The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Canada's James in 4-way tie for first at Canadian women's amateur championship

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WOODSTOCK, Ont. - Canadian Augusta James, American Liz Breed, Mexico's Gabriela Lopez and Australia's Su-Hyun Oh all fired 4-under 67's to share top spot on the leaderboard on Tuesday after the opening round of the Canadian women's amateur championship.

James, from Bath, Ont., closed with a back-nine 3-under 32 to share the clubhouse lead alongside Breed who posted the low round of the morning flight.

"I'm excited to have shot a number like this and basically I always try to tell myself at every tournament try to shoot one better each day," said James. "That's my goal for the rest of the week and hopefully I come out on top."

Playing a few groups behind James, Lopez and Oh's pairing finished tied for the lead after rolling in par putts on the par-3 ninth hole. Lopez, last year's third place finisher, held the outright lead for the majority of her closing nine before a late bogey on her 17th hole, the par-4 eighth.

"It's always fun to come to a tournament where you've played well and you know that you're expectations are high and you have the chance to win," said Lopez, the No. 11 ranked amateur in the world. "It feels very good being tied for the lead and I just need to keep believing in myself and trusting my golf shots and my swing."

Megan Osland of Kelowna, B.C., also posted a strong opening round after a bogey-free 3-under 68. Osland sits alone at fifth, while defending champion Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont. posted a 1-under 70 to share seventh place.

The 16-year-old Henderson rebounded from a 2-over front-nine with a 3-under 32 closing nine that was highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 4th hole.

In the Inter-Provincial Team Competition that is conducted over the first 36 holes of the championship, Ontario's James, Henderson and Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., sit seven strokes ahead of Alberta at 5-under par.

In the mid-amateur division (25+), Christina Proteau of Port Alberni, B.C., will look to pick up her fourth consecutive title after opening with a 2-over 73. Proteau currently leads by five strokes over Toronto's Marion Reid, who holds a three-stroke lead in the Mid-Master (40+) division after a 7-over 78.

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