Paula Reto takes a two shot lead into the second day of The Amundi Evian Championship after a fabulous 64 on Thursday

On a warm and humid day at The Amundi Evian Championship, it was one of the earlier starters who set the pace for the field on the first day of the third Major of the season.

South African Paula Reto takes a two shot lead into Friday with a near blemish free round of seven-under-par (64) with only one bogey on her second hole.

The 33-year-old started her Major campaign on the 10th hole with Chella Choi and Emily Kristine Pedersen. An early bogey on the 11th hole could have derailed her round but she made sure she just focused on the next hole. Talking about her second hole and her mentality after, she said:

“I hit a good shot off the tee, just in the bunker. Hit a good shot again, just the ball came back and I sort of three-putted. I said it's okay, you know, next hole is pretty tough. Just get myself in the fairway, give myself an opportunity.

“When the birdie dropped and the next couple par saves as well and the par-5, so sometimes you just stay in it, you just don't give up. You know, you never know out here with this golf course. Anything is possible. You just got to give yourself the best opportunity to make par and birdie.”

That is exactly what Reto did, making the turn in two-under-par and adding five more birdies, with four coming in her last five holes.

“I had so much fun. This golf course is so fun and the views and everything, it's just awesome to be here.

“The back nine, I just didn't think too much about it. Just sort of like what I got going on in front of me and made a couple good tap-ins on the par-5s. It was nice.”

Ko putting on a "good show"

Lydia Ko, who won The Amundi Evian Championship in 2015, is two shots back at five-under-par. Ko was one of four players to shoot a bogey free round, with four of her birdies coming on her back nine.

Commenting on her round today, the 26-year-old said:

"I think sometimes you hit it into certain pin positions and you see and you're like, I remember when I hit it to three feet here and made birdie. I've played this golf course with some of the best ball striking, some of my worst ball striking, and I think because of that, I feel like I've played it in a lot of different spots here.

"The longer you play at a golf course you realise like you make so many different memories, whether it's good or bad, and I think I try and draw on the good memories. It's just I think a fun little golf course.

"The golf course itself has changed with some hole changing, like par-5s to par-4s, and par-4s to par-5s, so it's not the same, but I just try and draw back on them.

"I feel like the French spectators or whoever that have come out have always been very supportive, so I am trying to play the best golf I can for them and put on a good show."

Boutier handling the pressure on home soil

Home favourite Celine Boutier is also tied for second with Ko, American Alison Lee and Wichanee Meechai from Thailand.

The 29-year-old is enjoying the challenge of the course and playing in front of a home crowd:

"I think it's very demanding off the tee. I feel like it's pretty intimidating because there are slopes everywhere so I feel like it's a little bit more narrow than it looks.

"Then once you hit the fairway I feel like the greens are so slopey as well you have to place where you ball really well on the greens. The more you play, the more you feel comfortable with it. I feel like the fact that I played it a few times already makes me feel a little bit more confident this time around."

Forty-nine of the 132 golfers shot under par, so there are lots of good scores on the board after the first day.

A special mention must go to England's Georgia Hall who made 18 pars, not an easy feat on a tough course and is in a tie for 50th place.

Stanford's solid first round

As we're making special mentions, 2018 Champion Angela Stanford was four-under-par after 13 holes but had to settle for a two-under-par first round after dropping three shots over the 5th and 6th hole on her back nine. The 45-year-old is the oldest player in the field and comes in this week after winning the 2023 Senior LPGA Championship at the beginning of July.

How are our Women & Golf predictions going... Linn Grant (-2), Rose Zhang (-2), Leona Maguire (-1) and Charley Hull (+6).

Thundery showers may threaten play on Friday, so early starters may get the better opportunity to shoot lower scores.

The second round begins at 7.15 am (local time) and there will be a cut to the top-65 and ties at the conclusion of the round.

View the full Amundi Evian Championship leaderboard here.

Inspired by the fourth women's Major of the season? Why not come and watch the best players in the world at the AIG Women's Open this summer at Walton Heath. Ticket prices start from £20.