Golf: Lydia Ko three shots off lead in bright start to Evian Championship, last Major of 2021

Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko is three shots off the pace after the opening round of the Evian Championship - the LPGA's final Major of the year.

Ko, 24, sits in a 12-way tie for 11th place after shooting a first round score of 68 at Evians-Les-Bains, France.

Starting on the back nine, Ko got through the first half of her opening round blemish-free, coming away with birdies on the 12th and 15th holes to sit at two-under.

Moving to the front nine, Ko dropped her first shot of the day on the fourth with a bogey, but bounced back straight away with a birdie on the fifth.

Ko made even pars on the sixth, seventh and eighth holes, before one last birdie to finish her round on the ninth - coming away with a three-under first day.

That sees Ko sit three shots behind the leaders, America's Yealimi Noh and Thailand's Pajaree Anannaurkarn.

The Evian Championship is Ko's final hit out before the Tokyo Olympic Games, with the Kiwi looking to go one better than her silver medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The Tokyo Olympics' women's golf tournament begins on Monday, August 4. 

Ko holds fond memories of the Evian Championship, with the French tournament the scene of her first major victory back in 2015.

However, the world no.10 ranked golfer hasn't won a Major since 2016, when she took home the ANA Inspiration in California.