Spain’s Banon and Molle of France both opened with 5-under-par rounds of 66 to lead by one from another French woman, Justine Dreher, and two from a group of three players including McLennan.
Kemp is 2-under and three off the pace while NSW amateur Stephanie Kyriacou is also in the top 10 after an impressive 71.
Only 15 players broke par on day one of the tournament, both Molle and Banon making the most of the easier back nine to post their scores.
Banon teed off the 10th late in the day and had made her score after just seven holes. Five birdies between the 10th and 16th, followed by 11 straight pars, matched Molle’s effort from the morning.
For her part Molle looked in early trouble after a bogey at the second but was blemish free for the remainder of the round as she notched six birdies, four of them on the back nine.
“I just stayed patient,” she said. “A lot of putts lipped the hole at the beginning and then a few putts went in and then all of the putts went in so it was a really good round and I’m very happy with it.”
McLennan, who is based in the US, is playing her second year as a professional and also credited her putter with today’s good score.
“My putting was on fire today,” she said. “I was really happy with it.”
Asked what she needed to work on for the rest of the week she nominated her iron play which wasn’t as sharp as she would have liked.
“Definitely my irons and wedges. I leaked a few left and right so I need to straighten that out over the next few days.”
The Women’s NSW Open is the last in a run of four events co-sanctioned between the ALPG and Ladies European Tour.
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