Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn birdied her way through the first round of the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing Thursday, carding 10 of them for a one-shot lead ahead of Canadian Brooke Henderson.

Jutanugarn, who is 20 and the highest-ranked player in the field at No 2, closed the day with four consecutive birdies to finish at eight-under 65 on the par-73 course.

"Today I really want to have fun and enjoy the course, and just make sure I focus on what's under my control," said Jutanugarn of her opening round in comments published on the LPGA website. "Not worry about the outcome, the result."

She said she had achieved her goal for this year of winning a tournament. "So after I won my first tournament on tour I really want to win a major, and I did," she added.

Henderson had a bogey-free first round finishing at seven-under 66 and plans to compete in all six Asian tournaments this autumn.

"I'm looking forward to being in Asia for the first time. I've visited a few other times, but this will really be the true taste of a bunch different countries and language and culture," she said, referring to forthcoming tournaments in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia.

US players Jennifer Song and Lizette Salas were grouped with Chinese trio Pan Yanhong, Yang Taoli and Feng Shanshan for a share of third place on 68.

Defending champion Mirim Lee, from South Korea, languished a stroke further down the leaderboard along with a handful of others after ending the first round on four-under 69.

LEADING FIRST ROUND SCORES (par 73)

65 - Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 65

66 - Brooke Henderson (CAN) 66

68 - Jennifer Song (USA) 68, Pan Yanhong (CHN) 68, Lizette Salas (USA) 68, Yang Taoli (CHN) 68, Feng Shanshan (CHN) 68

69 - Ilhee Lee (KOR) 69, Mirim Lee (KOR) 69, Liu Wenbo (a) (CHN) 69, Hur Mi-Jung (KOR) 69, Sarah Jane Smith (AUS) 69, Ye Ziqi (CHN) 69, Ji Eun-Hee (KOR) 69

 

Photo Credit: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

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