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Golf: Ko off to quick start with share of LPGA lead

Lydia Ko launched her first season as an LPGA Tour member in style by grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Paradise Island (Bahamas): Korean Kiwi, Lydia Ko launched her first season as an LPGA Tour member in style by , grabbing a share of the first-round lead at the Bahamas LPGA Classic.

The 16-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander had six birdies and one bogey in a five-under par 68 that put her tied atop the leaderboard with South Korean Meena Lee in the $1.3 million season-opening event.

Lee's round included an eagle two at the par-four 13th hole, along with four birdies on the Ocean Club course.

The leading duo was one stroke in front of a group of 10 players that included American Stacy Lewis, Thailand's P.K. Kongkraphan, Taiwan's Candie Kung and South Koreans Park Hee-Young and Mirim Lee.

Ko turned professional last year after a stellar amateur career during which she won four professional tournaments.

She won her first title as a pro in Taiwan in December, but is making her first start this week as a member of the LPGA Tour.

Her precocious achievements persuaded LPGA Tour Michael Whan to waive the tour's usual requirement that a player be 18 years old to qualify for membership.

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