Ko has emerged strongest of world’s three top-ranked players who were grouped together for the first two rounds.
“I’ve got my name on every major championship trophy but I won Evian before it became a major”.
She won the Evian a year before it became a major, when it was still called the Evian Masters.
Pressel carded a 65, the lowest score so far at the tournament.
The 22-year-old wasn’t as consistent as Thompson from tee to green, but her average of 1.44 putts per hole gave her an edge over most of the field. It’s good that I have an opportunity, but the main goal this year was just to win the British Open, which I did, and I’m happy to play in Evian. What he didn’t know was Rule 4-3b on using a club that has been damaged other than the normal course of play.
Pressel’s U.S. Solheim Cup teammate, Lexi Thompson, who shared the lead with Lee at 5 under, started her round late. The 20-year-old Co Cavan player – an undergraduate at Duke University in the USA where she dominated collegiate golf last season – makes her debut in the championship, grouped in the first round with Spain’s Belen Mozo and the Czech Republic’s Klara Spilkova.
Ko’s opening round of 69 which included five birdies has her tied for 12th place.
” I feel like I’m doing something really never anybody has done before”, the world number one, who has won six of the 14 majors she has contested since 2013, told a pre-tournament press conference.
Broch Larsen, playing in the Evian Championship for the first time, began her second major with a birdie at the second before going on to reach the turn at three-under after rolling in a 35-foot eagle putt at the long ninth.
China’s Shanshan Feng had another 68 and moved fourth at 6-under, with Lydia Ko two shots adrift of her and tied for fifth.
“I struggled a little bit with my driver on the back nine but I kept it together, kept fighting”.
The American was 18 years 10 months and nine days-old when she won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
The LPGA Tour recognizes Park as just the seventh player to complete the career slam, with a victory at four different majors.
The Evian Championship is the last major of the season for the LPGA, and Wie has finished T37 and WD the last two seasons.
Although Wie and Paula Creamer (74) endured a bad day, Thompson’s and Piller’s bright openings were good news for the US team for the Solheim Cup next week in St. Leon-Rot, Germany.