World's Top Female Golfers in Rancho Mirage for ANA Inspiration Tournament

Monday, 02 Apr, 2018

Japan's Ayako Uehara shot a 6-under-par 66 Thursday to claim a share of second place after the first round of the ANA Inspiration, the first of the year's five women's majors.

If the Hawaii-born star can take advantage of the course's par-fives this week and put herself in the mix come Sunday, she will surely be a genuine contender for the title.

"Kind of looking at the other players and looking at the leaderboard maybe a little too much". "I'm hoping that I get a good night's sleep tonight and make a lot of birdies". "Rolled in a few good putts and just gave myself a lot of good chances". Reigning U.S. Amateur Champion Sophia Schubert, 2017 ANA Junior Inspiration victor Lucy Li, Albane Valenzuela, Lilia Vu, Maria Fassi and Atthaya Thitikul, join Zhang as the seven amateurs competing in the major championship field.

The past 10 LPGA majors have been won by 10 players, a streak that began with Lydia Ko at the ANA Inspiration. There may be no one who was as impressive as Thompson in this opening round.

Dame Laura Davies, who retired after an opening 82 in the Kia Classic last week due to an Achilles injury, had a hard round as she signed for a nine-over-par 81.

Uehara, one shot back, made what could have been a demoralising bogey at her opening hole, but responded well with birdies at the next two.

Thompson scrapped to get over the setback and forced a play-off, but she could not down Ryu.

The seventh hole pretty much summed up how the day went for each competitor.

After her recent win in Singapore, Wie conveyed a message to her management team: "The first thing I said to my agents and everyone was just, 'Let's just simmer down on the expectations and the hype and everything'".

"I just sometimes get it from time to time".

While visibly shaken and incredulous after the decision, Thompson hammered her next drive and birdied the 13th hole. Since 2014, Wie has struggled with finger, hip, ankle, neck and wrist problems. She hit driver off the deck in the fairway at the ninth hole, blistering the shot 270 yards to the back of the green to set up a two-putt birdie. The top 10s are not all that surprising for a player who has 27 of them in her brief career. "I'm just happy the rule changed so nobody else can be put through what I was put through past year".

She said she was feeling nervous but also confident. On Thursday, everything worked, especially the putter as she needed only 26 strokes on the greens. 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9. It's a tough course so I can't let my guard down. Her performance now, she said, is fueled by avocado toast.

"I've always felt very comfortable here", Recari said.

Uehara, ranked 121st in the world, said her experience of contending at last year's Evian Major, where she tied for 10th after a late double-bogey, had helped her understand how to control her adrenaline. But she stumbled with bogeys on Nos. Her round stalled out from there with three birdies against two bogies over her final 12 holes. "I'm a happier person now that I wake up with no headaches". In Gee Chun and Cristie Kerr were at 68 with Thompson, Chella Choi, Sung Hyun Park and Brittany Altomare.