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Canadian Brittany Marchand in early hunt at Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic

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.

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“(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.

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