Icher leads by two at Canadian Open

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France’s Karine Icher carded a seven-under-par 65 to take a two-shot lead after the first round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open in Vancouver.

World number two Lydia Ko sits two strokes behind Icher in second after firing a five-under-par 67. Stacy Lewis, I.K. Kim, Pernilla Lindberg and Danah Bordner are in a tie for third after hitting four-under-par 68s.

World number one Inbee Park and defending champion So Yeon Ryu are in a tie for 21st after recording one-under-par 71s.

Icher was in excellent form on Thursday and enjoyed a bogey-free round that included five birdies on the front nine and two more on the back nine.

Ko began her round with a birdie at the 10th before faltering with a bogey at the next hole. She made up for it with a birdie at the 13th before registering her second bogey three holes later. Another birdie followed at the 17th before she shifted her game into the next gear and made four birdies on the back nine.

Lewis, who remains three strokes off the lead, had a fairly quiet front nine that included birdies at the sixth and eighth. She made three more birdies in the space of five holes on the back nine though, before a bogey followed at the 15th.

Bordner started her round with birdies at the 11th and 16th before she stumbled at the 17th, with her lone bogey of the round. However, she bounced back with three birdies on her closing nine.

Kim and Lindberg are next best on four-under after registering bogey-free rounds, while Anna Nordqvist, Charley Hull, Candie Kung, Amy Anderson, Ha Na Jang and Sei Young Kim are in a tie for seventh and four strokes behind the leader after carding three-under-par 69s.

Meanwhile, Park, who trails Icher by six strokes, took the turn on two-under, but struggled on the back nine, registering a lone birdie and two bogeys.

Defending champions Ryu struggled to get going on the opening day, with a lone birdie her only deviation from par.

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