Mi Hyang Lee tees off at the 17th hole during...

Mi Hyang Lee tees off at the 17th hole during the first round of LPGA's DIO Implant LA Open golf tournament on Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. Credit: AP/Ashley Landis

PALOS VERDES ESTATES, Calif. — Mi Hyang Lee shot a 6-under 65 in her first LPGA Tour event of the year for a one-stroke lead in the opening round of the DIO Implant LA Open on Thursday.

Lee, a 30-year-old South Korean who has slipped to 378th in the world, played bogey-free and closed with a birdie on the par-4 18th hole at chilly Palos Verdes.

Lee has two career LPGA Tour victories, the more recent at the Ladies Scottish Open in 2017. She was runner-up at the ANA Inspiration, a major, in 2019 to reach a career-best 31st in the rankings but has struggled the past three years.

Megan Khang and Hyo Joo Kim each shot 66. Nasa Hataoka, Lucy Li and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc were another shot behind.

Second-ranked Nelly Korda and her sister, Jessica, were among the group at 3 under.

This is the fifth playing of the LA Open and the first at Palos Verdes, which hosted a different event, the Palos Verdes Championship, last year — won by Marina Alex, who shot a 1-over 72 on Thursday.

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