Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden fired a 9-under-par 63 to grab the first-round lead at the Cognizant Founders Cup on Thursday in Clifton, N.J.
Sagstrom birdied the first four holes, rolled in another three straight at Nos. 12-14 and finished the round with nine birdies and no bogeys at Upper Montclair Country Club. That was enough for a one-shot lead over Megan Khang.
Sagstrom, 29, has one LPGA Tour title to her name and is in the hunt for her best finish since placing second at the 2021 Women’s British Open.
Japan’s Nasa Hataoka was third after a 7-under 65. She recorded an eagle at the par-5 second and added five birdies while staying bogey-free.
“I was 15 of 18 for the greens,” Hataoka said, “so that contributed to just carrying that momentum into having more birdies with me.”
Three players were tied for fourth after shooting 66: Bianca Pagdanganan of the Philippines, Giulia Molinaro of Italy and Amy Yang of South Korea.
Lexi Thompson was part of a seven-way tie for seventh at 5 under. She tallied six birdies on the front nine for a 6-under 30 going out before cooling off with two bogeys and a birdie on the back.
Sixteen-year-old amateur Anna Davis is in position to make the 36-hole cut after carding a 2-under 70 Thursday. Davis, who won last month’s Augusta National Women’s Amateur, also made the cut in her first LPGA Tour start last month at the Palos Verdes Championship.
Davis also made an eagle 3 at the second hole.
“It was pretty solid,” Davis said. “It was the most straightforward eagle you could have. It was like fairway, hit a really good shot into the green to, like, 5 feet and then made it.”