Canadian Brittany Marchand is in the early hunt at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.
The Orangeville, Ont., native opened with an 8-under 64 to sit in a tie for third, two shots back of leader Katherine Kirk of Australia on Thursday.
Marchand was 2 under at the turn, but birdied six of the seven final holes to shoot up the leaderboard with a new personal low score on the LPGA. She carded eight birdies and went bogey free.
“(I) actually didn’t hit the ball great on the range, and I just tried to relax and not think about it. Then I kind of started out a little slow, but then the back nine I really started to hit the ball better and make a lot of putts,” said Marchand. “So that was nice.”
Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., is right behind Marchand after an opening 65. Hamilton’s Alena Sharp and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc Sherbrooke, Que., opened with 72s.
“I’m really happy with it,” Henderson said about her round. “Bunch of birdies out there, no bogeys. Just kind of got off to a good start and was able to go 4 under on the back, which really helped.”
Marchand made a hole-in-one on the 17th in the opening round at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last week to win a car. She struggled through the next three rounds to finish 8 over, but believes she’s playing some of her best golf at the moment.
“I think right now I’ve been feeling good about my game for quite a while. Just kind of little things here and there haven’t really got me to finish where I want to,” Marchand said before adding last week’s tournament was full of highs and lows. “I like to see rounds like (today) happen because I feel like I have them in me. It’s good for this to come out once in a while.”
Kirk, the defending champion, carded 10 birdies en route to shooting 62. South Korea’s Sei Young Kim is second with a 63.
American Megan Khang matched Marchand with a 64.