Golf joins baseball, soccer in South Korea as sports resume

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Park Sung-hyun

Park Sung-hyun of South Korea lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the first round of the 42nd KLPGA Championship golf at the Lakewood Country Club in Yangju, South Korea, Thursday, May 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Golf joined baseball and soccer on Thursday as sports in South Korea that are back in action.

The women’s KLPGA Championship started with three players — Bae Seon-woo, Kim Char-young2 and Hyun Se-lin — tied at the top of the leaderboard at 5-under 67. Three more players were a shot behind.

The tournament is being played without fans and with players using hand sanitizers and following social-distancing rules. Caddies wore masks and players were allowed to play without them.

Defending champion Choi Hye-jin (69) was two strokes back. Like many players, she did not know how to react with no gallery and no applause.

“I birdied the first hole, and I didn’t know how I should celebrate it,” she told South Korean news agency Yonhap. ”I made an eagle and I just kept it to myself.”

Choi said without fans the play was quicker and it was easier to concentrate.

Third-ranked Park Sung-hyun (73) was six shots behind. No. 6 Kim Sei-young (74) had an even tougher day at the Lakewood Country Club, finishing seven strokes back.

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