Thompson thrives on ANA return

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"One that I whiffed in the rough". Yardage: 7,457. Par: 72.

"Probably my farthest", Thompson said.

"He completely turned my golf game around", Nelly said. "I'm just kind of waiting for that spark to happen". A closing bogey on the par-5 ninth tainted an otherwise strong showing under vast pressure. Could the outspoken Jang return to the LPGA Tour soon? Sure, I was in the rough a few times and had to make a couple of good up-and-downs around the greens, but I never put myself under too much stress.

Lindberg's birdie on the final hole on the Mission Hills course helped her pull ahead of Spain's Beatriz Recari and Japan's Ayako Uehara, who was the surprise clubhouse leader at 6-under after the morning wave. Several major champions are lurking three back, including In Gee Chun, Cristie Kerr and Sung Hyun Park. That, though, remained her most recent victory until last October when she won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship.

"I've always felt if I was going to win a major it was going to be on this course". Now 15-years-old, she has been invited back to the ANA Inspiration, having finished low amateur last year when she was the only amateur to make the cut. At the Masters the following week, Phil Mickelson was among the players to hit out strongly at Thompson's punishment.

"I had the mad spins out there", she said.

Korda birdied the 18th after bogeying 16 and 17. Her current form reads 11-10-14-3 so she is certainly playing herself into contention for the first major of the year.

Thompson, who earlier in the week spoke forthrightly about having "nightmares" in the aftermath of going from a two-shot lead to a two-stroke deficit down the stretch of last year's event, completely out-slugged and out-scored her marquee playing partner. "I'm getting used to them and I'm just happy I was able to play well last week", she said, referring to her tie for fourth place at the Kia Classic on Sunday.

"I actually caught way more air than I expected", Korda said.

Flawless scoring conditions prevailed as the women's Major season started with low scores with more than half the field shooting par or better at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage.

She traveling with a mini Goldendoodle puppy named Charlie.

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"You want to play so well, you put extra pressure on yourself", Korda said. She closed with a double bogey after finding the water fronting the green from the fairway bunker.

The diminutive South Korean was tipped for big things when she won the 2009 US Women's Open at the age of 23.

"I feel better with my clubs".

"I had to dig really deep", admitted Thompson of her immediate reaction to being told of the penalty.

Autistic brother Alexis is working as the Swiss Olympian's caddie.

"I love what I do".

Now, Thompson arrives at Mission Hills looking for redemption on a course that suits her game.

England's Bronte Law and Jodi Ewart Shadoff sit in the group on two under alongside former world No 1s Lydia Ko and Inbee Park, as defending champion So Yeon Ryu struggled to an opening-round 75.

Dame Laura Davies, who retired after an opening 82 in the Kia Classic last week due to an Achilles injury, had a hard round as she signed for a nine-over-par 81.

Thompson, 23, is already an ANA Inspiration victor having claimed the 2014 title for what remains her only major victory. He taught her how to properly use the bounce of her wedges.

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