South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu took a share of the lead in her Women’s British Open debut, birdieing the final hole for a 2-under-par 70 at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England.
South Korea’s Haeji Kang also opened with a 70 in relatively calm conditions, the highest leading score in the first round since the tournament became a major in 2002.
The 22-year-old Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion who won the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic last month, had five birdies and three bogeys. She won the Korean LPGA’s Hanwha Finance Classic last week.
Kang, 21, had six birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey.
Australia’s Karrie Webb, the tournament winner in 1995, 1997 and 2002, was a stroke back along with 16-year-old English amateur Charley Hull, Jiyai Shin and six other players. Shin, the 2008 winner at Sunningdale, won the Kingsmill Championship on Monday, beating Paula Creamer on the ninth hole of a playoff.
Two-time defending champion Yani Tseng opened with a 72. New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, the 15-year-old amateur coming off a victory three weeks ago in the Canadian Women’s Open, also shot a 72.
Tacoma’s Michael Putnam fired a bogey-free round of 9-under 62 to share the first-round lead of the Web.com Tour’s Albertsons Boise Open with Andrew Svoboda. Putnam had a string of five straight birdies in his nine-birdie round. Olympia’s Andres Gonzales birdied his 17th hole to cap a run of three birdies in a row for a 3-under round of 68. … Nathan Smith won the U.S. Mid-Amateur for a record fourth time, beating Garrett Rank, 1-up, in the 36-hole final at Lake Forest, Ill. The 34-year-old Smith, from Pittsburgh, also won the event for players 25 and older in 2003, 2009 and 2010. He broke a tie with Jay Sigel for most victories in the tournament. … Sweden’s Joel Sjoholm birdied three of his last four holes for an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Italian Open in Fiano, Italy. … Ellen Port won the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur for her fifth career USGA women’s title, beating Jane Fitzgerald, 4 and 3, on Hershey (Pa.) Country Club’s West Course. The 50-year-old Port, from St. Louis, won her fourth U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur title last year.