(Reuters) - Unheralded Joanna Klatten of France caught fire on her second nine to seize the first-round lead at the Kingsmill Championship, while reigning U.S. Open champion Michelle Wie withdrew due to a hip injury.
Klatten, one-under through her first nine holes after starting at the 10th, ran off four birdies in a row from the third hole and added another at the eighth for a six-under-par 65 at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Virginia.
The 30-year-old Parisian, ranked 147th, holds a one-shot lead over former major winners Morgan Pressel and Pat Hurst, and their fellow-American Alison Lee.
Two shots back at four-under 67 were former U.S. Women’s Open winners Paula Creamer and Ryu So-yeon of South Korea, along with American Jacqui Concolino and France’s Perrine Delacour.
Wie was limping as she completed a round of seven-over 78 and said in a statement that her decision to withdraw was prompted by “a left hip injury that has been bothering me this week.”
It continued her disappointing 2015 campaign with her best finish in 10 starts a tie for 11th at last month’s Lotte Championship in her native Hawaii. She stands 47th on the money list.
Last year’s winner, Lizette Salas, had six bogeys in a three-over-par 74 to tie for 93rd.
Former champions Cristie Kerr, a three-time winner, and Karrie Webb of Australia were eight shots off the pace after carding two-over 73s, while Norway’s Suzann Pettersen shot a 72.
World number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand balanced two bogeys with a pair of birdies for an even-par 71.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York.; Editing by Andrew Both.