Australian teenager Minjee Lee and Taiwan's Candie Kung share the lead after the first round of the HSBC Women's Championship in Singapore.

The pair posted five-under-par 67s to finish the day one clear of Norway's Suzann Pettersen, Mika Miyazato of Japan, South African Lee-Anne Pace and defending champion Inbee Park of Korea at the Sentosa Golf Course

Kung raced to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies and an eagle but dropped shots at 13 and 15 saw the world No 41 joined at the head of the field by 19-year-old Lee, who included four birdies and an eagle in her opening round.

Already one of the brightest prospects in the game after winning her first LPGA title last year, Lee has now taken to wearing contact lenses after learning her vision was slightly out of focus, a problem she discovered after a mandatory medical screening for this year's Olympics in Rio.

"The optometrist said two years it's been deteriorating," she said. "She said my brain was just so used to it. I was like, okay. But now I can see like really, really clearly."

Lee birdied two of her first four holes then eagled the par-five 12th when she reached the fringe of the green with a five-wood then drained a 30-foot putt. She birdied the 13th and dropped a shot at the 17th after an errant tee shot but made amends with a birdie at the last.

"I was just really steady. I tried to just minimize my mistakes and try and miss in the right spots," she said. "Yeah, just when I hit it close, take advantage of my opportunities. So that's where I made my birdies."

Kung, playing the back nine first, also eagled the 478-yard 12th, and put the ability to reach the green in two down to the gym work over the winter which the 34-year-old believes has added '20 yards to her distance off the tee'.

"I know there was something missing in my game," she said. "We were able to sit down and look at it and work on it."

Park won the title in Southeast Asia last year without making a bogey in 72 holes but the world No 2's streak came to a halt with her only dropped shot of the day on her 17th hole.

"It was going to come at some point," she said. "It's actually nice to get it over with today and without playing with it for the next three days."

World No 1 Lydia Ko and in-form American Lexi Thompson carded opening-day one-under 71s, the former starting off with 10 straight pars before dropping a shot at the 11th.

"I didn't have that many birdie opportunities today, so unless my long putts were going to be hot, I wasn't going to shoot extremely low," said the New Zealander who picked up to late birdies to finish in red figures.

Thompson, who won in Thailand last week, made four birdies but lost her momentum when she signing for a double-bogey on the 11th hole.

 

Click here for the leaderboard

 

By Camilla Tait,  Sky Sports

 

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