Lewis takes lead at Evian Masters
Stacy Lewis enjoyed seven consecutive birdies and tying the Evian Masters record with a 9-under 63 in the opening round in France on Thursday.
Her birdie flurry from holes 5-11, plus two more on 17 and 18, helped Lewis to a two-shot lead over early front-runner Hee Young Park of South Korea.
Lewis matched three-time champion Helen Alfredsson's round of 63, set by the Swede in 2008.
"I know I've made six (birdies) in a row before, but I don't know if I've made seven ... I almost made eight," Lewis said. "I definitely think this is one of the lowest rounds I've ever shot. I think it is."
Park, who used a belly putter for the first time in her career, was also in clinical form and sank five straight birdies on the front nine.
South Korea's Ilhee Lee is three shots behind Lewis in third place. Colombia's Mariajo Uribe and Japan's Mika Miyazato are both four behind after 67s.
Park started shakily with a bogey on the fourth hole before her run of birdies. She added three more on the back nine. After shooting 6 under in Wednesday's pro-am tournament, she sensed the belly putter would work for her.
"I have been playing 15 years and I have never used the belly putter before," said Park, who won her only US LPGA Tour title at last year's season-ending Titleholders. "Then, like 10 days ago, I just changed (to) the belly putter.
"I was really nervous on the first, second hole but (then) I just forget about it. My people around me (were) saying 'Did you know that Ernie Els won (the British Open) last week with the belly putter? Did you see that?' Then I got more confidence."
Having failed to make the cut at the US Women's Open three weeks ago, Park's relief at finding her form was evident. She put it down to taking some much-needed time off.
"Before Evian I had a two-week break, where I did some other sports; swim, kayak, bike, tennis - everything refreshed my body," she said. "(I was) kind of frustrated after the US Open, I needed to forget about it. "
Defending champion Ai Miyazato of Japan, who also won in 2009, started well with three birdies on the front nine, but three bogeys on the back nine saw her drop behind. She rescued the day with a birdie on the final hole for a 1-under 71 - eight behind Lewis.
Michelle Wie, who tied for second place in Evian six years ago, was undone by her putting.
"I felt like I played a lot better than my score," Wie said after posting a 1-over 73. "I hit it good, but it didn't go in, that was a bit frustrating and affected my momentum."
Five-time major winner Yani Tseng's miserable round was compounded by a wild shot into the rough on the 18th. Her shot landed deep in the rough, at an awkward angle and just above the water. Tseng drove the ball well but it just failed to clear the bunker.
Although the top-ranked Tseng saved par, overall she had five bogeys against one birdie and drifted way out of contention at 4-over.
LEADING FIRST-ROUND SCORES
63 - Stacy Lewis (USA)
65 - Hee Young Park (KOR)
66 - Il Hee Lee (KOR) , Jia Yun Li (CHN)
67 - Mika Miyazato (JPN) , Mariajo Uribe (COL)
68 - Shanshan Feng (CHN) , Paula Creamer (USA)
69 - Sandra Gal (DEU) , In Kyung Kim (KOR) , Suzann Pettersen (NOR) , Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) , Jiyai Shin (KOR) , Natalie Gulbis (USA) , Amy Hung (TPE) , Hyo-Joo Kim (KOR) , Meena Lee (KOR) , Momoko Ueda (JPN) , Lee-Anne Pace (RSA)
70 - Se Ri Pak (KOR) , Karine Icher (FRA) , Ha-Neul Kim (KOR) , Becky Morgan (WAL) , Karrie Webb (AUS) , Azahara Munoz (ESP) , Jodi Ewart (ENG)
71 - Inbee Park (KOR) , Cristie Kerr (USA) , Cheyenne Woods (USA) , Juli Inkster (USA) , Katherine Hull (AUS) , Giulia Sergas (ITA) , Brittany Lang (USA) , Hee-Kyung Seo (KOR) , Beatriz Recari (ESP) , Gwladys Nocera (FRA) , Helen Alfredsson (SWE) , Ai Miyazato (JPN) , Karen Lunn (AUS) , Lindsey Wright (AUS)
72 - Hee-Won Han (KOR) , Maria Hjorth (SWE) , Ji-Na Yim (KOR) , Carly Booth (SCO) , Pornanong Phatlum (THA) , Anna Nordqvist (SWE) , Amy Yang (KOR) , Haeji Kang (KOR)
73 - Mirim Lee (KOR) , Felicity Johnson (ENG) , Jennifer Song (USA) , Jenny Shin (KOR) , Jennifer Johnson (USA) , Jade Schaeffer (FRA) , Brittany Lincicome (USA) , Laura Davies (ENG) , Christina Kim (USA) , Sun Young Yoo (KOR) , Michelle Wie (USA) , So Yeon Ryu (KOR) , Chella Choi (KOR) , Carlota Ciganda (ESP) , Hye-Youn Kim (KOR) , Melissa Reid (ENG) , Amanda Blumenherst (USA) , Caroline Afonso (FRA)
74 - Ran Hong (KOR) , Julieta Granada (PAR) , Lexi Thompson (USA) , Vicky Hurst (USA) , Jimin Kang (KOR) , Line Vedel (DNK) , Catriona Matthew (SCO) , Shin-Ae Ahn (KOR) , Kristy Mcpherson (USA) , You-Na Park (KOR) , Xi Yu Lin (CHN) , Kaori Ohe (JPN) , Min-Young2 Lee (KOR) , Sharmila Nicollet (IND) , Katie Futcher (USA)
75 - Eun Hee Ji (KOR) , Na Yeon Choi (KOR) , Danielle Kang (USA) , Ryann O Toole (USA) , Christel Boeljon (NLD) , Mina Harigae (USA) , Wendy Doolan (AUS) , Linda Wessberg (SWE) , Gerina Piller (USA)
76 - Diana Luna (ITA) , Miki Saiki (JPN) , Anais Maggetti (CHE) , Mindy Kim (KOR) , Cindy Lacrosse (USA) , Alison Walshe (USA) , Caroline Masson (DEU) , Angela Stanford (USA) , Yani Tseng (TPE) , Morgan Pressel (USA)
77 - Karin Sjodin (SWE) , Candie Kung (TPE) , Sophie Giquel-bettan (FRA) , Jessica Korda (USA) , Trish Johnson (ENG) , Jeong-Eun5 Lee (KOR)
78 - Rye-Jung Lee (KOR) , Tiffany Joh (USA)
79 - Sophie Gustafson (SWE)
80 - Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA)
81 - Karen Stupples (ENG)