|-5 L Salas (US); -4 C Hull (Eng); -3 A Sharp (Can), X LIn (Chn), Y Noh (US), D Holmqvist (Swe), J Lee6 (Kor), A Ernst (US), J Korda (US)|
|Selected others: -2 N Korda (US), P Tavatanakit (Tha); Level L Maguire (Ire), L Ko (NZ); +1 Y Saso (Phi); +2 M Reid (Eng); +3 G Hall (Eng); +4 J Ewart Shadoff (Eng); +5 L Davies (Eng); +6 B Law (Eng), S Meadow (NI)|
England’s Charley Hull lies one shot off the lead held by American Lizette Salas after the opening round of the Women’s PGA Championship in Atlanta.
Hull started on the back nine and finished strongly with four birdies over her final eight holes in the third of the five annual women’s majors.
“I can’t remember much of my round. I just felt quite focused,” she said.
“I wasn’t even sure of my score until I looked at a leaderboard. The key for me was probably my par save on the last.”
Salas is aiming to win her first LPGA Tour title since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.
The 31-year-old, who also began at the 10th, had a bogey-free first round, collecting three birdies on the back nine and then adding two more at the fourth and fifth.
Her best result in a major was her second-place finish in the 2019 Women’s British Open, with her best finish at a Women’s PGA Championship a tie for fifth place, also in 2019.
“I believe that I could play well in these big events and contend,” said Salas, who admitted that she had mental health issues while playing less golf last year during the height of the Covid pandemic.
“I think that’s more so the shift in everything, that self-confidence, and I’m not afraid to be out here anymore. It’s fun.”
Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit, who won the first major of the year at the ANA Inspiration, is in contention after a two-under 70 while Yuka Saso of the Philippines, who triumphed in the US Women’s Open earlier this month in San Francisco, shot a one-over 73.
But defending champion Sei Young Kim of South Korea struggled to a four-over round of 76.