Stephanie Meadow has made a promising start at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship with the County Down golfer opening with a round of 69.

That leaves her on two-under par, five shots off the lead, a six-way tie including Major winners Sei Young Kim of South Korea and Yuka Saso of Japan.

Kim birdied her final four holes to polish off a seven-under 64, joining Saso, Jeongeun Lee5 of South Korea, Megan Khang, Ryann O'Toole and Lauren Coughlin. The group is one stroke ahead of Vivian Hou of Taiwan and Lilia Vu..

The tournament is a 54-hole event at Pinnacle Country Club with a cut after 36 holes down to the top 70 players and ties. For Kim, the fast start was vital.

"This week we have three days so we need a lot of birdies," the 2020 Women's PGA Championship winner said. "And then my strategy keep push myself and then, yeah, as I can do, I make a lot of birdies."

Kim started on the back nine and birdied the par-four 10th before committing her only bogey of the day at the par-three 11th. She shook that off with birdies at Nos. 14, 18 and 1 before her hot stretch that started at the par-three sixth.

Saso and Lee5 were the only co-leaders to turn in bogey-free rounds. Saso also started on the back nine, and after a quiet start she made five of her seven birdies on the front nine.

Sophia Schubert, Charley Hull and Georgia Hall of England, A Lim Kim and Jenny Shin of South Korea and Muni He of China are tied two shots off the pace at five-under.

Nasa Hataoka of Japan, the defending champion, opened with a three-under 68. World No. 2 Nelly Korda was also at 68.