Japan's Ai Miyazato secured Thursday's first-round lead in theHonda LPGA Thailand championship at Banglamung with a sparkling 5-under-par 67.
The 14th ranked Japanese player'sbogey-free front nine was book-ended by two of the five birdies she postedoverall as she edged one stroke clear of the field on day one of the second legof the LPGA Tour's Asian swing.
Sweden'sAnna Nordqvist and seasoned Australian star Karrie Webb shared second placewith the South Korean trio of Amy Yang, Se-ri Pak and Na-yeon Choi.( 712mb titleist)
Holland's ChristelBoeljon and home player Numa Gulyanamitta are a further shot back, with thetightly packed field close behind them.
Miyazato, who triumphed in this event twoyears ago when she fired a brilliant final-round 63 to win the title by astroke from Norway's Suzann Pettersen but finished 29th last year, said she hadrelaxed more, but practiced harder on her short game during the off-season.
"I had a solid game today, putting andhitting the ball quite well," she said.
"I am happy with most parts of my titleistmb 712 ."
The seven-time LPGA Tour winner admittedshe had missed too many fairways, but said she had managed to hit back wellbecause of her good short game..
"During the off-season, I worked hardon my titleist775 cb irons and it has paid off," she declared.
"It was long and hot day for me. But Iwas calm this morning and could control my shots. I will have to use anumbrella a lot tomorrow and will need some ice."
Webb, who was tied for third place lastyear, said she was happy to get four birdies without dropping a shot becausethe pin placements had been tough.
The key to winning here, she believed,would be to grab every opportunity with both hands.
"Some of the pins are quitechallenging to get to, but once you get on the right section of the green, it'sall about making the putt," she said.
Junthima, 24, who is playing titleist775 cb inher second LPGA event after missing the cut at the Women's Australian Open,fired five birdies against two bogeys for a 69.
"It could have been better.Unfortunately, I failed to make par putts at the fourth and eighth holes,"she said