Schmelzel takes first-round lead in Singapore

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SINGAPORE — Sarah Schmelzel birdied two of of her final three holes Thursday for a 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over three players, including fellow American Lilia Vu, at the LPGA tournament in Singapore.

Also tied for second with Vu at the HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club were Linn Grant and Esther Henseleit.

Two-time defending champion Jin Young Ko shot 71. Patty Tavatanakit, who won last week’s LPGA event in Thailand, shot 73. Minjee Lee, playing for the first time this year on the LPGA Tour, had a 74 and Brooke Henderson shot 75.

This is the second of three straight weeks in Asia. Next week the tour moves to China and the Blue Bay event on Hainan Island.

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