World No. 5 Danielle Kang and fellow American Jennifer Song each fired a 7-under par 65 on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the LPGA Drive On Championship -- Reynolds Lake Oconee, the first time the Tour has played in Greensboro, Ga.
Kang, already a two-time champ in 2020 with wins at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, in July and Marathon LPGA Classic in August, carded a bogey-free round that featured three birdies on the front and a stretch of four birdies over Nos. 12-17 on the back.
"I think I know the golf course a little bit better," said Kang. "I've only played (the course) once technically, so it's still very new, but I just tried to work on some pace drills on the greens and figure out the type of grass around here, and I feel good about today. ...
"To be honest I made some putts today, which made me really happy."
Song had just one bogey and eight birdies during her round, which included a stretch of four straight birdies on Nos. 12-15 and a birdie at the par-5 18th.
"Definitely I made a lot of putts -- made tons of birdies out there," said Song, who's posted three top-10 finishes in 2020 but is still searching for her first win on tour. "But I think the most important thing was making good judgment, and execution was spot on. I didn't have any doubt over my shots, so I think that was the key of my round today."
One shot back at 6-under 66 is Ally McDonald, who also posted a bogey-free round while sinking six birdies.
"Managed to roll some putts in, which was I think the key for me right now, is just to keep striking the ball well and try to get some putts to fall," said McDonald, a five-year veteran who's still searching for her LPGA title.
Rounding out the top spots were Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn and Lindsey Weaver, who are tied for fourth at 5 under. Marissa Steen, The Philippines' Bianca Pagdanganan and Sweden's Pernilla Lindberg are tied for sixth place at 4 under.
Other notables in the field include World No. 9 Minjee Lee of Australia, who stumbled through four bogeys and six birdies to stand tied for 15th at 2-under, and No. 10 Lexi Thompson, who fought through three bogeys and a double before rebounding with four birdies over her last five holes to finish tied for 26th at 1 under. She had six birdies in the round.
--Field Level Media