(Reuters) - South Koreans, led by Kim In-kyung, occupied the top five spots after the opening round at the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii on Wednesday.
Kim shrugged off testing afternoon trade winds to compile eight birdies for a seven-under-par 65 on the Ko Olina course on the west coast of Oahu, near Honolulu.
She has three LPGA victories, most recently in 2010.
Kim led by two strokes over a trio of compatriots including Choi Na-yeon, who took a step towards a possible ninth LPGA victory with a morning 67.
Choi won the opening event of the season for the eighth of her career.
Defending champion Michelle Wie shot 70 in her hometown event. The former child prodigy, and reigning U.S. Open champion, grew up in Honolulu.
Fellow American Brittany Lincicome struggled to a 73 in her first round since she won the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, a little more than a week ago.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Sudipto Ganguly