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Yealimi Noh at the Evian Championship
Yealimi Noh at the Evian Championship

Yealimi Noh showcased her potential as the LPGA-newcomer shot six under par on the opening round of the Evian Championship to hold a share of the lead heading into day two.

The 19-year-old set herself up brilliantly on the very first hole, holing out from some 126 yards for a confidence-boosting eagle.

Noh only officially joined the tour last year and her record at the highest level had been rather up-and-down, having been fined for slow play in a tournament as recently as March, before then finishing tied for third at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational last week.

It was certainly more of the latter that she evoked on Thursday, as she reached the turn at three under – her eagle and two birdies only impacted by a single bogey.

But that five on the par-four fourth hole would be the only time Noh failed to at least make par on the day, as she carded three birdies on the back nine to record a 2021-low of 65.

And she felt that opening eagle gave her a psychological edge after the early bogey.

"I wasn't making a few putts after the turn," Noh said. "After pars, it was bogey, and I was like, 'oh, what the heck, you had an eagle!'

"I think it's the first time I've ever done that. I was just like, what? Like OK. It was really cool."

Nevertheless, Noh is not alone at the top of the leaderboard, as Pajaree Anannarukarn matched her six-under 65, which was the best she had ever managed in a single round at a major.

A group of five are a shot further back, while Sarah Kemp and previous major winners Ariya Jutanugarn and Kim Hyo-joo find themselves on four under, certainly within reach of the top with a positive second round.

However, world number one Nelly Korda is seemingly already out of contention after finishing the day three over par.

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22:34 (+00:00)16 Sep 2021 (Thu)