SINGAPORE -- Australian teenager Minjee Lee, seeing things clearer than ever after a chance visit to an optometrist, took a share of the lead with Taiwan's Candie Kung at the LPGA's Women's Champions tournament in Singapore today.
Lee made four birdies and an eagle in her opening round of 5-under 67 to join Kung at the top of the leaderboard on a windy day at the Sentosa Golf Club.
South Korea's Inbee Park, the defending champion, was among a group of four players tied for third at 4-under 68, while world No. 1 Lydia Ko and in-form American Lexi Thompson both shot rounds of 1-under 71.
Already one of the brightest prospects in the game after winning her first LPGA title last year, Lee has just started wearing contact lenses after learning her vision was slightly out of focus. The 19-year-old found out about the problem after undergoing a routine eye test as part of a mandatory medical screening ahead of this year's Rio Olympics.
"The optometrist said two years it's been deteriorating. She said my brain was just so used to it," Lee said. "I was like, OK. But now I can see like really, really clearly."
Lee birdied two of her first four holes then eagled the par-5 12th when she reached the fringe of the green with a 5-wood and drained a 30-foot putt. She birdied the 13th, dropped a shot at the 17th after an errant tee shot and made amends with a birdie at the last.
"I was just really steady. I tried to just minimize my mistakes and try and miss in the right spots," she said. "Yeah, just when I hit it close, take advantage of my opportunities. So that's where I made my birdies."
Kung, playing the back nine first, also eagled the 478-yard 12th and had five birdies in total but bogeyed two of her first six holes. The 34-year-old spent much of the offseason in the gym to improve her strength and flexibility and said the extra work has added some 20 yards to her distance off the tee.
"I know there was something missing in my game," she said. "We were able to sit down and look at it and work on it."
Park won the title in Southeast Asia last year without making a bogey in 72 holes, but the world No. 2's streak came to a halt with her only bogey of the day, on her 17th hole.
"It was going to come at some point," she said. "It's actually nice to get it over with today and without playing with it for the next three days."
Ko had a frustrating day, parring her first 10 holes before dropping a shot on the 11th, but the New Zealander knocked in two late birdies to finish in red figures.
"I didn't have that many birdie opportunities today, so unless my long putts were going to be hot, I wasn't going to shoot extremely low," she said.
Thompson, who won in Thailand last week, made four birdies but lost her momentum when she took a double-bogey on the 11th.
Par 72
T1 Candie Kung 67 .

T1 Minjee Lee 67

T3 Mika Miyazato 68

T3 Lee-Anne Pace 68

T3 Inbee Park 68

T3 Suzann Pettersen 68

T7 Shanshan Feng 69

T7 Mirim Lee 69

T7 Sun Ju Ahn 69

T7 Ilhee Lee 69

T7 Mi Hyang Lee 69

T12 Carlota Ciganda 70

T12 Ha Na Jang 70

T12 Chella Choi 70

T12 Brooke Henderson 70

T12 Hee Young Park 70

T12 Sandra Gal 70

T12 Cristie Kerr 70

T12 Angela Stanford 70

T12 Na Yeon Choi 70

T12 Pornanong Phatlum 70

T12 Gerina Piller 70

T12 Pernilla Lindberg 70

T12 Anna Nordqvist 70

T12 Kris Tamulis 70

T12 Hyo-Joo Kim 70

T27 Lydia Ko 71

T27 Haru Nomura 71

T27 Lexi Thompson 71

T27 Amy Yang 71

T27 Jessica Korda 71

T27 Stacy Lewis 71

T27 Morgan Pressel 71

T27 Charley Hull 71

T35 Eun-Hee Ji 72

T35 Azahara Munoz 72

T35 Alison Lee 72

T35 Mo Martin 72

T35 Karrie Webb 72

T35 Paula Creamer 72

T35 I.K. Kim 72

T35 Jenny Shin 72

T43 Karine Icher 73

T43 Sei-Young Kim 73

T43 Sun Young Yoo 73

T43 Ariya Jutanugarn 73

T43 So Yeon Ryu 73

T43 Sakura Yokomine 73

T43 Lizette Salas 73

T50 Brittany Lang 74

T50 Brittany Lincicome 74

T50 Jing Yan 74

T53 Julieta Granada 75

T53 Michelle Wie 75

T53 Xiyu Lin 75

T56 Yani Tseng 76

T56 Mariajo Uribe 76

T56 Sock Hwee Koh 76

T59   Austin Ernst 77

T59   Ai Miyazato 77

61 Kim Kaufman 78

62 Melissa Reid 80

63 Jane Park 82
- In Gee Chun 8:34 pm - - - - - - -