Rancho Mirage, CA – Rancho Mirage, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Shanshan Feng fired a 6-under 66 on Thursday and that gave her a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the season's first major on the LPGA Tour.
Feng, the 2012 LPGA Championship winner, is looking for her fourth LPGA Tour victory.
Se Ri Pak, who could complete the career Grand Slam with a win this week, and Michelle Wie are one stroke off the pace at minus-5 on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
Amy Yang and amateur Angel Yin shared fourth place at 4-under 68, while Jiyai Shin, 2009 runner-up Cristie Kerr and Jenny Rosales are tied at minus-3.
World No. 1 and defending champion Inbee Park struggled to a 2-over 74, which left her tied for 46th after the opening round.
Feng, the first major champion from China, opened with a birdie on the second. She parred the next four holes before dropping in back-to-back birdie efforts at seven and eight.
Around the turn, Feng birdied the par-5 11th and made it two in a row as she also birdied the 12th. That moved her to minus-5.
Feng wrapped birdies at 14 and 16 around a bogey on the 15th. She parred the last two to end one clear of the field.
"Mainly, I was really focusing on my game, but at the same time I was really watching how (playing partner Amy Alcott) was dealing with all the tough shots because the greens here are really firm," said Feng, who shot 78 in the first round last year. "I know it is a major. It's an important tournament to us, but I'm just going to keep doing my same thing, same routine."
Pak started on the back nine and birdied her opening hole. She notched birdies on the 13th and 15th to move to minus-3. After four consecutive pars around the turn, Pak birdied the par-5 second.
The World Golf Hall of Famer moved to 5-under with a birdie on the fourth. Pak tripped to a bogey on No. 8, but bounced right back with a birdie on the ninth, her last, to end one back.
"It really was just a solid round today. Fairways and greens are always good, always playing for the majors," Pak stated. "The greens got a little firmer, but I got pretty good distance control which helps a lot. I had a lot of opportunities, missed some putts, but still I'm making great putts too. So overall today was a really, really great and easy day."
Wie got off to a slow start, but burst up the leaderboard in the middle of the round. She birdied the second, then ran off six straight pars.
The two-time LPGA Tour winner converted back-to-back birdies at nine and 10. Wie then drained an eagle try at the 11th and finished the burst with a birdie on the 12th.
That spurt moved Wie into a share of the lead. She remained there with four pars in a row. At the par-3 17th, Wie faltered to a 3-putt bogey to fall one back. She ended there with a par at the last.
"I just felt comfortable out there today. I think we did a really good job of course management today," stated Wie. "I was just aggressive on the holes I needed to be and conservative on the other holes."
NOTES: Feng is making her fourth start at this event ... Her best previous finish was a share of 22nd in 2012 ... Feng's 66 was her best score at this event by one stroke. She closed with a 67 last year ... Yin got into the field on sponsors exemption.