Thompson, Lee share LPGA Championship lead

Pittsford, NY ( - Lexi Thompson and Meena Lee both carded 6- under 66s on Thursday and they share the first-round lead at the LPGA Championship.

Thompson won the Kraft Nabisco Championship earlier this year for her first major championship title. Lee is a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour, but hasn't won a major yet.

Brittany Lincicome, the 2009 Kraft Nabisco winner, opened with a 67 at Monroe Golf Club. She was joined in third place by Jennifer Kirby and Lisa McCloskey.

Cristie Kerr and Shanshan Feng, both former champions of this event, share sixth place at minus-4.

Anna Nordqvist, the 2009 winner, posted a 3-under 69. She is among eight players tied for eighth.

Defending champion Inbee Park managed an even-par 72 and she is tied for 48th.

Thompson got off to a quick start as she birdied three of four holes from the second. After a trio of pars, she birdied the ninth to make the turn at minus-4.

The 19-year-old converted back-to-back birdie efforts at 11 and 12. Thompson moved to 7-under with a birdie on the par-5 14th, but she stumbled to bogeys on the next two holes to slide back to minus-5.

Thompson, who played alongside Park, closed with a birdie at the last to gain a share of the lead.

"I would definitely say my length is an advantage. Coming into the week I knew this golf course was going to be setup good for me," Thompson stated. "I get to hit driver on every hole, but you just have to hit it straight in majors because usually they grow the rough up pretty deep and that's what majors call for."

Lee started her round on the 10th and she was grouped with Lincicome. Lee started with a birdie on her first hole. After faltering to a bogey on the 13th, Lee came right back with a birdie at the 14th.

The two-time LPGA Tour winner followed with birdies at 15 and 16 to get to minus-3. Around the turn, Lee birdied the first and third.

Lee tripped to another bogey on the fifth, but she atoned for that mistake with birdies at seven and eight. Lee parred the last to end at minus-6.

"It was little windy out there this morning, but I putted really good today," said Lee. "So I was really happy with my play."

Lincicome birdied three of four holes from the 11th. After a bogey on the 16th, she parred four in a row around the turn. Lincicome birdied three straight from the third.

She stumbled to bogeys at six and seven, but Lincicome closed with birdies on her final two holes to share third place.

McCloskey birdied the 11th and 14, but she bogeyed three in a row from the 17th. She bounced back with birdies on two and three. McCloskey poured in four consecutive birdies from the sixth to post 67.

Kirby mixed seven birdies and two bogeys in her round.

NOTES: Three of the top five players on the leaderboard -- Thompson, Lincicome and Kirby -- rank in the top-20 on tour in driving distance, and that could be key this week with Monroe Golf Club playing around 6,700 yards ... Women's British Open champion Mo Martin gutted out an even-par 72 despite an injured thumb ... The first three major champions this year have been Americans, but one of them, Michelle Wie, is not playing this week due to an injured right hand.