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Kirk Flying Aussie Flag At Evian

Katherine Kirk is the only Australian in red figures after the opening round of the Evian Championship (Photo: Henry Peters)
Katherine Kirk was the only Australian to break par in the opening round of the year’s final major, the Queenslander just three shots off the pace at the Evian Championship in France.

It was a difficult day for the other five Australians in the field at the Evian Resort, Minjee Lee making a good start but closing with three bogeys in her final four holes to finish over par and slip down the leaderboard.

At 1-over the World Number Six is seven behind leaders Carlota Cigands of Spain and Puerto Rico’s Maria Torres but on a packed leaderboard is T41.

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko is at the same mark, Sarah Jane Smith one further back and T56 and Sarah Kemp 3-over and T70.

Both Hannah Green and Su Oh endured horror opening rounds, Green singing for a 6-over 77 and Oh an 8-over 79.

There were no such issues for Kirk, however, who notched two birdies and an eagle in her round on her way to 3-under and a share of seventh place.

But the story of the day was joint leader Torres who was in Puerto Rico when Hurricane Maria devastated the island last year.

She battled to get her entry in for the second stage of make it to the second stage of LPGA Tour School but finally qualified for the last stage then claimed the final card in a three playoff.

Despite a difficult year which sees her ranked 184th in the world, Torres found some magic in the Alps and used a run of birdie-birdie-eagle from the 13th to the 15th to play her way into a share of the lead.

"I just want to come here and play, and whatever happens, happens," she told the LPGA website.

"It's awesome to be here. I love it, I'm like almost rolling down the par-3s with all I've been eating here."

Ciganda was bogey free in her 65, the pair one shot ahead of American Austin Ernst who is alone in third one ahead of a trio of players.

That group includes Canada’s Brooke Henderson, star Japanese rookie Nasa Hataoka and two time major winner So Yeon Ryu.

In the group alongside Kirk at 3-under are major winners Inbee Park, In Gee Chun and reigning Women’s British Open champion Georgia Hall.

World Number One Sung Hyun Park had a disastrous day, a 6-over 77 leaving her in danger of missing the weekend.

SIGNATURE HOLES - 7TH AT NEWCASTLE GC, NSW:

 

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