England’s Georgia Hall produced a four under par opening round to sit two off the lead at the first women’s major of the year – the Chevron Championship.

The 25-year-old, who won the 2018 Women’s Open, was bogey-free at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

She is two shots behind American Jennifer Kupcho and Australia’s Minjee Lee, with defending champion Patty Tavatanakit in third on five under.

“I have one major under my belt, but I want a little bit more,” said Lee.

The 25-year-old, who won her first major at the Evian Championship last year, added: “I just think I have a little bit more belief in myself and my game, so I can be a little bit more comfortable just hitting the shots.”

‘Everything was wrong’

Hall, who won last month’s Saudi Ladies International, is among a group of six that includes New Zealand’s world number three Lydia Ko.

She would become the first British winner of the event and only the fifth European victor if she can build on an excellent start and beat a field that includes nine of the world’s top 10, with only Nelly Korda missing out after the discovery of a blood clot.

Her round almost included a hole in one on her 17th hole of the day and she said: “I finished my round and the camera guy said it went in the hole and came back out.

“I’m just playing good golf and feel I’m in a good place. I’m just really enjoying competing.”

World-number-one Ko Jin-young endured a testing opening round with two bogeys in a two-over 74 that will leave her with work to do to make the cut.

South Korea’s Ko, winner of six of her past 12 events, was at a loss to explain the performance that saw an end to her streak of 34 consecutive LPGA rounds under par – a run stretching back to July.

“I hit a lot of great shots,” said the 25-year-old, who has not finished outside the top 10 in nine consecutive events.

“My putting wasn’t good. I couldn’t see the break as much or (calculate) speed.

“Everything was wrong. I don’t know what happened.”

England’s Bronte Law, Charley Hull and Charlotte Thomas are all one under par after round one as they each pursue a first major title.

Ireland’s Leona Maguire, who won her first LPGA Tour event at the Drive On Championship in February, sits at level par.

The Chevron Championship – formerly known as the Kraft Nabisco Championship and the ANA Inspiration – will move venues next year to Houston, Texas.

It has been played on the iconic Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills since American Jane Blalock banked $20,000 for her three-stroke win at the inaugural staging, played over three rounds, back in 1972.