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Women's PGA Championship: Lexi Thompson leads with Leona Maguire and Charley Hull two shots back after first round

USA's Lexi Thompson moves into Women's PGA Championship lead after opening round; Nelly Korda one shot back; Ireland's Leona Maguire and England's Charley Hull two shots back; Watch KPMG Women's PGA Championship live on Sky Sports. Stream the LPGA Tour, majors and more with NOW

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Watch the best action from the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Lexi Thompson made a fast start as she fired a four-under-par 68 in the opening round of the Women's PGA Championship, leading Nelly Korda by a shot, and Ireland's Leona Maguire and England's Charley Hull by two.

USA's Thompson, who is retiring from full-time golf on the LPGA Tour at the end of the season, made three straight birdies to start her round at the Sahalee Country Club in Washington state.

She added three more to open a one-shot lead over Korda and Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit.

Hull was among those a shot further back alongside Maguire, with England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff on even par, two better than Georgia Hall, with Bronte Law a further stroke adrift.

Lexi Thompson of Delray Beach, Florida hits to the 8th green during the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Sahalee Country Club on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Sammamish, Washington.1 (Photo by Amy Lemus/NurPhoto)
Image: Lexi Thompson, who is retiring at the end of the season, leads the Women's PGA Championship after the opening round

Yuka Saso, who won the US Open three weeks ago, was among those on 74 after four consecutive bogeys on the back nine.

After finishing runner-up last week, Thompson shrugged off suggestions her retirement announcement had prompted an upturn in form.

"I don't think that has to do with announcing what I did," she said. "It's just a matter of being comfortable out there, playing free-swing Lexi I guess. Just enjoying being out there every step of the way.

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"I'm just taking it one day at a time. I made my announcement. I'm very content with it.

"Golf is a crazy game, so I'm not going to look too far ahead. Just taking it one day at a time and see where it takes me."

Korda missed her last two cuts - having opened with an 80 at the US Open - after winning six of her previous seven starts.

"I've seen a lot of first-hand rollercoasters happen in people's careers," Korda said.

"I just know that if you stay positive and in your own bubble, you can bounce back. You work hard, you know what you got inside of you, and you just got to go out and execute it."

Maguire: I've been too harsh on myself lately | Hull: I didn't feel the best but played all right

"I've probably have been very harsh on myself," Maguire said. "I would say lately probably too harsh. I think I've had people around me, family, people on my team, tell me you need to be you need to be kinder to yourself.

"So I think that was kind of the message this week, to not really put too much pressure on myself, not have too many expectations and just sort of embrace the challenge that here's going to bring like any other major.

"I suppose it's very tempting to try and be too perfect at a major knowing that the sort of consequences are higher if you miss a shot, but yeah, to try and be a little kinder to myself this week was the big goal."

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Leona Maguire and Charley Hull give their thoughts on the first round of the Women's PGA Championship after the English and Irish hopes sit just two shots back

Hull battled stomach cramps and waiting for her clubs to arrive in the build-up to the tournament.

"I didn't feel the best, but I woke up this morning and felt fine and played all right, so there you go," she said.

"I played well out there, hit it well but pulled my hip out with three holes to go, so I need to get physio on that.

"I felt comfortable out there. I love tree-lined golf courses. The tighter it is, the better I play."

Watch the KPMG Women's PGA Championship throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Stream the LPGA Tour, majors and more with NOW.

Watch PGA Tour and DP World Tour action live this season on Sky Sports. The 152nd Open at Royal Troon is live from July 18-21 on Sky Sports Golf. Stream the PGA Tour, majors and more with NOW.

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