PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. — Mi Hyang Lee shot a 6-under 65 in her first LPGA Tour event of the year for a one-stroke lead in the opening round of the DIO Implant LA Open on Thursday.
Lee, a 30-year-old South Korean who has slipped to 378th in the world, played bogey-free and closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th hole at chilly Palos Verdes.
Lee has two career LPGA Tour victories, the more recent at the Ladies Scottish Open in 2017. She was runner-up at the ANA Inspiration, a major, in 2019 to reach a career-best 31st in the rankings but has struggled the past three years.
Megan Khang and Hyo Joo Kim each shot 66. Nasa Hataoka, Lucy Li and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc were another shot behind.
Second-ranked Nelly Korda and her sister, Jessica, were among the group at 3 under.
This is the fifth playing of the LA Open and the first at Palos Verdes, which hosted a different event, the Palos Verdes Championship, last year — won by Marina Alex, who shot a 1-over 72 on Thursday.