Tseng, Hull lead Women's British Open

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:55 PM ET

SOUTH PORT, England -- Yani Tseng and Katherine Hull both posted rounds of four-under 68 on Thursday to share the first-round lead of the Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale.

Tseng and Hull both eagled the last hole to get to four-under par in the season's final major championship. Tseng was in the clubhouse for some time before Hull joined her atop the leaderboard.

Anne-Lise Caudal, Amy Yang, Brittany Lincicome and Sun Young Yoo are knotted in third place at three-under 69.

Michelle Wie was one-over par through 16 holes on Thursday, but closed birdie- eagle to shoot a two-under 70 and match In-Kyung Kim in a tie for seventh place.

"It was a good day today," said Wie. "I think I hit a couple of good shots and a couple more putts. I just feel good that I'm hitting it right."

Wie will be in search of her first major title this week, while Tseng, at the age of 21, is halfway to the career slam. She captured the 2008 LPGA Championship and this year's Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Tseng started solidly enough with five consecutive pars, but broke into red figures at the par-five sixth. Her second landed in a greenside bunker, but she got up and down for a birdie to reach one-under par.

The 21-year-old from Taiwan parred her next 10 holes, but that kept her near the top of the leaderboard on a windswept day at the links course of Royal Birkdale.

"I'm not trying to make a birdie," Tseng said of her first 15 holes. "The last two holes are reachable, so they're like par fours for me. [Links golf] makes me think more."

Tseng missed the green with her second at the par-five 17th, but she got up and down from 40 yards out to record her second birdie and move to two-under par.

At the par-five closing hole, Tseng rolled in a 35-footer for eagle to move past the group at three-under and into sole possession of first until Hull joined her.

"I played really solid today," said Tseng, who is ranked fifth in the world. "I hit 18 greens on this golf course, so I didn't miss any greens. I putted well."

Hull, an Australian with one LPGA Tour victory, couldn't save par from a greenside bunker at the fourth, but got that stroke back with a 30-foot birdie putt at seven. Hull closed her front nine with a beautiful eight-iron approach to four feet at the ninth for another birdie.

She made it two in a row around the turn thanks to another spectacular approach. Hull hit a nine-iron to three feet at the 10th and converted to get to two-under par.

Hull parred her next seven, but tied Tseng in first at the par-five closing hole. She hit a four-hybrid club to 60 feet and rolled in the long eagle putt for her piece of the first-round lead.

"It's Thursday, so it's early in the week," said Hull, who won the Canadian Women's Open in 2008. "I hit it really well on the front nine and then just got a little sloppy on occasion on the back nine, but yeah, I was really happy with the start."

World No. 1 Jiyai Shin, who won last week's Evian Masters, Brittany Lang, Stacy Lewis, Gwladys Nocera, Stacy Prammanasudh, Stacy Bregman and Hall of Famer Juli Inkster share ninth at one-under 71.

NOTES: Defending champion Catriona Matthew opened with a three-over 75 and is tied for 64th...LPGA Championship winner Cristie Kerr carded a one-over 73 and is tied for 29th...U.S. Women's Open champion Paula Creamer was one stroke worse with a two-over 74 and shares 44th...Natalie Gulbis and Sun-Ju Ahn withdrew before Thursday's first round.


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