Canadian Maude-Aimee Leblanc grabs early lead at Symetra Tour event

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — Canada's Maude-Aimee Leblanc leads the way after the opening round of the Symetra Tour's Natural Charity Classic.

The Sherbrooke, Que., golfer carded a 7-under 65 on Friday.

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Leblanc is one shot ahead of American Maia Schechter heading into the final two rounds.

"I just hit the ball really well today," Leblanc told the tour's website. "I was consistent throughout the day. I missed one or two short putts, but other than that, it was pretty solid tee to green."

Leblanc withdrew from last week's season-opening event before the second round after tweaking her shoulder.

Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., shot a 72, Christina Foster of Toronto had a 74, Hannah Hellyer of Stirling, Ont., carded a 75 and Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., had a 77.

Leblanc is back on the Symetra Tour this year after spending most of the past three seasons on the LPGA Tour. She lost her full status for this year after finishing 116th on the money list in 2018.

The tournament has been kind to Canadians in the recent past, with Sue Kim of Langley, B.C., winning it in 2015 and Richdale taking the title the next year.

The Symetra Tour is the feeder circuit to the LPGA Tour. The top 10 on the money list at season's end earn LPGA cards.

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