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CARLSBAD, Calif. — Chella Choi birdied the final three holes for a 7-under 65 and the first-round lead Thursday in the Kia Classic.

Choi had a bogey-free round at Aviara Golf Club in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week in Rancho Mirage. The South Korean player was in the first group of the day of the first tee.

Stephanie Meadow was two strokes back at 67.


Full-field scores from Kia Classic


Nine of the top 10 players in the world are in the field, with only No. 6 Nelly Korda taking the week off. Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Minjee Lee, No. 4 Jin Young Ko and No. 8 Inbee Park topped a large group at 68. Sung Hyun Park won last month in Singapore and Ko is coming off a victory Sunday in the Founders Cup in Phoenix.

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