Kung fired a 1-under-par 71 at the Kemper Lakes Golf Club to go ahead by two strokes over Lynda Upton and three over three others including Nicole Wagner of Paradise Valley, Ariz.
The 19-year-olds round consisted of four birdies against three bogies, and was highlighted with two chip-ins at the fourth and eleventh holes. She is looking to improve on her strong finish last year, when she finished the third low qualifier.
I just want to do well, said Kung. The USGA events always have the best fields among the amateur tournaments. If I can do well here, I can prove that Im one of the top players.
Upton is looking to prove the same thing. A recent grad of the University of Nevada, Reno, the 21-year-old might have held a share of the Day 1 lead had it not been for a double-bogey at the 18th hole.
She didnt seem too bothered with it, however.
Im very pleased and happy with my round, Upton stated. I just finished college. Im a dark horse. Im just putting the ball very well.
The second round of qualifying will commence Wednesday, with the low 64 players advancing into the final four days of match play. The final match will be held on Sunday.
The U.S. Womens Amateur Public Links Championship is one of 13 national events run by the USGA, ten of which are strictly for amateurs.