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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Mika Miyazato, Sydnee Michaels share LPGA lead


NORTH PLAINS, Oregon (AP) -Mika Miyazato and Sydnee Michaels overcame hot conditions to shoot 7-under 65 on Friday and share the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour's Safeway Classic.

Miyazato and Michaels each had eight birdies and a bogey on Pumpkin Ridge's Ghost Creek Course.

Michaels, who won twice last year on the developmental Symetra Tour, had her best round of her rookie season. She's coming off a career-best 21st-place tie last week in the Toledo Classic.

"It's been hit or miss," Michaels said. "I'll be in contention and I might have a little shaky Sunday, and wind up top 30 or something like that or I'll miss the cut by one or two.

"Last year, I hit my stride at the end of the season, so I'm hoping I follow that pattern."

Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park and Pornanong Phatlum were a stroke back. So Yeon Ryu, the Toledo Classic winner last week, was two shots behind at 67 along with Brittany Lincicome, Alison Walshe and Jee Young Lee.

Michelle Wie opened with a 69, top-ranked Yani Tseng had a 70, defending champion Suzann Pettersen shot 71, and second-ranked Stacy Lewis had a 73.

Miyazato, winless on the LPGA Tour, made four consecutive birdies during the middle of her round and pulled into a tie for the lead with a birdie on the 431-yard, par-4 18th, the toughest hole Friday.

The Japanese player has five top-10 finishes this season.

"To begin the season, I was not so very good with my golf game," Miyazato said. "I start to shoot right in the last couple four, five events. I'm gaining more confidence."

Park had a chance to join the leaders after reaching 6 under through 15 holes with two par 5s remaining, but settled for a 66. Pornanong had a roller-coaster round, with nine birdies and three bogeys, and Kerr birdied four of her final six holes.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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