driver shafts and added a new putter to her bag. It was the layout of the golf course that made her feel uncomfortable.
She said, “Order of holes have been changed since I played there before.” “That’s why I couldn’t remember every hole until I went and saw them all. This is why I couldn’t feel at ease during my play today.”
Miyuu Yamashita was the JLPGA’s best player this year. He opened with a score of 67. Yamashita has been a three-time champion this season. She is the leader in scoring (71.66) and top-10 finishes (18 for the JLPGA). Yamashita is making her second LPGA debut in her career. In her debut at 2022 AIG Women’s British Open, she finished 13th.
Newly-minted No. 1 Atthaya Thitikul opened the round with a 71, taking a 30th-place share. Banpot Bunpisansaree was awarded the green caddie badge that recognizes the top-ranked player at the start of her round. Thitikul, 19 years old, is a two-time champion this season. She leads the tour with 14 top-10 finishes.
Thitikul said, “I meant much to me, but it meant a lot to him,” “I believe he dreams of wearing a green bib from the first day of caddying.
Linn Grant shot 69 despite early-week travel delays. In her one practice round, Linn Grant was unable to play nine holes Wednesday. She also walked the back nine.
“Thank God, we started with No. She said that we did a lot of walking and got into the rhythm. Although it’s not too difficult, I felt like I had a great view of the back nine by just walking. However, it can be a little scary. I find the crowds nice and my focus shifts a little more. Today was a nice bonus for not playing, which I thought was great.”