World No.5 Danielle Kang leads the LPGA Tour’s season-long points race and showed why as she finished round one of the Drive On Championship-Lake Reynolds Oconee event in Georgia as one of two co-leaders.
Kang shot a seven-under 65 for a share of the first-round lead with fellow America Jennifer Song.
Best of the Australian contingent is World No.9 Minjee Lee who fought back from a poor start for a two-under 70, and a share of 15th.
Behind her are compatriots Su Oh after a one-under 71, Katherine Kirk at even-par 72 and Hannah Green (74) at two-over, while Sarah Jane Smith (75) and Sarak Kemp (76).
The event is the second tournament added to the schedule because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down women's golf for five months.
The other 'Drive On' tournament was in Toledo, Ohio, in late July and marked the return.
Kang won that event at Inverness and followed with a victory the next week in the LPGA Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.
“I didn't think that was possible to shoot that score out there.” – Jennifer Song
She birdied three of the four par-5 holes in the bogey-free afternoon round on the Great Waters Course.
"To be honest, I made some putts today, which made me really happy," Kang said.
Song closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th, her fifth in the final seven holes.
"I didn't think that was possible to shoot that score out there, but I had a great round," Song said.
She played alongside Juli Inkster, the 60-year-old Hall of Famer who had a 77 in her third start of the year.
Ally McDonald made it three US players at the top, shooting a bogey-free 66.
Thai star Ariya Jutanugarn bogeyed the 18th for a 67, to sit alongside American Lindsey Weaver tied for fourth.
"Didn't expect to shoot it low at all, because like soon as I saw the course, I feel like this course going to be tough," Jutanugarn said.
West Australian Lee was three-over par after her opening six holes but birdies on the 7th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 17th and 18th holes propelled her into red numbers on Thursday.