South Korea’s Hyo-Joo Kim fired a seven-under-par 65 in fine conditions at the Trump Turnberry Resort on Thursday to grab a one-stroke lead on her debut in the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
With five birdies and an eagle on the Ailsa Course, the world No 4 equalled the lowest first round in the championship, previously recorded by four players – Candie Kung at Turnberry in 2002, Karen Stupples at Sunningdale in 2004, Juli Inkster at Sunningdale in 2008 and Meena Lee at Carnoustie in 2011.
The highlight of Kim’s round was her eagle on the par-5 14th where she hit her second shot to within 10 inches of the cup on the hole where Morgan Pressel recorded an albatross using a 5-wood from 197 yards earlier in the morning.
“The last couple weeks, I couldn’t swing very well. But (Thursday) I kept it in the fairway very well, and the second shots, hit the greens,” said Kim, 20, who shot the lowest round in major history, a 10-under 61, en route to winning her first major at the 2014 Evian Championship.
Kim turned pro in 2012 and has 13 wins in professional tournaments across the women’s tours, including two as an amateur.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko and Cristie Kerr of the USA are tied on six under par, with South Koreans Kyu-Jung Baek and So Yeon Ryu a stroke further behind.
England’s Florentyna Parker, Norwegian Suzann Pettersen and Azahara Munoz from Spain are the leading Europeans on four under par 68, tied for sixth place with five other players.
Parker, who is a member at last year’s Ricoh Women’s British Open venue Royal Birkdale, was delighted with her round, containing four birdies an
eagle and two bogeys.
She said: “It was brilliant. After Wednesday and on Monday I played practice rounds and I thought, ‘this is going to be so tough’. I was so intimidated by the course and I kept saying to my friend, ‘if I shoot under 80, I’m going to be thrilled’. And then I was starting off, I was doing okay and kept it going.”
Doncaster’s Rebecca Hudson had two double bogeys in her opening 79.