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USA Today Sports Media Group

Madelene Sagstrom zooms to the top of the leaderboard at Cognizant Founders Cup

Madelene Sagstrom opened with four straight birdies Thursday to kickstart her week at the LPGA’s Cognizant Founders Cup.

She made five more over the course of her day, including three in a row on Nos. 12-14 at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey, to zoom up the leaderboard in the afternoon wave and take a 1-shot lead over Megan Khang.

Sagstrom, 29, shot a 63 on the strength of those nine birdies while also avoiding any bogeys. The two-time Solheim Cupper from Sweden is seeking her first win since the 2020 Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.

Khang also went bogey-free after she posted eight birdies. Nasa Hataoka shot a 7-under 65 and was the early leader in the clubhouse before Sagstrom went to work. Hataoka also had a bogey-free card to go with five birdies and an eagle on the second hole.

Bianca Pagdanganan, Guilia Molinaro and Amy Yang are all tied for fourth at  6 under.

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko is tied for 22nd after a 3-under 69. Anna Davis, who won the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, opened with a 70. She had an eagle, a birdie, a bogey and 15 pars in her round.