Thai golfer Ariya Jutanugarn ended the first round in a three-way tie for the two-stroke lead at the U.S. Women's Open in Alabama Thursday.

Jutanugarn carded a five-under-par 67 to be level with Sarah Jane Smith and Jeongeun Lee atop the leaderboard at Shoal Creek Club.

Leading the LPGA Tour for money earned, Race to the CME Globe, top 10s and birdies made, Jutanugarn had an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys to set the early pace at the major event.

"I had a pretty good day today," said Jutanugarn, who won the Kingsmill Championship a fortnight ago. "I've been working hard on my game and it was pretty good today."

Michelle Wie – the 2014 champion – posted a 69 to be two shots behind along with Linn Grant and Danielle Kang.

Wie recorded two birdies from her first four holes before she added another two after the turn to be tied for fourth.

There is a log-jam for seventh position, with 12 players level at two under heading into Friday's second round.

South Korean star and seven-time major champion Inbee Park is among the women who opened the tournament with a first-round 70.

Meanwhile, defending champion Park Sung-hyun struggled after shooting a four-over-par 76.