Paula Creamer leads Evian championship after first round

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√ČVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – Paula Creamer leads another major tournament after shooting a bogey-free, seven-under 64 on Thursday in the first round of the Evian Championship.

When Creamer was last at the top of an important standings, she won the United States Women's Open with four strokes to win her ninth title on the LPGA Tour.

At the Evian Resort Golf Club, where she achieved a distinctive victory as a teenager, Creamer, a 32-year-old American, made a shot foul after making her seventh bird on the 18th par-5.

"I really feel in control," said Creamer, who is at number 156 and whose last top-10 finish in a big and final tournament win were both in 2014. "All in all I felt good in my shoes."

Creamer dressed in black when the temperature rose to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. She took 31 shots to reach the corner and stayed away from four players who sown the back nine with birdies.

At six o'clock there were Bretagne Altomare, who finished a career-best second at Evian in 2017; the seven-time big winner Inbee Park; second-rank Jin Young Ko; and Mi Hyang Lee.

Two shots behind Creamer at five o'clock were Jennifer Kupcho, the inaugural Augusta National Women & # 39; s Amateur winner in April, and Melissa Reid of England, who got the only eagle of the day at the 18th.

Top-grade Sung Hyun Park was one of three players who were four under, three shot back.

The picturesque, 6,527-yard course in Evian, on a hill with a view on Lake Geneva, was ideal for Creamer to make her return to vo to confirm after a few difficult seasons.

"Here of course comes a big smile on my face," said Creamer, the rookie of the year 2005, who won the Evian Masters at the age of 18 before it got its current status.

Creamer withdrew 2017 in Evian before undergoing surgery on her left wrist. That led to a 2018 season without top 10 finishes, not helped by a breakup of the marriage.

"It has been crazy in my life for the last four or five years," she acknowledged. "It's hard enough already, then you put your other life in the mix of things."

A 10-time winner at the L.P.G.A. Tour, she said she felt "as if I am in a very, very strong place mentally."

There was another comeback attempt on Thursday, by the player who followed Creamer as newcomer of the year.

Shi Hyun Ahn, number two on the 2004 LPGA behind Annika Sorenstam, cards a one-less than 70 in her first round at a major tournament since April 2011. Ahn had returned to South Korea, giving birth to a daughter who is now 7 and played on the domestic tour in her home country.

Kupcho, 22, is perhaps this season's must-see rookie after becoming the first woman to win a tournament on the Masters course in Augusta, an old bastion of male membership only.

She turned professional a few weeks ago after a great college career at Wake Forest. She immediately felt at home in Evian, where she helped a collegiate team from the United States win the Arnold Palmer Cup 2018.

"It's pretty nice to have a familiar place to go," Kupcho said. "I had never been to Europe before last year, so if I came across jet lag, I would certainly have messed with me a little."

Kupcho had six birds and a bogey in her 66.

Americans on the other side of the rankings sat the defending champion, Angela Stanford, who shot five-over 76; and Lexi Thompson in third place, who dropped the 18th three times for a 77.

The Evian Championship returned to July in the calendar after it was moved to September when it gained significant status in 2013. seasonal rain, making it twice a 54-hole event.

Still, storms and rain are forecast for the weekend, and organizers have set Friday's start times 30 minutes ahead in an attempt to beat the worst weather.

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