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Green, Minjee in the LPGA mix at Tiburon

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Australians Hannah Green and Minjee Lee are just two shots behind leader Jeongeun Lee6 after the opening round of the LPGA Tour event in Naples, Florida.

HANNAH GREEN. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Fresh from her $1 million bonus for winning the LPGA Tour's season-long Risk Reward Challenge, Hannah Green is in contention to win more money at the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida.

The 2019 Women's PGA Championship winner fired an opening six-under 66 to be just two off leader Jeongeun Lee6 in the tournament which carries prizemoney of $1.5 million.

Earlier in the week, Green's attacking prowess and ability to maximise opportunities on the carefully-selected holes used at each LPGA event propelled her to 29 under par to win the Challenge.

The 2019 major winner birdied 72 per cent of the designated holes and eagled almost 10 per cent of them to blow away her peers that included American world No.1 Nelly Korda and Korean Jin Young Ko, who are fighting out Player of the Year honours.

The 24-year-old from Perth was rewarded for her aggression again when she birdied the first, second, sixth, eighth, 11th, 14th and 17th holes at the Tiburon Golf Club on Thursday.

Her only blemish came at the par-three 16th, where she made bogey.

Joining her on 66 is compatriot Minjee Lee, who had an astonishing birdie run from the third hole to the ninth interrupted by a bogey on six.

The world No.7 mixed two more birdies on 10 and 13 with a bogey on 14, to be tied sixth in a large group that also includes Nelly Korda, Yuka Saso and So Yeon Ryu.

Lee6's opening 64 was bogey-free and earned her a one-stroke lead over South Korea's Sei Young Kim, France's Celine Boutier, Jennifer Kupcho and Mina Harigae.

The field of 60 was determined via the LPGA Tour's season-long points race. Now the points are reset and all 60 players have a chance to win the $1.5 million first prize and the Race to the CME Globe crown.

Five of Lee6's eight birdies came on the back nine, including each of her final three holes. She drained a lengthy putt for birdie at the par-3 16th hole.

"My feel is getting better, so my goal is to win once this year, but unfortunate just one tournament left," Lee6 said. "Yeah, I'm going to try my best."

with Reuters

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