Date: April 01, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Lee, Webb in mix at first major

Australians Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb are in contention after the first round of ANA Inspiration in California.

Japanese veteran Ai Miyazato and Spain’s Azahara Munoz lead the LPGA Tour’s first major of the year after each shot five-under-par 67s at Mission Hills Country Club.

But on a crowded leaderboard, Lee (71) and Webb (72) both remain in the mix.

Perth’s Lee fired three birdies, but an uncharacteristic double-bogey on the par-four 15th left her in a tie for 24th.

Queenslander Webb, a former champion on the course, also fired three birdies, but mixed in three bogeys as well to sit tied for 40th.

Scottish veteran Catriona Matthew, South African Lee-Anne Pace and Japan’s Shiho Oyama are tied third, one off the pace, with a host of big names hot on their heels, including world No.1 Lydia Ko at -2 and Lexi Thompson and Ha Na Jang both at -3.

Miyazato’s bogey-free round have her a share of the first-round lead for the first time since the 2013 Founders Cup and came off a T3 finish at last week’s Kia Classic, her first top-10 finish since the 2013 LOTTE Championship.

“That was huge. I definitely gained my confidence, and I really felt good with my game again,” said the former world No.1 who, remarkably, hasn’t had a win on the LPGA Tour in four years.

“I was kind of really happy to play golf again, like my game again because I was kind of struggling the last couple years and it was really hard. But I got through, and I’m still in the process, but I know that I’m moving forward. So I feel good.”

Munoz missed the ANA Inspiration last year for surgery on her left hand to remove a tumour. Her round was her best of the season.

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