Finland's Matilda Castren and Malaysian Kelly Tan combined to shoot a 6-under 64 on Wednesday to jump into the lead after one round of action at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Midland, Mich.
The duo turned in a bogey-free card while tallying six birdies to edge three other groups by one stroke. Castren and Tan caught fire on the back nine, securing birdies on half of their final six holes.
"I felt like we gelled really well today, honestly. She struck the ball so good," Tan said. "We both played pretty good (Wednesday). There's no complaints."
The 72-hole event features teams consisting of two players. Alternate shot will be used during the first and third rounds, while the second and final rounds will be played using a four-ball format.
Castren noted that the pairing felt very little pressure after spending so much time together.
"We play a lot of practice rounds together, and that certainly kind of helps to relax the atmosphere," Castren said. "You're competing and there's people watching, but you're still really relaxed. We have each other."
France's Celine Boutier and Yuka Saso of Japan, Norway's Celine Borge and German Polly Mack and South African Paula Reto and Amelia Lewis all shot 65s on Wednesday to sit in the three-way tie for second.
Among those that tied for second, Boutier and Saso made up the only duo that did not record a bogey. Borge and Mack made the turn at the par-4 first, where they picked up their bogey, and Reto and Lewis, who also opened on the back nine, had their lone blemish at the par-3 seventh.
Yu Liu and Ruixin Liu, both of China, and Linnea Strom and Linnea Johansson, both of Sweden are tied for fifth, two strokes back.
"We've both been here twice before. We love coming to Midland, Michigan. We love this event. It's something different than what we do every week," Johansson said. "Just being here, the hospitality, the golf club, the community, it's just great."
--Field Level Media