Munoz makes flying start
Last updated: 28th February 2013
Azahara Munoz carded a round of 65 to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the HSBC Women's Champions on Thursday.
The Spaniard played in the first group of the day and made seven birdies in a bogey-free round to finish the first round of the star-studded field at the Sentosa Golf Club on seven under par.
In a share for second place on five under par are Lizette Salas, Pornanong Phatlum, Sun Young Yoo Stacy Lewis and Karin Sjodin.
One stroke further back after a round of 68 is Paula Creamer, who is struggling with a shoulder injury she picked up in a car accident on her way to the airport after the Honda LPGA tournament in Thailand last week.
Joining her on four-under is world number one Yani Tseng, Danielle Kang and Chella Choi.
Munoz is enjoying her career-best season on the LPGA Tour, with the 25-year-old finishing in the top 10 on nine occasions and winning her first ever title at the Sybase Match Play Championship.
After her round, the Spaniard said that she enjoys being the first player out in the course.
''I really like it. You don't have to wait, it's super nice, the greens are perfect. I think it gets me going," she said.
''I don't know what it is but my best three rounds on tour have been first tee time.
Five-time winner Tseng was five shots behind the leader going into the final hole, but sunk a 25-foot eagle putt on the 18th to climb up the leaderboard.
Despite not winning on the LPGA Tour for almost a year, the Taiwanese star appears to be nearing some form after finishing second at the Australian Open and in a tie for third in Thailand last week.
She said after her round that she made a bet with her manager Naya Hsu to motivate herself during the round. The bet involved the manager to go skydiving with her if she shot a 68 or better.
''When that putt dropped in, I was so happy,'' Tseng said.
''I was looking for her. I saw her face, I think she's going to cry.
''I think it feels good because I haven't had that feeling for a long time,'' she said.
"The last two weeks, (I was) kind of a little rushed, trying to play well on the first day. And today I've been patient because I know it's only the first day, I still have three days left.''
World number two Na Yeon Choi shot a round of 69 to finish the round in a tie for 11th place, while Michelle Wie, Jiyai Shin and Karrie Webb were two shots further back after their rounds of 71.
Defending champion Angela Stanford struggled on the Serapong course and finished on 76, which included a quadruple bogey on the par four 13th.
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