Olympian Paula Reto was on song at Jian Lake Golf Club in China on Thursday, where she carded a two under par 70 to share ninth place after round one of the Blue Bay LPGA.
New Zealand’s Minjee Lee led with a round of seven under par 65 that contained eight birdies and one bogey. She added red numbers at four of her final five holes to claim pole position.
‘I’m pretty happy with the way I started today. I got nine holes’ practice yesterday, so I just took it one shot at a time and didn’t try to get ahead of myself, so pretty good. Just played my own game today and a lot of my putts dropped.’
The world number 17 was two strokes clear of second-placed Jessica Korda and Sandra Gal, while last week’s champion Carlota Ciganda shared fourth place with Korea’s Chella Choi.
‘I feel comfortable here,’ said Gal. ‘But I was also I think lucky that today wasn’t that windy. So, it was straightforward. You know where to go and it pitches, it kind of stays there and doesn’t run off crazy.’
Reto’s card was good and bad, with four birdies and two dropped shots, but she kept tabs on the front-runners and will be looking to push on in the second round.
Lee-Anne Pace won the Blue Bay LPGA on 16 under par in 2014, but was unable to produce the same form on Thursday and carded 75 to share 55th place.