SINGAPORE — Spain’s Azahara Munoz shot a 7-under 65 Thursday for a two-stroke lead after the first round of the HSBC Women’s Champions, which features 17 of the top 20 LPGA players.
Munoz played in the day’s first group and finished with seven birdies. Five players at Sentosa Golf Club shared second at 67: Stacy Lewis, Karin Sjodin, Lizette Salas, Pornanong Phatlum and Sun Young Yoo.
Munoz is coming off her strongest season on tour, winning her first title at the Sybase Match Play Championship and enjoying nine top-10 finishes.
“I don’t know what it is but my best three rounds on tour have been first tee time,” she said. “I really like it. You don’t have to wait, it’s super nice, the greens are perfect. I think it gets me going.”
Paula Creamer was in a four-way tie at 68 despite an injured right shoulder from a car accident. The five-car accident happened on the way to the airport after the Honda LPGA tournament in Thailand.
Two other players, Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen, sustained minor injuries in the crash. Miyazato pulled out of the HSBC Champions on Wednesday, citing stiffness in her back, neck and shoulder.
Also at 68 were top-ranked Yani Tseng of Taiwan, Danielle Kang and Chella Choi.
Tseng was five shots off the lead before sinking a 25-foot putt for eagle on the 18th hole.