Thompson in contention at Dubai

American defending champion Lexi Thompson opened with a 3-under-par 69 Wednesday at the Dubai Ladies Masters, three shots off the leaders.

Shanshan Feng and Florentyna Parker each shot 66 in the first round.

”I could have dropped a few more putts. I had a lot of lip-outs out there. But I’ll take 3 under for a first round,” said Thompson, who had two bogeys on her first four holes. ”If I can stay around there and shoot a few more under than that, I’ll be in a good position.”

Shanshan, who became the first player from mainland China to win a major championship in June at the LPGA Championship, had six birdies at the Emirates Golf Club.

Parker moved into a tie for the lead with a birdie the par-5 18th.

”My putting was really good today,” the Englishwoman said. ”I hit 14 greens, had 26 putts, so I rolled them in nicely and got off to a good start. I’ve always done well on this course.”

Klara Spilkova, Sahra Hassan and Cindy Lacrosse were a stroke behind at the season-ending Ladies European Tour tournament.

Michelle Wie (70) is four shots behind after a round that included a double-bogey on the par-4 12th. Carlota Ciganda, who leads the Order of Merit, shot 70.