LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England - Angela Stanford birdied the last hole with a 30-foot putt for a 2-under 70 Thursday and shared the first-round lead in the Women's British Open with Song-Hee Kim.
Kim, one of 29 Koreans playing in the championship, holed out from 20 feet for birdie at the last.
Stanford and Kim were a shot ahead of Yuko Mitsuka of Japan and Hee Young Park of South Korea on a day when stiff winds on the back nine at Royal Lytham and St. Annes made scoring difficult.
Michelle Wie coped well to shoot a 1-over 73, while Paula Creamer carded a 74 without a birdie on her card.
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa shot a 75, LPGA Tour money leader Cristie Kerr had a 76, and defending champion Jiyai Shin scored 77.
Stanford coped well with the conditions with an eagle and two birdies to offset two late bogeys, playing the back nine in even par.
She credited her early success with an unusual approach to preparing for the tournament when she opted to go to Rome for two days. She returned on Wednesday in time for a single practice round.
"I always wanted to go to Rome, so I just decided to go. It was even better than I hoped for," she said. "I was better off just playing one round because I played here in 2003 and 2006 and I know the course."
She eagled the seventh with a 242-yard three-wood to the front of the green and a 66-foot putt.
Her first birdie came on a 10-footer at the 12th. She three-putted No. 15 and chipped poorly at No. 17 for bogeys, but rolled in a 30-footer at the last.
Kim said she scored well because she has been working on hitting the ball low.
"With my swing I tend to hit it high, but my teacher has been helping me hit it lower," she said.
Wie is hoping a victory this week could help secure a place on the U.S. Solheim Cup team to face Europe next month.
"There is still a lot of golf left ahead of us. But I felt pretty proud of how I played today," Wie said.
Creamer had 16 pars and two bogeys, and said she had a frustrating day on the greens.
"Not one birdie, but I had many looks. I had a lot of chances," she said. "I had good chances on the par 5s. One of my bogeys was a 4-1/2-footer. It's difficult, especially with how windy it was, to make putts."
Mitsuka played her first pro event outside of Japan last week in the Evian Masters and tied for eighth. This is her first week in Britain and her first event on a links course.
After birdies at the third and fifth holes, she also eagled the seventh after using a 3-wood to get within 10 feet.
"I enjoyed this round. My iron shots felt good today," last year's Japanese Tour rookie of the year said.
Ochoa had a mixed day with four birdies against a double-bogey and five bogeys.
"I didn't putt well. I three-putted twice," she said. "But I'm OK with this. I think that today with a lot of wind, I'm not out of this yet, but I need to putt better tomorrow to stay in the championship."