11 Sep 2015

Ko makes solid start in France

11:13 am on 11 September 2015

New Zealand's world golf No.2 Lydia Ko has made a solid start at the LPGA tour's Evian Championship in France.

Ko's opening round of 69 which included five birdies has her tied for 12th place.

Lydia Ko at the Canadian Open 2015.

Lydia Ko at the Canadian Open 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 18-year-old is three shots behind the world number seven, American Lexi Thompson, and South Korean Mi Hyang Lee.

Already a major champion having captured the 2014 ANA Inspiration, Thompson went winless for more than a year after her victory before winning the Meijer LPGA Classic in July. Since then she has finished outside a tie for 17th.

"I've just been working on consistency in my game, just trying to get more consistent off the tee," said Thompson. "I've been working on short game a lot, which is chipping and putting. But the big thing is the mental side of the game. I've been working with John Denney down in Florida and just trying to stay positive going into shots, doing my routine and focusing on my breathing walking into the shot. So I think that's helped."

Lee, winner of the 2014 New Zealand Open, collected seven birdies and two bogeys at the Evian Resort Golf Course.

The Evian Championship is the 5th and final major of the year.

Ko did the best of the feature grouping today as she played alongside world number one Inbee Park of South Korea and number three Stacy Lewis of the United States.

Park posted a 1-over par, 72 and Stacy Lewis carded a 2-over par, 73.

Park is targeting her fifth different major. She won the Evian in 2012 before it became a major tournament.

She is also attempting to win her third major of the year.

Ko is still looking for her first major title. She was runner-up in France in 2013 as an amateur.

This will be the last chance for Ko to become the youngest player to win a major.

Morgan Pressel was 18 years and 10 months when she set the record at the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.