Gal seizes early Meijer Classic lead, Wie pulls out
Sandra Gal of Germany lines up a birdie putt on the 15th hole during the first round of the Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club on August 7, 2014 in Belmont, Michigan - by Matt Sullivan
Gal, who has missed the cut in three of her last four starts, is aiming for her second win on the LPGA Tour. Her only title came at the 2011 Kia Classic.
"I was in a zone, I was really relaxed," Gal said. "I was talking a lot to my caddie and to my playing partners, just kind of letting it happen instead of forcing it, which every so often that's what we golfers do."
Former world number one Park In-Bee, of South Korea, posted a five-under 66 during her opening round at Blythefield Country Club and is in sole possession of second place. Katherine Kirk is in third at four-under 67.
Lee Il-Hee, Azahara Munoz, Katy Harris, Gerina Piller, Amy Yang and Line Vedel shot matching three-under 68s to share fourth place.
Michelle Wie, who captured her first major title at the US Women's Open earlier this season, pulled out during the first round because of a hand injury.
"I don't know what happened," said Wie. "It just started hurting last week and just started getting worse and got to the point where I couldn't really hold a club today.
"So I'm just going to try to get an MRI right now and see what my next steps are. Hopefully I can play next week, so we'll see."
Gal, who started on the 10th tee, began her round with three straight pars.
A bogey at the 13th dropped her to one-over, but she later got that stroke back with a birdie at the 17th to make the turn at even-par.
She then compiled an impressive run of six straight birdies from the third to get to six-under.
"My swing is coming together, hitting little fades and it keeps me in the fairway," said Gal. "And then obviously you've got to have a good putting day shooting six-under. I hit a couple close, so just a little bit of everything."