RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Lexi Thompson birdied the final two holes Thursday for a 3-under 69 and a share of ANA Inspiration lead halfway through the opening round of the first major championship of the year.
The 2014 champion was tied with Jin Young Ko and Hyo Joo Kim after the morning wave at Mission Hills, the tree-lined course made more difficult this year with thick rough, tighter fairways and some lengthened holes.
Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park, Nelly Korda, Inbee Park, Brooke Henderson and Michelle Wie played in the afternoon.
Thompson birdied the difficult par-3 17th, with the pin on the far right side, then hit a wedge close on the par-5 18th after caddie Benji Thompson talked her into hitting a lower-lofted club.
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