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No surprise Lewis (71) is near top at Women's British

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It’s almost getting to where a search party should be called if Stacy Lewis isn’t on a leaderboard.

Lewis opened defense of her Ricoh Women’s British Open title with a 1-under-par 71 Thursday at Royal Birkdale, putting her in a tie for sixth, just three shots off the lead on a golf course that is severely punishing errant shots.

“I just scrambled today,” Lewis told reporters in Southport, England, in her post-round interview. “I got the ball in the hole, and that's what I said coming into the week I needed to do, was just getting the ball in the hole. I didn't hit it great but made some good up‑and‑downs and made a few putts, which was nice.”

Remarkably, Lewis has finished among the top 10 in 24 of her last 26 worldwide starts, dating back to last summer. That includes four victories and seven second-place finishes.

Lewis likes her early position at Royal Birkdale.

“Very happy with it,” she said. “You can always do a couple shots better.  That's just golf for you. Just happy to shoot something under par, be in the red numbers is a good place.”