WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Ruixin Liu birdied the final two holes late Thursday afternoon for a 5-under 66 and a share of the first-round lead with Wei-Ling Hsu in the LPGA Tour’s Pure Silk Championship.
Liu opened with a 5-under 30 on the back nine, bogeyed Nos. 3 and 6 and rebounded with the birdies on the par-4 eighth and ninth holes at Kingsmill Resort. Seeking her first LPGA Tour victory, the 22-year-old Chinese player won two of the first three events this year on the Symetra Tour.
Hsu had a bogey-free round in the morning. Winless in her seven-year LPGA Tour career, the 26-year-old Taiwanese player birdied the River Course’s two front-nine par 5s and made three in a row on Nos. 12-14 in the morning round.
“I feel quite the same from very first hole all the way to the 18th,” Hsu said. “I just kept waiting. I know my feeling is pretty good right now, even finish four (pars) in a row. I just keep simple and then just stay focused.”
Sei Young Kim was a stroke back with Luna Sobron Galmes, Kelly Tan and Jiwon Jeon.
Kim made her lone bogey on the par-3 17th — her eighth hole of the round — when a tap-in lipped out.
“I just try to tap in, finish, and it’s lip out,” the 12-time tour winner said. “I was like, `What was that?′ I’m like little shock. I told myself, `How stupid am I?’”
Stacy Lewis was at 68 with Elizabeth Szokol, Tiffany Joh, Ryann O’Toole and Megan Khang.
“Played really solid and made a couple par putts,” Lewis said. “Two lip-outs for birdies, but other than that it was good.”
Playing partner Ariya Jutanugarn, coming off a victory two weeks ago in her home LPGA Tour event in Thailand, opened with a 70. She won at Kingsmill in 2016 and 2018.
Sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda also shot 70.
Lexi Thompson had a 73. She set the tournament record of 20-under 264 in 2017.
Paula Creamer shot a 76 in her first LPGA Tour start since tying for 63rd in the BMW Ladies Championship in October 2019. Coming off wrist and thumb injuries, she also has an exemption into the U.S. Women’s Open in two weeks.