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Brittany Altomare makes seven straight birdies to share lead at Lotte

April 14, 2021

Brittany Altomare looks over the ninth green during the first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship.

Christian Petersen

The putts weren’t falling on Brittany Altomare’s front nine on Wednesday in the opening round of the LPGA Tour’s Lotte Championship in Hawaii. She decided it was time for a mid-round analysis and had her caddie, Charlie Ryan, read the first couple of putts after the turn as she played the front nine at Kapolei Golf Club on the Island of Oahu. Ryan confirmed that Altomare was on point. “It just freed me up,” Altomare said.

Altomare made a birdie at the first. Then the second. Then the third. And she just kept rolling them in. By the time her birdie run was over, she’d made seven straight—tying the LPGA mark for the second-longest birdie streak in history. The seven-under-par 29 she shot on her second nine, which included a chip-in for birdie at No. 7, gave Altomare an opening-round score of eight-under 64 and put her tied with sponsor invite Yuka Saso, who made eight birdies in her round.

Altomare, 30, whose lone professional victory came on the Symetra Tour in 2016, said she couldn’t recall making seven straight birdies at any time in her life. “I don’t remember a time like that, even in just, like [the] Cactus [mini tour],” she said.

Altomare made three straight cuts to start the season before missing the weekend at the ANA Inspiration two weeks ago. She’s coming off a 2020 campaign in which she posted two top-10s. Her LPGA career highlight thus far is getting into a playoff in the 2017 Evian Championship before losing to Anna Nordqvist on the first extra hole.

Saso is a 19-year-old from the Philippines who doesn’t have LPGA status and is appearing in her sixth LPGA event. She notched a T-50 in the recent ANA and has two wins on the Japan LPGA.

With 65s, Nelly Korda, Ally Ewing and So Yeo Ryu were tied for third.