Published: Mon, April 02, 2018
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

ANA Inspiriation: Japan's Ayaka Uehara takes early ANA Inspiration lead

ANA Inspiriation: Japan's Ayaka Uehara takes early ANA Inspiration lead

It was the rules row that divided golf.

Japan's Ayako Uehara shot a 6-under-par 66 Thursday to claim a share of second place after the first round of the ANA Inspiration, the first of the year's five women's majors.

The first women's major of the calendar year is due to get underway tomorrow at the Mission Hills Country Club in California.

But South Korean Ryu So Yeon, who beat Thompson past year, dug herself into a deep hole in her title defence with a three-over 75 that included not a single birdie.

It's not so long ago that there was genuine surprise any time the New Zealander didn't win every time she pegged it up. I don't know. It just came about today. She has already admitted this wee that it was an "extremely rough" experience and that she occasionally still has nightmares about it.

Thompson was leading by three shots during the final round when she was informed by tournament officials she was being penalised for an incident which took place the previous day.

With her booming drives and towering goals, the teenage Wie attracted a huge following - and a sizable endorsement portfolio after she turned professional, just days before her 16th birthday. "Honestly, the next tee shot I was crying". But the fans were the only reason why I finished the way I did. "Now I wake up pain-free every day". "That's kind of what I'm just trying to do is have fun out there, hit shots that normally I would probably not hit in a tournament".

"I feel like if you know a player is cheating on objective, that's a problem. but she could have hit that putt with her eyes closed", Lincicome said. Less of a player would have completely fallen apart, but Thompson continued to make birdies and contend for a title. "I'm just a happy person now". "Seeing everything around you, the atmosphere, the people, the interest, and obviously [thinking about] what it would be like to be a major champion, you just get so caught up in that".

The rules may have been changed since that fateful day to ensure there are no such repeats, but that came as little consolation to Thompson, who missed out on a second major after winning the same tournament three years earlier. "I love coming here".

"I changed to the Cobra F8 at the beginning of the year", she said.

A panel was made of some this year's most inspiring and diverse women including Olympic gold medalists and twin sisters Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux who helped the US Women's Hockey team bring home gold for the first time in 20 years, Olympic bronze medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first woman to wear a hijab in Olympic competition, and two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist Carli Llyod.

Slipping twice so far this season is nearly stunning and shows that despite all the success, she is still learning to be a professional golfer and coming to grips with the fact that there will be off weeks.

At four-under par is a star-studded group that includes Lexi Thompson, 40-year-old Cristie Kerr, a two-time major victor, Sung Hyun Park, last year's Rolex Rookie of the Year and co-Player of the Year; former U.S. Women's Open champion In Gee Chun, Chella Choi and Brittany Altomare.

"We accumulate fear, we accumulate overthinking", Wie said. Last week's victor Inbee Park is second-favourite at 10/1.

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