Beijing, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Stacy Lewis fired a 7-under 66 on Thursday and grabbed a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Reignwood LPGA Classic.
Lewis, the world No. 1, lost by a stroke at this event last year as Shanshan Feng rallied to victory.
Caroline Hedwall is one stroke back at minus-6 at the par-73 Pine Valley Golf Club. Sun Young Yoo and Jenny Shin share third place at 5-under 68.
Former world No. 1 Yani Tseng opened with a 4-under 69. She was joined in fifth place by Ilhee Lee, Inbee Park, Haeji Kang, Mi Hyang Lee and Belen Mozo, who played alongside Hedwall on Thursday.
Lewis, a three-time winner this season, parred the first two holes before making her move. She birdied the third and fourth, both from about 25 feet out.
She ran off seven consecutive pars from the fifth. At the par-5 12th, Lewis dropped her third shot within four feet and she rolled that in for her third birdie, and that kicked off a hot stretch of golf.
Lewis poured in a 35-footer for birdie at the 14th. She came right back with an 8-foot birdie putt on the 15th. After a birdie on the par-3 17th, Lewis nearly holed her chip shot at the par-5 18th, but settled for a tap-in birdie.
"I was a great day. I stayed really patient out there. I didn't really have things going early, but the putts started to fall there at the end. It was a good start," Lewis said. "You have to drive it well on this course and then miss it in the right places around the greens. That's what I really did today. I could have probably made a couple more, but I'm not going to complain about it."
Hedwall played the back nine first on Thursday and she birdied her first two holes. After five pars in a row, she converted a birdie effort on the 17th.
The Swede followed with a birdie on 18 and made it three in a row as she birdied the first. Hedwall stumbled to a bogey at the par-4 fifth, but came right back with a birdie on the sixth to get back to minus-5.
Hedwall closed her round with a birdie on the ninth.
"I'm very happy with how I played today. It's nice to put a good score on the leaderboard in the beginning. We were making a lot of birdies, we just made it look simple. I think it's easy to play with someone who is playing well," Hedwall said of Mozo. "The whole group was giving ourselves birdie opportunities and made a lot of putts."
NOTES: Feng stumbled to a 2-over 75 in the opening round and that left her tied for 52nd place ... Yanhong Pan shot 2-under 71 and posted the best score among the Chinese golfers in the field ... Park could overtake Lewis atop the world rankings with a win this week and Lewis finishing outside the top three.