Angela Stanford made a couple of late birdies to under 66 on Thursday and take the lead after one round of the HSBC Women's Champions.

Stanford holds a two-stroke lead over five players, including Na Yeon Choi, the second-ranked player in the world. I.K. Kim, So Yeon Ryu, Amy Yang and Momoko Ueda also shot 68s on the Garden Course at the Tanah Merah Country Club.

Thursday's performance was a welcome change for Stanford, who started slowly in her first two events of the season. She posted a two-over 75 at the Women's Australian Open two weeks ago and finished in a tie for 31st, then carded a four-over 76 in the first round in Thailand last weekend.

She battled back to finish in a tie for 18th in that tournament, but won't have to come-from-behind heading into Friday's second round. Stanford is leading thanks to a bogey-free round that featured six birdies, including four in her final nine holes.