|-5 P Chien (Tai); -4 N Korda (US), M Alex (US), L Vu (US), A Furue (Jpn), C Choi (Kor); -3 A Yin (US)|
|Selected others: -2 G Hall (Eng), M Lee (Aus); -1 A Buhai (SA); Level J Kupcho (US); +1 G Dryburgh (Sco), J Ewart (Eng), C Thomas (Eng)|
England’s Georgia Hall trails surprise Chevron Championship leader Peiyun Chien by three shots at the first women’s major of the year.
Taiwan’s 189th-ranked Chien shot a 67 to top the standings on five under at The Club at Carlton Woods in Texas.
Olympic champion Nelly Korda is among six players tied second, one shot behind, on four under.
A group of 12 – including Hall – are on three under, while world number one Lydia Ko is four shots off the lead.
New Zealand’s Ko had a mixed round in which four birdies and three bogeys contributed to an opening round of 71.
Korda, defending champion and world number two Jennifer Kupcho, US Open winner Minjee Lee and British Open winner Ashleigh Buhai were among the late starters who were interrupted for almost an hour when play was suspended because of bad weather.
Chien, 32, reached the turn two under and, after dropping a shot on the first, finished strongly with four birdies in five holes.
“I saw the pin sheet last night, and I can’t sleep,” said Chien, who recorded her best result of the season in finishing tied fourth at last week’s Lotte Championship.
“It feels so hard. I think we did very well today.”
Korda is joined by compatriots Marina Alex and Lilia Vu one shot off the lead, along with Japan’s Ayaka Furue and Chella Choi of South Korea.
Hall, seeking her first major triumph since the British Open in 2018, hit two bogeys and four birdies in her 70 to sit tied ninth.
Compatriot Charley Hull had a disappointing day with seven bogeys in her 79.
This year is the first in which the tournament is being held at the course near Houston, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus, after 51 years at the Mission Hills Country Club in California.