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Thompson & Lee Share First-Round Lead in LPGA Championship


American Lexi Thompson and South Korea's Meena Lee each opened with 6-under 66s to take a share of the 18-hole lead in the LPGA Championship. The $2.3 million event began Thursday at Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, N.Y.

Both the 19-year-old Thompson - who won her first major earlier this year at the Kraft-Nabisco Championship - and the 32-year-old Lee, a two-time LPGA winner, recorded eight birdies and two bogeys.

One stroke back are American Brittany Lincicome, Colombia's Lisa McCloskey and Canada's Jennifer Kirby.

"Overall it was just a really solid round," Thompson said. "I started off with birdieing two and three, so that got me a little confidence early in the round, and I just tried to keep that going, pretty much keep that steady pace going."

Thompson took advantage of her length on the 6,712-yard course. "Coming into the week I knew this golf course was going to be set up good for me," the Floridian said. "I get to hit driver on every hole, but you just have to hit it straight in majors because usually they grow the rough up pretty deep, and that's what majors call for."

Lee, whose two tournament titles both came in 2006, said she was pleased with her adjustments to the changing weather conditions. "It was little windy out there this morning, but I putted really good today," she said. "So I was really happy with my play."

Two behind the co-leaders are China's Shanshan Feng and American Cristie Kerr, while three back are South Koreans Ilhee Lee, Eun-Hee Ji and Mirim Lee, Scotland's Catriona Matthew, Sweden's Anna Nordqvist and Americans Angela Stanford, Emma Jandel and Brooke Pancake.

Lee won last week's Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan.

Other scores included a 71 by No. 1-ranked Stacy Lewis, a 70 by New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko, and a 72 by defending champion Inbee Park. If Ko wins this week, the 17-year-old will supplant Lewis in the top spot in the Rolex Rankings.

For all the scores, visit www.lpga.com.