Published February 28, 2013
| Sports Network
Singapore – Azahara Munoz fired a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take a 2-stroke lead following the first round of the HSBC Women's Champions.
Five-time LPGA winner Stacy Lewis is among five players tied for second place at 5-under-par 67 at the Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course. She is joined by Pornanong Phatlum, Sun Young Yoo, Lizette Salas and Karin Sjodin.
World No. 1 Yani Tseng, Chella Choi, Paula Creamer and Danielle Kang all sit a stroke behind in seventh place with 68s, while second-ranked Na Yeon Choi is one of nine players tied for 11th at 3-under 69.
Munoz opened her bogey-free round with a par before rolling in a pair of birdies at the second and fourth.
After parring the fifth and sixth, the 25-year-old began a streak of alternating birdies and pars over the next nine holes.
Birdies at the seventh, ninth, 11th, 13th and 15th holes dropped her to 7- under before she closed out her round with consecutive pars to head into the clubhouse with the lead.
"I hit a lot of really good second shots to give myself the opportunities, and I managed to convert a lot of them," said Munoz.
Lewis came out to a slightly slower start, countering a birdie at the second with a bogey at the third.
She then settled in, however, as she reeled off four birdies over her next seven holes -- capped with consecutive birdies at the ninth and 10th -- to jump into contention.
Three straight pars followed before she again traded a birdie at the 14th with a bogey at the 15th. She then finished her opening round with her seventh birdie of the day at the 18th.
Yoo joined Munoz with a bogey-free first round, while Phatlum and Salas each recorded one bogey and Sjodin overcame three bogeys with eight birdies.
Tseng eagled the par-5 18th to avoid heading into Friday's second round with a 5-stroke deficit. The mark broke a string of 10 straight pars for the 15-time LPGA titlist.
NOTES: World No. 9 Ai Miyazato withdrew prior to the start of her first round due to whiplash suffered during a car accident on Sunday. World No. 7 Suzann Pettersen and Creamer were also involved in the accident ... Pettersen finished with a 1-over 73 ... Defending champion Angela Stanford carded a 4- over 76 on Thursday and sits tied with Mika Miyazato for 58th.