EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France — Seeking her first win since 2014, Paula Creamer shot a bogey-free 7-under 64 Thursday, July 25, to seize the first-round lead at The Evian Championship.
Her seventh birdie at the par-5 18th gave the 32-year-old Creamer a one-shot lead over fellow American Brittany Altomare and South Koreans Mi Hyang Lee, Jin Young Ko and seven-time major winner Inbee Park.
"I feel really just in control," Creamer said. "It's been several years where I felt like just all-in-all good in my shoes."
The Evian is the fifth and final major of 2019 for the LPGA Tour. Temperatures climbed to 95 degrees on Thursday at the Evian Resort Golf Club.
Creamer's last tour victory came at the HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore in March 2014. She won her only major at the 2010 U.S. Women's Open in Oakmont, Pa.
"Coming here obviously puts a big smile on my face," said Creamer, who won at Evian in 2005 as an 18-year-old rookie before the tournament achieved its major status.
Two shots back at 5 under are England's Mel Reid and Jennifer Kupcho, the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur winner in April.
Kupcho, 22, turned pro earlier this summer following a career at Wake Forest that included a victory at Evian with the U.S. collegiate team in the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup.
"It's kind of nice to have a familiar place to go," said Kupcho, who carded six birdies and one bogey in her round of 66. "Before last year I had never been over to Europe, so coming over jet lag definitely messed with me a little bit."
Austin Ernst and South Koreans Sung Hyun Park and Chella Choi are tied for eighth at 4 under.
Defending champion Angela Stanford had a triple-bogey at the par-3 eighth hole along with five bogeys and three birdies. She finished at 5-over 76, tied for 102nd.
Fifty-one players finished the first round at the 6,527-yard course overlooking Lake Geneva at even par or better.
Storms are forecast for the weekend, causing organizers to move Friday's tee times forward by 30 minutes.