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Tseng, Hull share lead at Women's British Open

Taiwan's Yani Tseng, a two-time major winner, produced a birdie, eagle finish to share the first round lead with Australian Katherine Hull on four-under-par 68 at the women's British Open on Thursday.

With the wind easing over the Royal Birkdale links in the late afternoon, the 22-year-old Tseng managed to hit all 18 greens and by rolling home a 20-foot putt for the eagle at the long 18th she completed the day's only bogey-free round.

Hull also finished in style. A late starter, she rammed home a 60-foot putt in the late evening gloom on the final green for an eagle and her best ever start to a major championship.

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American Brittany Lincicome, France's Anne-Lise Caudal and South Koreans Yoo Sun-young and Yang Amy all shot 69.

Michelle Wie, who finished joint third when she made her British Open debut at Birkdale as a 15-year-old amateur, matched Tseng's glorious finish -- she also holed from 20 feet at the last -- and stayed well in touch on 70.

World number one Shin Jiyai of South Korea was in the group on 71, but U.S. Open champion Paula Creamer started with a 74.

Montreal's Lisa Meldrum had four bogeys on the front nine and finished her opening round 4-over par while Hamilton's Alena Sharp is 5-over. Despite a difficult back nine which included three straight bogeys starting at No. 11, she managed to birdie the 18th hole to finish with a 77.

Tseng, world-ranked five, told reporters: "I played really solid and I just love this course.

"I just wish we played courses like this all the time. It keeps you focused and makes you think. You don't think about what's happened or what might happen, you have to concentrate on every single shot."

Hull's only win on the LPGA Tour came in the 2008 Canadian women's Open and she has never finished higher than 40th in her five previous British Opens.

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"I had a long talk with my caddy last week and decided I had become a little lazy with my routine," said the 28-year-old.

Wie, still to fulfil her early promise, said: "It was a good day. I bogeyed the first but stayed patient and had lots of birdie chances. The finish was great."

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