South Korean So Yeon Ryu fired a seven-under-par 65 to take the first-round lead at the LPGA’s Toto Japan Classic.
The two-time major winner caught fire after a sedate start, making five birdies in her last eight holes to rocket up the leaderboard at the Seta Golf Club in Shiga.
Nasa Hataoka of Japan and South Koreans Jiyai Shin and In-Kyung Kim were a stroke back after rounds of 66.
Another Korean, Sei Young Kim, follows a shot further back on five under alongside Australia’s Minjee Lee.
“For a three-round tournament, you’re better to make sure you have a really, really good starting day,” Ryu said. “I opened with a really good round, so I’m really happy that hopefully I can have this decent round (for) two more days.”
Ryu said a combination of great conditions, great crowds and great putting were behind her first-round success.
“My short game was really great today. I putted really well,” she said. “I was struggling with my putting the last two weeks in Taiwan and Shanghai, but I’m so glad my putting worked well.”
There was also an impressive ace on the day at the ninth hole from Mo Martin, who used a 5-wood on the 178-yard hole. She would finish four shots off the lead after a 69.
Mo Martin aces No. 9 from 178 yards using a 5-wood during Round 1 of the #LPGATOTOJapan!
— #CMEFinalStretch (@LPGA) November 2, 2018
“It landed just a couple feet short and it was just perfect,” Martin said. “The greens are really receptive, so it’s kind of coming in high into the wind, so it just landed perfectly and then just skipped in there. The green is just a little bit below where we are, so we had a perfect visual. So everybody saw it.”
The LPGA is on the fourth out of five stops across Asia.
The American sits atop the leaderboard despite a mixed third round on Saturday.
The Englishman saw a commanding lead cut after a stuttering back nine.
Brooks Koepka made a not-so-subtle dig at Bryson DeChambeau’s “anthill” moment from the first round in Memphis.
The tournament marked the resumption of the tour.
Horsfield fired an eagle and seven birdies in a second round of 63 at the Forest of Arden to share the halfway lead with Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.
Koepka carded a superb 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the opening day.
A change in date from August to May last year placed the tournament second in line behind the Masters, in calendar terms at least.
The four-time major winner shot 62 in his opening round.
The Northern Irishman needs to win to reclaim the world number one spot from Jon Rahm.