Golf: Candie Kung and Minjee Lee fired opening 67s to co-lead HSBC Women's Champions

Candie Kung and Minjee Lee (above) co-lead the HSBC Women's Champions on March 3, 2016.
Candie Kung and Minjee Lee (above) co-lead the HSBC Women's Champions on March 3, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - World No. 44 Candie Kung stole the show on the opening day of the HSBC Women's Champions to emerge as the surprise leader on Thursday.

The 34-year-old Taiwanese-born American fired a five-under 67 to co-lead the tournament at the Sentosa Golf Club with Australian Minjee Lee.

Kung's last LPGA Tour victory was at the 2008 Hana Bank-KOLON Championship.

The pair are a stroke ahead of four players Suzann Pettersen, Lee-Anne Pace, Mika Miyazato and defending champion Park In Bee at the Serapong course.

World No. 1 Lydia Ko shot 71 and was joint-27th alongside a host of players, including 2013 HSBC winner Stacy Lewis and third-ranked Lexi Thompson, the highest American in the 63-women field.

Singaporean Koh Sock Hwee signed for a 76 and was tied-56th alongside former world No. 1 Tseng Ya-ni.

The US$1.5 million (S$2.11 million) tournament is into its ninth edition.