Sport

Evian Championship: Pajaree Anannarukarn and Yealimi Noh lead after first round

Evian Championship: Pajaree Anannarukarn and Yealimi Noh lead after first round thumbnail
Nineteen-year-old Yealimi Noh began her first round with a two-stroke eagle
-6 P Anannarukarn (Tha); -6 Y Noh (US); -5 L Stephenson (US); -5 E Pedersen (Den); -5 J Lee (Jap); -5 A Thitikul; -5 A Furue (Jap)
Selected others:-1 C Hull (Eng); +1 K Jin-young (Kor); +3 N Korda (US)
Full leaderboard

Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukarn and the USA’s Yealimi Noh sit one shot clear at the top of the Evian Championship leaderboard after day one.

Rounds of 65 saw both players end the day six under par on a sultry day by the banks of Lake Geneva in France.

Anannarukarn, 22, shot a bogey-free round, while Noh, 19, hit an eagle and five birdies to share the lead.

Five players trail them on five under, while world number one Nelly Korda is nine off the lead after a round of 74.

Five bogeys, including a fresh-air shot out of a bunker, saw American Korda end on three over par in pursuit of her second major.

Korda’s compatriot Noh got off to a blistering start with an eagle on the par-four first.

“I have never done that before, but sometimes it is tough when you start so well,” said Noh.

Anannarukarn, meanwhile, looked focused as she made a bid for her first major and a slice of the $4.5m (£3.26m) prize money, in her third season as a professional.

“There is a long way to go and I just hope I can go out and do the same thing tomorrow,” she said.

Below the leaders, American Lauren Stephenson, Dane Emily Pedersen, Japan’s Jeongeun Lee and Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul look well set, a shot off the lead and in contention before day two.

Former prodigy Thitikul was among the early starters, teeing off at 08:42 local time in a group that included England’s Charley Hull, who ended the day one under par.

Thitikul was the youngest player to win a professional tournament when she clinched the 2017 Thailand Championship aged just 14, was the leading amateur at the 2018 British Open, and last month won the Czech Open.

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself. Just go out and enjoy it,” said Thitikul after her round of 66.

Defending champion and world number two Ko Jin-young suffered a similarly tough round to Korda, also shooting five bogeys – a one-over-par 72 leaves the South Korean battling to make the cut.

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