Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead in the first round of the Women’s British Open on Thursday.
Buhai finished just ahead of Japan’s Hinako Shibuno and American Danielle Kang, who each had a bogey in rounds of 66.
Top-ranked Jin Young Ko, seeking her third major title of the year after winning last week’s Evian Championship in France, was well positioned after a 68.
Buhai, who has never won on the LPGA Tour, made her only bogey on the par-5 11th but responded with three straight birdies on Nos. 14-16. Her best previous British Open finish was a tie for 30th in 2017.
Playing on her home Marquess Course at Woburn Golf Club, Charley Hull delighted fans with a bogey-free 67. Hull, who suffered from food poisoning at last week’s Evian Championship, showed no lingering ill effects.
Joining Hull at 5 under were second-ranked Sung Hyun Park, Moriya Jutanugarn and Megan Khang.
U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 and Ariya Jutanugarn shot 68 along with Ko. Defending champion Georgia Hall opened with a 69.
Lexi Thompson, whose wayward passport after the Evian Championship caused a delay for a van carrying golf bags for nearly 40 players to Woburn, opened with a 71.
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