Stanford had birdies on two of her final three holes in building a two-stroke lead over five players who are tied at 4-under 68.
That group includes Momoko Ueda who twice had strings of three consecutive birdies but also a double bogey and a bogey Thursday. Also at 4-under are Choi Na-yeon and Amy Yang, who each had five birdies and a bogey, and Kim In-kyung and Ryu So-yeon, who each had six birdies and two bogeys.
Seven players are 3-under after the first round.
Stanford, playing the second nine of the Tanah Merah Country Club first Thursday, opened with a birdie at the 10th hole. A birdie at the 16th allowed her to make the turn at 2-under.
She had back-to-back birdies at the first and second holes and capped the round with birdies at 7 and 9.