NIISATO, Gunma Pref. (Kyodo) Defending champion Toshimi Kimura got off to a near perfect start, shooting a 7-under-par 65 to equal a course record and take sole possession of the lead in the first round of the Sakyo Ladies on Friday.

Kimura strung together eight birdies with a lone bogey for her only blotch on the score card for a two-stroke lead over Kasumi Fujii, who sank six birdies.

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