Hull two off leader Liu after opening round of LPGA in Cincinnati

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England’s Charley Hull finished second at the final women’s major of the year, the Women’s Open, last month; she is two off the leader, China’s Ruixin Liu, in Cincinnati after a five-under opening round of 67; watch the second round from 9pm, Friday, on Sky Sports Golf

Last Updated: 08/09/23 8:11am

Charley Hull is two off the lead at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati

Charley Hull is two off the lead at the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati

England’s Charley Hull is two shots off the lead after a five-under opening round of 67 at the LPGA Tour’s Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati.

Hull, who finished second at the final women’s major of the year, the Women’s Open at Walton Heath last month, is back in contention at the top of the leaderboard in her second event back.

The standout moment of Hull’s round came with an eagle at the par-five 12th hole. “Just hit a nice drive, rescue wood onto the green, and holed like a 30-foot putt for my eagle,” Hull said.

China’s Ruixin Liu leads by one after shooting a bogey-free seven-under-par 65 at Kenwood Country Club.

Liu had withdrawn after an opening-round 72 at last week’s Portland Classic due to severe allergies but she said on Thursday that she was feeling somewhat better.

“I’m still a little not clear today,” Liu said. “I don’t know how I did this good, but it (happened) and I’m very happy to take it.”

China's Ruixin Liu leads at Kenwood Country Club despite struggling with illness

China’s Ruixin Liu leads at Kenwood Country Club despite struggling with illness

Four players are tied for second place at six under after rounds of 66, Taiwain’s Peiyun Chien, Elizabeth Szokol of the USA, Dottie Ardina of the Philippines and Sweden’s Linnea Strom, while Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen is one further back level with Hull.

Szokol was bogey free, while the other three each had one bogey blemishing their scorecards.

“I’m hitting it a lot better off the tee, which is great,” Szokol said. “I hit a lot of fairways today. I think I only missed one fairway, so just giving myself a lot of opportunities for good wedge shots in and iron shots in, and that’s helped a lot.”

Defending champion Ally Ewing, who had led the Women’s Open at the halfway stage, shot a three-under 69 and is tied for 20th.

First-round leader Liu was asked about her approach to the second round on Friday. “Well, I don’t want to give myself too much expectation because physically I don’t feel great,” she said, “so I’m just going to take a good break, try to sleep good, and try to do the same thing tomorrow.”

Watch the second round of the Kroger Queen City Championship in Cincinnati, live on Sky Sports Golf from 9pm on Friday.

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