KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Lydia Ko fired a 64 for her best opening round of the year to lead the LPGA tour's Sime Darby event at 7 under on Thursday, and is hoping her best start will lead to her first title of 2017.
The former No. 1-ranked Ko is one shot ahead of Su Oh and two ahead of defending champion and two-time winner Shanshan Feng, Madelene Sagstrom and Eun-Hee Ji, who won by six strokes in Taiwan last week for her first LPGA tour title since 2009.
''Today I tried to be positive and as confident as I can,'' said Ko, who finished second in Taiwan last week. ''I think playing well last week really gave me good momentum going into today.''
Ko opened with a birdie, one of seven in an unblemished round on the par 71, 6,246-yard course at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.
''Made a string of birdies late in my front nine and I was able to keep that momentum going into the back nine,'' she said.
Ko has three top-10 finishes since September, and 10 overall this year.
No. 6-ranked Feng, who has been runner-up here twice along with her victories in 2014 and '16, said her ball striking was ''super'' but she missed some birdie chances.
''I think that means maybe I can still make more over the weekend,'' she said, ''I think it's a good start.''