ANA Inspiration offers Lexi Thompson a chance for redemption
02 April, 2018, 00:15 | Author: Andrea Terry
The LPGA Tour will stay in California for the ANA Inspiration, the first of the five major championships.
Among those in the hunt are seasoned veterans with impressive resumes; those looking for a breakthrough win; brash, young talent with an eye on the future and a superstar looking for redemption and perhaps of bit of revenge.
But in the LPGA's first major of the season, the American shot a four under 68, to put herself three shots behind overnight leader Pernilla Lindberg.
"I don't look at myself that I changed the rule", said Thompson of what has happened in the past 12 months and been widely welcomed. "The whole day it was pretty steady". "I'm hoping that I get a good night's sleep tonight and make a lot of birdies".
Swiss amateur Albane Valenzuela is a shot off the pace after a 67.
It wasn't that long ago that 14-time major victor Woods was hinting that his career may have been under threat due to all his recent back surgeries, yet he is now heading into next week's Masters as the title favourite after producing three eye-catching performances in a row in the build up to the opening men's major of the year.
One par save in particular impressed. This is the 10-year anniversary of Lorena Ochoa winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her second straight major.
After making the turn at 4-over 40, Wie carded two birdies and a bogey on the incoming nine and walked off the Dinah Shore Tournament Course with a disappointing 75.
With a win already to her name in 2018 - the 32-year-old won the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at the end of January - as well as two other top tens finishes, it's little wonder that she is being quietly tipped by those in the know for a big week. "I've talked to a couple of them, and they said, 'If it goes in the hazard, it goes in the hazard'". ". and that I could get through anything that I was faced with if I just go through it with a positive attitude and move on". "Sometimes you have to knock it back down and just kind of be free and have fun". Case in point - the third hole, on which Lexi blasted her drive almost 350 yards down the fairway. She also had an efficient 28 putts.
Thompson, a nine-time tour victor and 2014 champion of this event, conceded she was eager to return. She averaged a robust 322 yards per measured drive. She talked about getting back to her room to play with her dog, Charlie, a goldendoodle. On Thursday, everything worked, especially the putter as she needed only 26 strokes on the greens. Like him, she has come to inhabit a body troubled by overuse injuries, exacerbated by forceful golf swings. 1, 2, 4, 8 and 9.
"From the beginning I felt very confident", Recari said after her bogey-free round. "I love this course".
Jessica Korda continued her torrid start to the season, opening up the day with four consecutive birdies. But she stumbled with bogeys on Nos.
Her eight-foot putt caught the right edge of the hole before dropping in, as the 31-year-old pumped her right fist in delight. "I'm just a happy person now".
They approach golf "more like a game", she said.
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