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Lewis leads by 2 in France

Evian-les-Bains, France (Sports Network) - Stacy Lewis ran off seven consecutive birdies on Thursday en route to a course-record-tying 9-under 63 and the first-round lead at the Evian Masters.

Lewis, who has won twice this season on the LPGA Tour, finished second at this event last year. Her 63 matched the record that Helen Alfredsson set in 2008 at Evian Masters Golf Club.

Hee Young Park is alone in second place at 7-under 65, while Ilhee Lee is one back at minus-6. Mariajo Uribe and Mika Miyazato share fourth at 5-under 67.

Paula Creamer, the 2005 winner, and Shanshan Feng, the LPGA Champion, are tied for sixth at 4-under 68.

It was another tough day for women's world No. 1 Yani Tseng. She had one birdie and five bogeys in a round of 4-over 76. That was her 12th straight round of par or worse, dating back to the final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

Lewis started her round with four straight pars before catching fire. She birdied the fifth from short range and rolled in a long birdie effort at the sixth, both par-4s. Lewis followed with a 2-putt birdie on the par-5 seventh.

The three-time LPGA Tour winner converted birdies on the eighth and ninth to make it five in a row.

Lewis wasn't finished. She birdied her first two holes around the turn, including a 20-footer at the 11th, to get to 7-under after 11 holes. With two par-5s remaining, there was an outside chance at 59, but those dreams were dashed as Lewis ran off five pars in a row from the 12th.

At the par-3 17th, Lewis rolled in her eighth birdie of the day to take a 1- stroke lead. She closed with a birdie at the last to extend her lead to two.

"I kind of got off to a slow start," Lewis stated. "Didn't really have anything going the first few holes. I don't know what changed or what clicked, but I think I hit it pretty close on five and made a long putt on six.

"From there, I started to hit some good shots. Made about a 20-footer on 11, which is the last of the seven. So, it was just one of those days where you just get in this rhythm where you're just hitting golf shots and not thinking about a score or trying to make birdie. It's just playing golf."

Spurred on by a change to a belly putter, Park also had a stellar run of golf. After tripping to a bogey on the fourth, she ran off five consecutive birdies from the fifth to make the turn at minus-4.

On the back nine, Park parred the 10th, but followed with a birdie on the 11th. She birdied the 16th and 18th to end alone in second.

"I've been playing for 15 years and never used a belly putter," Park said. "Then like 10 days ago, I just changed to the belly putter. I was really nervous about the change in my putter, and then first, second hole was really nervous, but I just forgot about it and played like it was a practice round."

NOTES: Defending champion Ai Miyazato mixed four birdies and three bogeys in a round of 1-under 71...Coming off her win at the U.S. Women's Open, Na Yeon Choi struggled to a 3-over 75.