A bogey-free round of six-under 66 has given Minjee Lee a share of the lead after the opening round of the Chevron Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

As fellow Aussies Sarah Kemp and Gabriela Ruffels were preparing to start their championships, Lee was safely ensconced inside the clubhouse, tied with American Jennifer Kupcho following a faultless first round.

Starting on the back nine, Lee signalled her intent early with birdies at 11, 13 and 14 and then hit 5-iron into the par-5 18th for a two-putt birdie to close out a front nine of four-under 32.

A fifth birdie at the par-5 second and a closing birdie at the par-5 ninth has given the 25-year-old the perfect platform from which to pursue a second major championship inside 12 months.

Adamant that the pressure she puts on herself has not diminished on the back of her victory at the Amundi Evian Championship last July, the West Australian said her major breakthrough has fuelled her desire to add more.

“I know I have one under my belt but I do want a little bit more,” Lee said post-round.

“I have a little bit more belief in myself and in my game so I am a little more comfortable in hitting the shots that I choose.”

The cornerstone of her game, Lee’s ball-striking was a feature at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course on day one.

She averaged 296 yards off the tee, found 11 of 14 fairways and hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, taking three more putts than Kupcho’s 24 to match her 66 as the early pace-setters.

“I started on the back nine and made three birdies in maybe the first six holes so that was off to a pretty nice start. Just tried to trust my process and have a good back nine,” said Lee of her best round at Mission Hills since shooting 64 in the third round in 2018.

“My second birdie (at the par-4 13th), I had to kind of weave through the trees. It hit the cart path and it went a little bit left so that was a nice birdie.

“The next hole, the par 3, the pin was tucked left and I made birdie there too so a really good shot in.

“I just really wanted to finish off with a birdie (at nine). I hit a really good drive and had only 216 metres to the pin so I just hit a little cut 3-wood and it just went over the left side over the back, just a chip and a putt.”

It was a strong start too for Lee’s playing partner and fellow Perth native Hannah Green who also went bogey-free on day one.

Green hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation in her round of two-under par 70 but could only convert two of her birdie opportunities at 18 and two as she took 31 putts in Round 1.

Victorian Su Oh was five-over through her first eight holes of the championship but fought back on the front nine with three birdies to post two-over 74, keeping alive her hopes of making the cut on Friday.