Trio Lead in France Wie Up and Down

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2006 Evian MastersEVIAN-LES-BAINS, France -- Americans Pat Hurst and Brittany Lincicome posted matching rounds of 6-under-par 66 Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Evian Masters with Korea's Eun Hee Ji.
 
Christina Kim was joined by Jin Joo Hong and Kyeong Bae in a tie for fourth at minus-5. Six more players are tied for seventh at 3-under-par 69 at Evian Masters Golf Club.
 
Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel
Michelle Wie and Morgan Pressel each opened with 1-over 73s. (Getty Images)
Defending champion Karrie Webb opened with a 2-under-par 70 and is tied for 13th. Annika Sorenstam, a two-time winner here, mixed five birdies and four bogeys in a round of 71. She is tied for 16th with Laura Davies and Rachel Hetherington among others.
 
'I think I played really well,' Sorenstam said. 'I had a lot of good chances today and I'm very disappointed because I think I played better than what the score says.'
 
World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa birdied the final two holes to shoot even-par 72, where she was joined by U.S. Women's Open winner Cristie Kerr and nine others.
 
Michelle Wie returned to action for the first time since withdrawing from the U.S. Women's Open with an injured wrist. The young Hawaiian had a solid front nine with seven pars and two birdies. Around the turn, she struggled with a double-bogey and a bogey to card a 73 that left her tied for 37th.
 
Hurst, whose best finish here was a tie for 18th in 2004, got her round going with birdies on one and four. She tripped to the only bogey of her round at the par-5 ninth. Around the turn, Hurst recovered that lost stroke with a 2-foot birdie putt on 11.
 
After a par at 12, Hurst birdied the 13th to move to 3 under. She birdied the 16th, then closed with a 10-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to jump into a share of the lead.
 
'I played steady out there,' said Hurst. 'I started out with a birdie so that got me off on the right foot. I played pretty steady and just kept it down the middle and on the green and made some putts.'
 
Lincicome, who won the Ginn Open earlier this year, parred the first five holes. She caught fire from there with birdies on six and seven before knocking her second within a foot at the par-5 ninth. She kicked that in for eagle to turn in 4 under.
 
Around the turn, Lincicome birdied No. 12, but gave that stroke back with a three-putt bogey at the par-3 14th. She came right back to birdie 15 and closed with a birdie at the last.
 
'I figured if I got it up there somewhere around minus-7, I would be close,' Lincicome stated. 'I three-putted on No. 14, but had to wait for like 30 minutes on the tee box, so I was a little out of rhythm. You lose your feel a little faster.'
 
Ji got off to a fast start as she holed a 9-iron from 130 yards out for eagle on the par-4 third. She came right back with a birdie No. 4. Birdies on the seventh and ninth gave Ji the lead at minus-5.
 
She stumbled to a bogey on the par-4 10th. Ji rolled in consecutive birdie putts from the 12th, but faltered to a bogey on 15. Ji gained a share of the first-round lead with a birdie at the 18th.
 
Mi Hyun Kim, who won the SemGroup Championship earlier this year, is one of the seven players tied for seventh. She stands alongside Diana D'Alessio, Sophie Gustafson, Linda Wessberg, Sun Ju Ahn and Jeong Jang.
 
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