Angela Stanford, -6, Rolex Rankings No. 17
Na Yeon Choi, -4, Rolex Rankings No. 2
I.K. Kim, -4, Rolex Rankings No. 11
Amy Yang, -4, Rolex Rankings No. 12
Yani Tseng, -1, Rolex Rankings No. 1
For the second time in three years, Angela Stanford holds the first-round lead at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The 34-year-old Texan carded a bogey-free 6-under-par 66, one shy of Lorena Ochoa’s tournament record of 65 (2008, second round), to take a two-shot advantage over five players after 18 holes of play at Tanah Merah Country Club. In 2010, Stanford held a share of the first-round lead with Cristie Kerr and Hee Young Park at 4-under-par 68 and went on to tie for ninth. Her career-best finish at the HSBC event came in 2009, when she tied for third.
Stanford’s day started with a birdie at the 10th, her first hole, before making the turn at 2-under-par 34. She added birdies on holes one, two, seven and the par-5 ninth – where she topped her second shot with a 3-wood, but recovered to drain a 30-foot birdie – to finish the day at 66.
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Yani Tseng battled a sore elbow en route to a 1-under-par 71. Tseng, the winner of last week’s Honda LPGA Thailand, admitted that her right elbow is prone to soreness following a three-week break from golf in the offseason. “Today it wasn’t hurt, just sore,” she said. “I feel I’m in pretty good shape and just ice later. Yesterday, when hitting driver and hitting shots out of the rough, it’s very painful. But I did some ultrasound and ice and physio work, so it’s getting much better.” She carded three birdies and two bogies to begin the week five shots out of the lead. Last week, Tseng earned her 13th career LPGA victory at the Honda LPGA Thailand, overcoming a seven-shot first-round deficit.