Newly crowned Hong Kong Open champion Kang Wook-soon yesterday picked up where he left off last weekend, grabbing a share of the first-round lead in the US$500,000 Omega Championship at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club. Kang, chasing an unprecedented Hong Kong double of back-to-back wins in the Open and Omega Championship, showed he was capable of achieving his goal by mastering the wind-swept 6,096-yard layout to card a four-under-par opening round 66. The 32-year-old South Korean notched six birdies and two bogeys during a round in which his iron play and driving off the tee once again proved to be his most formidable weapons. 'I am very satisfied with my score,' Kang said. 'The conditions and the wind made the course play harder but I didn't mind. I feel comfortable when there is a lot of wind and I don't mind if it stays like that.' Victory in the Asian PGA's flagship event would cap a phenomenal comeback for Kang, who only returned to competitive golf at last week's Hong Kong Open after a two-month injury lay-off. During the past year, the slightly built man from Pohang has worked hard at increasing his power off the tee and a weight-training course has worked wonders, he revealed yesterday. 'I've put on about five kilos from doing weight-training. Before, I used to average about 270 yards off the tee . . . I'm now averaging about 280,' he said. A win this week would also give Kang a chance to become the first man to win the Asian PGA Omega Tour Order of Merit title twice. He won for the first time in 1996. Joining Kang at the top of the leaderboard yesterday was Taiwan's Chang Tse-peng, who like Kang remained unflustered by the blustery weather that battered the rugged links-style Clearwater Bay Golf Course. Chang carded six birdies and two bogeys during his round and was a happy man in the clubhouse. 'I hope it stays windy. I want it to get stronger . . . but I don't want it to rain,' said Chang, looking ahead to the remaining rounds. One-stroke behind Kang and Chang is America's Jerry Smith, who shot a three-under-par 67. He was almost joined by Pakistan's talented Taimur Hussain, who is looking for his second Omega Tour victory of the year after winning the London Burma Open in February. Hussain dropped a shot with three holes left, however, putting him with a cluster of four others with two-under-par 68s. Among that chasing group is China's Zhang Lianwei, fresh from his high finish in the Casio World Championship of Golf in Japan last weekend. A further shot back at one under are five golfers, including America's Shaun Micheel, who was, not surprisingly, unable to repeat his extraordinary performance in Wednesday's pro-am when he shot an incredible 12-under-par 58. It was a disappointing day for the Hong Kong contingent, with Derek Fung being the best finisher of the SAR's hopefuls, with a three-over-par 73. Dominique Boulet was a shot back after notching a four-over-par 74.