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Haeji Kang, So Yeon Ryu lead Women's British Open

Korea's Jiyai Shin watches her drive off the

Korea's Jiyai Shin watches her drive off the 18th tee during the Women's British Open golf championships at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England. (Sept. 13, 2012) Credit: AP

HOYLAKE, England -- South Koreans Haeji Kang and So Yeon Ryu shot 2-under-par 70s Thursday, giving them a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Women's British Open.

No player could take command of the Hoylake links course at Royal Liverpool. The two South Koreans had the highest first-round-leading score since the tournament became a major in 2002. Twenty-six players were within two shots of the lead.

Nine players are a stroke back, including former champions Jayai Shin, South Korea's winner at Sunningdale in 2008, and Australia's Karrie Webb, a seven-time major winner who captured the tournament at Turnberry in 2002.

Katie Futcher and Vicky Hurst are the leading Americans at 71. Also in that group is 16-year-old English amateur Charley Hull and Australia's Stacey Keating.

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