Malia Nam grabs 1-shot lead after shooting 69 at Palos Verdes

Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. In her second career LPGA Tour start, Malia Nam shot a 2-under 69 on Friday in the Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship at Palos Verdes Golf Club to lead by one stroke heading into the weekend.  

Nam, 24, from Hawaii, is one of seven former University of Southern California players in the field at the Pacific Ocean course. She played more than 100 rounds there during her time with Trojans.  

"I've seen every single inch of this golf course, good and bad," he remarked. It's odd, I never played well here in college. I'm surprised I shot consecutively under par for the first time."  

Nam tied defending winner Ruoning Yin and Madelene Sagstrom on the par-3 sixth and took the lead on the par-5 seventh in the last group to tee off on No. 10. She finished 8-under 134 after parring the last two.  

"It's definitely a pretty surreal feeling seeing my name on the top of the leaderboard, especially with all the best players in the world." Nam said. "I always knew that I can play out here, but I didn't expect it to be so quick to see my name up on the top of the leaderboard."  

After a mid-round slump, she recovered on Friday. She double-bogeyed the par-4 15th and bogeyed the first.  

Nam said, "Got a really bad break," approximately 15. "The ball was like up behind the lip so I had to chip backwards."  

For 65, Yin closed eagle-birdie-birdie. The 21-year-old Chinese player started the spree with a 5-iron to 6 feet for eagle on No. 7 and a 45-footer on the par-4 eighth.  

"On the front nine, the fairways are wide open and I can smoke it whenever I want," he added.  

Rank fourth in the world, Yin won the KMPG Women's PGA after her breakthrough LPGA Tour triumph at Palos Verdes last year.  

Sagstrom made three late afternoon birdies. The 31-year-old Swede birdied the par-5 14th and 16th and the par-3 17th to reach 7 under.