EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (AP) — Pat Hurst and Brittany Lincicome of the United States and Eun-hee Ji of South Korea each shot a 6-under 66 Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the Evian Masters.
Michelle Wie, the 17-year-old star from Hawaii, shot a 73 and has not broken par since finishing tied for second at this event last year.
On a day of low scoring, the leaders were just one shot ahead of Christina Kim of the United States, and Kyeong Bae and Jin Joo Hong of South Korea.
Hurst, who is in her 13th season on the tour, started well with a birdie at the first and finished with an eagle on the 18th.
“I hit a 4-iron to 10 feet, so it was a good ending,” she said. “The putting is what is tough, but the more years I come here the easier it is to read the greens.”
The 21-year-old Ji was undaunted by her Evian Masters debut, holing out with her second shot at the third hole for an eagle. She also birdied the fourth, seventh and ninth holes.
“I hit a 9-iron from 130 yards,” Ji said. “I played good all day.”
The 21-year-old Lincicome, who won the Ginn Open in April, eagled the ninth and almost did the same at the 18th.
Karrie Webb, the defending champion from Australia, stayed in contention with a 70.
She was 3 under after four holes. Webb also ended with a birdie as she found the greens more difficult as the day wore on.
“I’m happy,” Webb said. “I hit one or two loose shots, but overall I played well.”
Lorena Ochoa of Mexico fought hard to finish with a par 72.
“It was one of the most up-and-down rounds I’ve had this year,” Ochoa said. “I had six birdies, two double bogeys and two bogeys. It could have been a very bad day.”
Hitting almost every fairway to be 2-under 34 after nine, Wie came home in 39 with a double-bogey 6 at the 12th where she lost a ball out of bounds.
Wie said she has a positive outlook and that her wrist, which had been injured, was not too painful.
“I’m definitely on the road to recovery. I’m stronger and more confident,” Wie said. “I’m swinging much better and I made some birdies. I take so many positives from this round.”
Laura Davies, the 1995 and ’96 champion, finished with a birdie and eagle for a 71. She rolled in a 45-foot putt at the 18th after hitting a 7-iron for her second shot.
Annika Sorenstam of Sweden also shot 71.