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WOMEN'S OPEN: Smith's six sweet birdies snatch top spot

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WOMEN'S OPEN: Smith's six sweet birdies snatch top spot

Playing for the fourth consecutive week, Katherine Kirk wasn't showing any signs of fatigue in shooting an 8-under 65 at Royal Adelaide to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Women's Australian Open on Thursday.

Smith, who is yet to win on the LPGA Tour, put on a short-game masterclass and only needed the putter 21 times during the round.

"As a kid you dream about winning your own national championship, I would probably be bawling my eyes out".

"I think that I'm hitting the ball good enough where I can have a lower (round) and hopefully that's the one coming on the weekend", Ko said.

"A couple of late birdies at least made lunch taste better, but it wasn't real good out there today", said Webb.

However, back-to-back bogeys came at six and seven before a birdie at nine left her six shots off the lead with nine holes still to play in her second round.

World No.1 Lydia Ko is three-under after four holes in her second round while Australian veteran Karrie Webb has birdied her third hole to be two-over in her battle to make the cut.

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And struggled with her putting again.

Aditi, who has a limited status on LPGA, had a rough start in the first round with a one-over 74 at the Par-73 Royal Adelaide Golf Club.

"She's made so many changes, her brain might be just a bit in overload right now", Jane Crafter said as analyst during the Golf Channel telecast.

Tied in second place are four players, of which two are past champions at the Hero Women's Indian Open, Caroline Hedwall (69-69) of Sweden and thailand's Pornanong Phatlum (68-70).

Marissa Steen (71) and Lizette Salas (70) both flew the flag high for the U.S. and each hold a share of second.

"A lot of birdie opportunities, and I was just fortunate I got off to a good start and kept the momentum going".

World No 1 Lydia Ko barely made the cut with rounds of 71-75 and world no. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (72-72) is tied 39, alongside Aditi.

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