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Kemp, Lewis lead Women's Australian Open

Feb. 9, 2012 at 7:23 AM

VICTORIA, Australia, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Sarah Kemp and Stacy Lewis are tied for the lead after Thursday's first round of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, the first 2012 stop for the LPGA Tour.

Kemp didn't have a bogey while Lewis took a pair in shooting 4-under-par 69. They are one stroke ahead of Julieta Granada, Brittany Lincicome and Yani Tseng.

Five players are two strokes back at 71 and 12 more shot 72 Thursday.

Tseng, the World No. 1-ranked player and a two-time defending Australian Open champion, opened with a bogey but had four birdies in a six-hole stretch. She briefly reached 4-under with a birdie at the eighth hole but a bogey at No. 9 -- her closing hole -- left her in second.

Lewis, playing the back nine of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club first Thursday, had a bogey at the 11th hole but answered with four birdies in the next six holes before closing the side with a bogey at 18. She pulled into a tie for the lead with birdies at Nos. 6 and 8.

Kemp also played the second nine first and had 10 pars and a birdie -- at the 14th -- before posting back-to-back birdies at 3 and 4. She took a share of the lead with a birdie at the seventh hole.

This is the first year the Women's Australian Open is associated with the LPGA.

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