Three share Kraft Nabisco lead

John Reger, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchangeApril 5, 2013


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Na Yeon Choi and Suzann Pettersen all shot 4-under-par 68 to share the lead after the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Thursday.
The event is the LPGA's first major tournament of the season.
Anna Nordqvist and Amy Yang are a stroke behind, with 11 players tied for sixth at Mission Hills Country Club's Dinah Shore Tournament Course.
Ewart Shadoff, who is from England, held the lead with three holes to play, but she missed a 3-foot, par-saving putt on No. 16 to drop a shot. It was her second bogey of the round. She missed a 40-foot birdie try on the par-5 18th hole that would have given her back sole possession of the lead.
Choi, who is from South Korea, and Pettersen, from Norway, played in the same group and both had bogey-free rounds. However, it took the duo a few holes to get comfortable. Choi made the first birdie, rolling in a 30-foot putt on her fifth hole, No. 14. Pettersen made her first birdie two holes later.
Both players got to 3 under by the turn, with Choi making birdies on two of the last three holes on their first nine. Pettersen tied Choi on No. 18, after making her third consecutive birdie.
Each was able to make only one birdie on the second nine.
Several other players beside flirted with either tying the leaders or overtaking them, but miscues down the stretch quelled their chances.
Nordqvst was at 3 under par with four holes to play, but she bogeyed her 15th hole before grabbing a birdie on her 18th.
Giulia Sergas of Italy was also 3 under before making two bogies in three holes on the back nine. She wound up shooting 70.
Golfers in the morning had an advantage, as afternoon winds made the course more challenging. Choi and Pettersen were among 10 players out of the top 14 who started in the morning.
NOTES: Defending champion Sun Young Yoo shot a 5-over 77, and she's tied for 90th in the 111-player field. ... Other notables include Michelle Wie, who finished at even-par 72 after three birdies and three bogeys, and the 2012 winner, Yani Tseng, who also shot 72. They are tied for 23rd. ... Lizette Salas, who shot 70, has 2000 U.S. Mid-Amateur Champion Greg Puga as her caddy.