Kirk warms up on scorcher in Evian

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Katherine Kirk has continued where she left off at the Evian Championship, the Queenslander led the Australian quintet after day one.

Kirk finished T3 in 2017 and T10 last year at this tournament and a Thursday 1-under-70 leaves her as the only Australian under par through 18 holes.

Temperatures rose above 30 degrees in Evian when Paris registered its hottest day ever, with mercury hitting 42.6 degrees in the French capital.

Kirk is six in the back downright leader Paula Creamer, the American who is hot in the hottest part of the day – the hottest day in France ever – heading for a 64.

Koreans Inbee Park, JY Ko and Mi Hyang Lee are accompanied at 6-under by the American Brittany Altomare. Lee was the only one of the top five in the rankings to turn off & # 39; noon.

The Australian Kirk was out in the fourth last group of the day and she finished in style and reached the par-5 18th in two for a nerve-free two-putt birdie.

"It's a fun golf course because you have to watch every tee shot and every approach shot," Kirk said.

"I love that kind of wave you need to focus on.

“Today was a kind of outback adventure, we were all over the map. So I'm glad I'm in the red. "

Kirk started the back nine with birdie, but the high point came rather the hole, a monster well at nine for eagle.

"I hit a good ride and crashed a 3-wood," Kirk said, "it rolled on the back of the green and the pin was in the front and I ran empty like a 66-footer. So that was a bonus! "

In the group behind Kirk, Sarah Kemp was the only Australian of our quintet to reach 1st place on Thursday, and she used that momentum to map a gritty opening 1-over 72.

The Sydneysider took a blow with birdie on the descent – to say the least – 2nd hole, for a series of ten straight pars.

Playing in the third last group of the day Kemp was tested by the late breeze, bogeys at 13 and 16 a far from disappointing finish for her opening round.

"It was pretty solid," Kemp said.

"I hit the ball well, I probably didn't hit it as close as I wanted, because I had many long putts.

"The wind came up, we played the last four holes and it just came out of nowhere.

"But just making two bogeys here is not too bad. Solid wave."

Minjee Lee did not reach great heights on the first day but at 1-over through 16 holes – including a series of 11 straight pars – the world no. 4 seemed to be cruising.

But the disaster struck when she went long on the green with her second in the par-17 and, like seven late in the day, hurt her former state teammate Hannah Green, it torpedoed Lee.

The 23-year-old missed a mid-ranger for a double and made the last par on his way to a 4-over-75.

"I skipped it over the back and there was like a tree that was exactly in my line," Lee said.

“I hit one of the lower limbs and it just stayed there. Then I hit it again and not hard enough and it went backwards. "

By the end of next week's AIG Ladies British Open, Lee will have played nine of the past 11 weeks on the LPGA Tour.

"This week and next will be my third and fourth week in a row," Lee said.

"So it's probably exactly at my maximum. I'll be on the tired side. But I feel like I've given myself the best chance.

"I have probably not done so well in recent weeks"

“My only goal was to go out and have fun today and I felt that I was smiling all the way and had a pretty good attitude. I'm proud of that. "

The stifling temperatures of the afternoon didn't bring the best out of Su Oh, the Victorian fight to a first round 3-over-74 that got much worse due to a bad swing.

The World No.84 has made seven of its own, this is on the 4th par-4, after losing its ride outside the borders.

But Oh fell down from that point and after a birdie on the par-5 9th she made the turn at 3-over, the 23-year-old sharpened an even-par back nine to stay alive in the fourth major of the year.

Hannah Green led the Australians on course in the morning and it was a rocky return to golf for the newest great champion of the game in the beginning.

Green bogey three of her opening four holes, but collected brilliantly, rattling four birdies in a ten-hole stretch before her second shot at the par-5 18 settled in a divot.

Green could not escape the pond that protects the green and walked away with a double bogey seven on her last hole of the day, dropping her back to 1-over for the day.

“When I got the first tee, I wasn't too nervous until I hit the first tee. I was like "Oh wow, that's not exactly how I imagined that I would come out of the sky!", "Said Green.

"Three-over to four wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but I was really proud that I had at least it back to -1 with one to play.

"I have enough golf left to be played in this championship."

Friday's start times are brought forward half an hour to ensure that the second round is completed tomorrow night. Storms are predicted for the weekend.

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