Lauren Stephenson, a second-year player looking for her first LPGA victory, and Mi Hyang Lee, seeking her first win in three years, share the lead after the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, N.J.
Stephenson and Lee each shot 8-under-par 63 Thursday on the Bay Course at Seaview.
Ryann O'Toole and Japan's Nasa Hataoka share third place at 64. Jennifer Song sits alone in fifth place at 65, and she is followed by six players at 66: Brittany Altomare, Lindy Duncan, South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai, South Korea's Jenny Shin, Australia's Katherine Kirk, and Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit.
Stephenson started hot with four birdies on the first five holes. The rest of her round was more up and down, as she had an eagle on the par-4 14th hole, four more birdies and two bogeys.
The 23-year-old University of Alabama product has one top 10 finish in her 27 career tournaments -- tying for 8th in February, 2019. She sank a 137-yard chip for her eagle.
"I was in the rough and assumed it was going to skip forward," Stephenson said. "I saw the bounce and thought it stopped, which I was happy with because I was worried it was going to skip through the green and go over. I looked away and my caddie was like, 'I think it went in.' I didn't want to get excited (if) it was over the green, but yeah, it was exciting."
Lee played a steadier round, carding eight birdies and no bogeys. She recorded back-to-back birdies at Nos. 3 and 4, and then shot a sizzling five-under on the back nine, with three birdies in a row at Nos. 10-12, and again on 17 and 18.
"It was a really good start for me, and I really look forward to the next three rounds," said Lee, whose two previous wins came in the 2014 Mizuno Classic and the 2017 Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. "I didn't have any bad shots or bad putts. Everything was good. It's a little wet and the greens are really soft, so it was easier to hit the long clubs in.
"I have experience tied for a lead in the first round before and need to concentrate on my golf, then just keep going."
Altomare sank a hole-in-one at No. 17, using a pitching wedge to ace the 108-yard hole.
"It hit the pin pretty hard, and in my experience, when it does that, the ball could go anywhere -- hits the pin and just ricochets," she said. "I heard it and think I was a little shocked. It made a loud noise then just dunked in. When that happens, it's so unexpected but is always a nice surprise."
Defending champion Lexi Thompson is tied for 12th at 67.
--Field Level Media