Dani Holmqvist of Sweden eagled the par-5 third hole on her way to a bogey-free, 7-under-par 64 that put her in the lead after one round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic on Friday in Galloway, N.J.
Holmqvist will head into the weekend one shot clear of China's Yan Liu and South Korea's Jenny Shin in the 54-hole event.
The 35-year-old has won tournaments in Sweden and Australia, but the veteran is now in position to contend for her first LPGA Tour title.
Holmqvist's 64 was just her second sub-70 round all season. She played in just five events prior to this week and missed the cut at all five.
"It's just been a very slow start to the year," Holmqvist said of her schedule. "I'm personally a player that needs to play a lot of events that get going and kind of get into the groove, so I am looking forward to the stretch coming with more regular tournaments."
Holmqvist began her day on the back nine at Seaview Golf Club's Bay Course and birdied Nos. 14, 16 and 17. The eagle came in the middle of her round, with her drive and a 4-iron approach taking her to about 15 feet for the putt. Birdies at Nos. 6 and 7 gave her the solo lead.
"I think just that's what everyone out here -- that's what we all strive to do," she said. "Some weeks you're better than others, and some weeks you feel like you're losing. So it's fun to actually come up on top for you once. This game is tough, and just got to cherish the moments when you actually put together a good one."
Shin put together a round of six birdies and no bogeys, while Liu's card was much more colorful. Liu posted two birdies and three bogeys over her first five holes, then eagled the par-5 ninth. She went 5-under 29 on her back nine by making three birdies in a row at Nos. 12-14 and scoring a second eagle on the par-5 18th.
Liu said she told her caddie she wanted to keep it easy after her up-and-down start. By the time she finished her round, she led the tournament, as Holmqvist was still playing.
"It's my first time leader so I just want to stay focus my game, and like today, easy golf," Liu said.
Sarah Schmelzel, England's Georgia Hall, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist, South Africa's Paula Reto and Soo Bin Joo of South Korea were tied for fourth at 5-under 66.
Defending champion Brooke Henderson of Canada opened with a 2-under 69.
--Field Level Media