ANA Inspiration: Lexi Thompson and Ally McDonald in contention at first major of year
|ANA Inspiration leaderboard (US unless stated)|
|-4: A McDonald; -3: L Thompson, J Ko (Kor), J Kim (Kor), L Strom (Swe)|
|Selected others: -2: L Ko (NZ); Level: C Hull (Eng); +1: P Lindberg (Swe), J Ewart Shadoff (Eng); +2: G Hall (Eng)|
American Ally McDonald holds a one-shot lead from a group of players including compatriot Lexi Thompson after round one of the first women's major of the year, the ANA Inspiration.
McDonald birdied all four par-fives at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California to reach four under.
Thompson, who was left in tears when a four-shot penalty cost her the title in 2017, birdied 17 and 18 to move second.
England's Charley Hull is the best-placed Briton, tied 29th on level par.
Hull's compatriot Jodi Ewart Shadoff dropped shots on the opening four holes but found her touch in an eventful round to finish at one over on a day when only 28 of the 112 players finished under par.
Thompson's putting boost
Thompson won the event in 2014 and looked to have added a second major in 2017 before a dramatic penalty - for marking her ball incorrectly on a green - cost her the title.
In Thursday's opening round, the world number nine struggled off the tee and found the fairway just seven times from 14 drives on a course with ample rough.
"It was a little bit of an up-and-down day," said Thompson, who is one of four players in second on three under.
"I hit some great shots and then hit some poor ones off the tee. I made some great putts, which is always a big confidence booster for me."
Classy Ko keeps it simple
Leader McDonald has never won a major and has just three top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour.
In contrast, South Korea's Ko Jin-young has finished second, first and third in her last three LGPA starts and looked in good touch, finding three birdies in a two-under-par round.
"I hit the fairway, so hit the green, two-putt, that's it," said Ko.
South Korea's world number one Park Sung-hyun is one under, while defending champion Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden battled to a 73 to sit one over, a shot better than American Michelle Wie, who was five over early before righting the ship with four straight birdies.
Georgia Hall ended her round with a double-bogey seven on the final hole to finish on two over, while her fellow English players Bronte Law and Charlotte Thomas are six and seven over par respectively.