Lorena Ochoa birdied six times over the back nine to post a 65 and take a one-shot lead at the Evian Masters. Angela Park, Candie Kung and Sun-Ju Ahn are tied for second after their rounds of 66, while five others are tied for fifth with 67s.
Ochoa returned from her three-week layoff in fine fashion at a course where she has never finished out of the Top 5. Park also closed out strong – collecting all six of her birdies over the final ten holes. Ahn, a KLPGA regular who finished tied for sixth here last year, carded 33 on each nine as did Kung. The other notable scores from Round One:
67 Suzann Pettersen, Laura Diaz, Meena Lee
67 Juli Inkster, Angela Stanford
68 Amy Yang, Young Kim, In-Kyung Kim
69 Inbee Park, Seon Hwa Lee, Song-Hee Kim
69 Morgan Pressel, Natalie Gulbis, Shi Hyun Ahn
70 Paula Creamer, Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr, Ji Young Oh
71 Annika Sorenstam, Na Yeon Choi, Eun-Hee Ji
71 Mi Hyun Kim, Teresa Lu, Sophie Giquel
72 Ji-Yai Shin, Karrie Webb, Hee-Won Han
72 Christina Kim, Lindsey Wright, Rebecca Hudson
73 Maria Hjorth, Brittany Lang, Sophie Gustafson
74 Jee Young Lee, Jane Park, Nicole Castrale, Karine Icher
74 Jeong Jang, Ai Miyazato, Minea Blomqvist
Karen Stupples withdrew before the event for as-yet-undisclosed reasons. I was surprised by the poor start by Jeong Jang and expected better than even par from Shin, Webb, Han and Christina Kim. The positive surprises are from Juli Inkster (last year’s third-round leader who just missed making the playoff), the Ahns (both Sun-Ju and Shi Hyun), Kung and the three players listed at 68.
The TV coverage is tonight at 6:30 EDT on Golf Channel.
UPDATE: In her post-round interview, Laura Diaz said she withdrew from the Farr two weeks ago because her son Cooper injured her ribs. That doesn't surprise me - a two-year-old boy can pack quite a wallop!
UPDATE 2: As Svenson points out in the comments, GC had a few stumbles today. But they addressed my primary concerns - Brian Hammons, Dottie Pepper and Mike Ritz are all on-site, calling the action live and it was replayed tonight without any fast-forwarding. An added bonus - they presented it in High-Def! All-in-all, a step forward from last year's effort.
Ochoa had just over three feet for birdie at 18 but missed. She would have tied the course record and posted 29 on the back had she made it.