Norway's Suzann Pettersen birdied her last three holes in a 6-under 66 on Thursday to lead the women's Australian Open by a shot after the first round at the Victoria Golf Club.
Pettersen, winner of last year's Evian Championships, had nine birdies and three bogeys, holding off a series of challengers led by Marion Ricordeau of France.
The second-ranked Norwegian made her season debut after missing the LPGA Tour's opening event last month in the Bahamas because of a shoulder injury. She's in position to take the No. 1 spot in the world from Inbee Park with a victory or a solo second-place finish.
''In the first round of the year you're always anxious to get started,'' Pettersen said. ''It took me a while to get really comfortable, to trust what I've been working on.
''In the end the trust was stronger than the rest. I hit a lot of great shots but I also have to say I left a lot of shots out there. I three-putted a lot o...