RANCHO MIRAGE, California (AFP) - China's Feng Shanshan fired a six-under-par 66 on Thursday to take a one-stroke first-round lead at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first Major of the LPGA season.
South Korean Hall-of-Famer Pak Se Ri was tied for second with American Michelle Wie on five-under 67.
South Korean Amy Yang and teenage amateur Angel Yin of the United States shared fourth place on four-under 68, while South Korean Shin Ji Yai, American Cristie Kerr and Jenny Rosales of the Philippines were tied on 69.
World No. 1 and defending champion Park In Bee, who launched her remarkable run of three straight Major titles last year with victory in this event, struggled to a two-over 74 that left her in joint-46th.
Feng, playing in benign morning conditions in the California desert near Palm Springs, had seven birdies and one bogey on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club.
"This morning it was playing easier because there was no wind," she said. "This course, usually in the afternoon, the wind will pick up. Once the wind picks up, it's different."
Feng, whose three LPGA titles include a Major victory at the 2012 LPGA Championship, is rounding into form after a slow start to her season. She said some work on her putting with coach Gary Gilchrist this week was paying off.
Feng said she also benefitted from some advice from three-time Kraft Nabisco winner Amy Alcott, her opening-round playing partner.
"Before this year, I never did well here, so she was telling me the secrets. Don't ask me what the secrets are, because they are secrets," she said. "I did learn a lot from her. I was really focusing on my game, but at the same time watching how she deals with the tough shots."
Pak is also seeking the secret. She has won five Major titles, but never the Kraft Nabisco.
"The last 17 years I'm waiting for one Major to get my own career Grand Slam, so that's hard," Pak said.
Wie's round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-five 11th, her only bogey coming at the par-three 17th.
"I just felt comfortable out there today," she said. "Just was aggressive on the holes I needed to be and conservative on the other holes."