Ashleigh Buhai Starts Off Well at the Women’s British Open

MILTON KEYNES, England — Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa shot a seven-under-par 65 and took a one-stroke lead in the first round of the Women’s British Open on Thursday.

Buhai finished just ahead of Hinako Shibuno of Japan and Danielle Kang of the United States, who each had a bogey in rounds of 66.

“In my last few tournaments, I’ve had three good rounds and one not so good round, so I’m hoping this is the week I can do four good rounds,” said Buhai, whose best finish this year was a tie for 11th. “The last few weeks, I have been just trying to stay mellow and keep everything in check, and it seems to be helping.”

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko, seeking her third major title of the year after winning last week’s Evian Championship in France, was well positioned after a 68.

“I’m not tired yet,” Ko said. “I will do my best for this week, and then I had just great playing today, so I’m just happy.”

Buhai, who has never won on the L.P.G.A. Tour, made her only bogey on the par-5 11th but responded with consecutive birdies on Nos. 14, 15 and 16. Her best previous British Open finish was a tie for 30th in 2017.

“I had a bit of a wobble in the middle of my round, and to finish with three birdies and come in strong — I had a goal when I saw the lead was six to get to seven, so I holed, like, a 30-footer on the 16th hole, and that got me to seven,” she said.

Playing on her home Marquess Course at Woburn Golf Club, Charley Hull delighted fans with a bogey-free 67. Hull, who had food poisoning at last week’s Evian Championship, showed no lingering ill effects.

“Sometimes it’s harder when it’s your home golf course because you know where not to hit it as well as where to hit it,” Hull said. “Like today, for instance, the 13th hole, it’s the first time I’ve hit that fairway for about three years, so I was quite happy about it.”

Kang, who won the Women’s P.G.A. Championship two years ago for her only major, missed the cut last week at the Evian Championship, allowing her to arrive early for the second of back-to-back majors.

“There might have been a little bit of a blessing in disguise that I missed the cut last week, because I came here on Saturday, actually, and I got a lot of rest — I played a few rounds,” Kang said. “I like being prepared in a proper way and competing in a proper way.”

Joining Hull at five under were second-ranked Sung Hyun Park, Moriya Jutanugarn and Megan Khang.

The United States Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 and Ariya Jutanugarn shot 68 along with Ko. The defending champion, Georgia Hall, opened with a 69.

“I think it’s important for me to take all the emotions in and really enjoy it; I loved it out there today,” Hall said. “I just loved having so much support.”

Lexi Thompson, whose wayward passport after the Evian Championship caused a delay for a van carrying golf bags for nearly 40 players to Woburn, opened with a 71.