Leona Maguire made a strong opening impression at the Gainbridge Championship in Florida.

The Co Cavan native carded a three-under 69 that puts her four shots off leader Lydia Ko and in a tie for 11th.

It was an encouraging opening day for Maguire in her first start of the new LPGA Tour season, with five birdies and just two bogeys around the Lake Nona course.

Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow is 11 shots off the pace on four over after carding a 76.


She birdied the second hole but endured bogeys on the third, fourth, eight, 12th and 13th holes.

But it's two-time major winner Ko who holds the early lead on seven under after a 65 which included an eagle on hole one and just one bogey.

The New Zealander is two shots clear of Denmark's Nanna Koerstz Madsen and USA's Nelly Korda who are tied for second after their respective 67s.

Ten-time major winner Annika Soerenstam, who is making a brief return after 13 years away, finished her opening round on three over.

Speaking on the eve of the tournament, the 50-year-old Swede had said, "I have no other plans (to play at other events)."