On a day when scores were low at Seowon Hills at Seowon Valley Country Club in Korea, Ashleigh Buhai took advantage.
After taking five weeks off because an old back injury flared up, Buhai returned in fashion to the LPGA, carding a bogey-free 10-under 62 to hold the first-round lead at the 2023 BMW Ladies Championship. Buhai had 10 birdies and eight pars and leads Alison Lee by a shot after Thursday.
“I think it was almost a blessing in disguise after a very busy summer,” Buhai said of her time off. “I’ve had one week of practice coming into here. And my goal for this week was to play with no expectations, and that’s often when you try to play well in a game.”
The 62 is a career-best round for Buhai, the 2022 AIG Women’s Open champion.
Of the 78 players in the field, only 10 shot over par, one of those being young phenom Rose Zhang, who shot 2-over 74.
Meanwhile, Lee’s 9-under performance was also bogey-free, including two stretches of three consecutive birdies. Ayaka Furue and Minjee Lee are tied for third at 8 under.
“Overall, I hit the ball really well,” Alison Lee said. “I gave myself a lot of putts inside 15 feet and was able to make almost all of them. I may have one putt that was a little longer, like 25, 30 feet. But other than that, I gave myself a lot of good birdie opportunities today.”
Lydia Ko, the defending champion, shot 5-under 67.