Momoko Ueda greeted the JLPGA's finest with a bogey-free 68 at the AXA Ladies, but she trails Ji-Woo Lee by 1, is tied with Akiko Fukushima, Shiho Oyama, and Hyun-Ju Shin, and leads Na Zhang and Shinobu Moromizato only by 1.
Here's the complete top 10 after the 1st round's action is complete:
1st/-5 Lee (67)
T2/-4 Fukushima, Oyama, Shin, Ueda, Mie Nakata, Yuka Shiroto, Momoyo Kawakubo (68)
T9/-3 Zhang, Moromizato, Michiko Hattori, Kurumi Dohi, Chiharu Yamaguchi (69)
Lee and Ueda owned the only bogey-free rounds in the bunch, while Hattori eagled the 502-yard par-5 1st hole and Oyama and Kawakubo made the most birdies in the field (6).
Right on their heels are a host of other JLPGA notables and 1 other player you may have heard of:
T14/-2 Ayako Uehara, Hiroko Yamaguchi (70)
T20/-1 Miho Koga, Yuko Mitsuka, Hiromi Mogi, Erina Hara, Midori Yoneyama, Maiko Wakabayashi (71)
T31/E Natalie Gulbis, Ritsuko Ryu, Mayu Hattori (72)
Yes, that Gulbis!
The rest will be struggling to make the cut:
T53/+2 Akane Iijima, Yun-Jye Wei (74)
T68/+3 Yukari Baba, Kaori Higo, Esther Lee, Yuki Ichinose (75)
T96/+6 Chie Arimura (78)
With #1 Mi-Jeong Jeon, #3 Sakura Yokomine, #5 Yuri Fudoh, #7 Miki Saiki, #9 Ji-Hee Lee, and #12 Bo-Bae Song sitting this one out, it's a prime opportunity for everyone within 5 shots of the lead to make their mark on the season.