Each closing strong down the stretch, Austin Ernst and Azahara Munoz shot 65 Thursday to lead the LPGA’s Kingsmill Championship.
Munoz birdied four of her last seven holes to end a bogey-free round, while Ernst bogeyed after making the turn but eagled No. 3 and birdied Nos. 7 and 9 on the way in.
A recent adjustment in her mental approach earned Munoz’s attention after her round.
“I’ve been having a much better attitude,” said Munoz, who lost a playoff to Paula Creamer in March. “When I miss a shot, I don’t let it get to me so much like I used to. I used to get pretty upset, and that really hurt me.”
Munoz and Ernst seemed to agree that winds made things a little tougher.
“Gave myself a lot of looks, hit a lot of greens and made it really easy on myself out there on a day when it was pretty windy and it could kind of get away from you a little bit.”
Hee Young Park is a shot back, citing a strong putting round. Two shots back and T-4 are seven players including defending champion Cristie Kerr and Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Lexi Thompson.
In the battle for the world No. 1 ranking, Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko shot 70 to open the tournament among 19 players T-29 at 1 under. Either could pass Inbee Park, who is not playing this week.
– Associated Press contributed