UPDATE, 6:55 a.m. PT - The first round of the ANA Inspiration was delayed Friday morning and will resume at 9:00 a.m. local time.
RANCHO MIRAGE, CA – Play was suspended in round one of the ANA Inspiration at 3:16 p.m. local time due to high winds. Play was called for the day at 4:00 p.m. Round one will resume Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. PT.
Karine Icher took the early lead on day one, going out in the morning wave, ahead of the forecasted high winds. She posted a five-under par, 67 to lead by one. Michelle Wie, So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and amateur Eun Jeong Seong sit in a share of second at four-under par after the morning wave of the season’s first major. Icher joined the Tour in 2003 but is still in the hunt for her first victory on Tour. She owns 43 career top-10s on Tour.
“I'm probably the player with the most top 10s without winning, so I'm used to it,” Icher told the media. “I'm going to keep focused and keep my game on and try to sink some putts, and we'll see from there.”
It was her putting that Icher told LPGA.com was the key to her low round on Thursday, making it around in just 27 putts.
“I'm an accurate player, so I just aim for the fairway and then for the green,” said Icher. “I try to work on putting to put more putts in. That's the secret. If you have good putting, you score well.”
After a runner-up finish last week at the Kia Classic, Ryu’s coach Cameron McCormick worked with the world No. 3 on her ball striking. It paid off on day one with a four-under par, 68 to trail Icher by one.
“The one thing I really wanted to change is my ball has been starting to the left, so I really wanted to have a nice push draw, and it looks like that push draw is working right now,” Ryu told the media. “ I know it sounds weird after I shot 68, but still, my shot wasn't really, like really sharp compared to the last few weeks. I really want to get the really sharp shot and hopefully have a really good round for the next three days.”
Wie also sits in a share of second with Ryu at four-under par. The 2014 runner-up at Mission Hills played alongside 14-year-old amateur Lucy Li who earned her way into the field by winning the ANA Junior Inspiration on Sunday.
“I'm really impressed with her round, how she plays,” Wie told the media. “She must have been nervous today, but she carried herself really well and acted really mature beyond her years. And she was a great player. I had a lot of fun playing with her.”
Park, a rookie this season on the LPGA Tour, also sits just one-back of the lead. The currently leader in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings posted a bogey-free, 68 on Thursday.
“This is my second time here, but usually this course is always good,” Park told the media. “If I just play the way I play, then I think the score will come out very well.”
Amateur Seong got off to a hot start in her first major championship by making an ace at the par three, 5th hole to become the first amateur in the history of the event to record a hole-in-one. She made it from 182 yards with a six iron.
“I cannot see my ball, but my partner said, ‘oh, hole-in-one. ‘Oh, my God. This is my second hole-in-one in tournament. That's why I'm really excited today,” Seong told the media. “My hands shake a little bit. But I just playing very well, and I was hole-in-one today on hole No. 5. That's good memory today.”
2014 champion Lexi Thompson and Jenny Shin sit T-6 at three-under par, just two back of the lead. Defending champion Lydia Ko was two-under through five holes when play was suspended.