ANA Inspiration: Mel Reid and Georgia Hall three shots off Nelly Korda’s lead

Nelly Korda after hitting a shot
-6 N Korda (US); -5 I G Chun (Kor), M Sagstrom (Swe); -4 B Henderson (Can), Y Liu (Chn), D Kang (US), K Tan (Mas), N Koerstz Madsen (Den)
Selected: -3 M Reid (Eng), G Hall (Eng); -2 H Shibuno (Jpn), L Thompson (US), S Meadow (NI); -1 J Ewart Shadoff (Eng)

England’s Mel Reid and Georgia Hall are three shots behind leader Nelly Korda of America after the first round of the ANA Inspiration, the second women’s major of the year.

The world number three, 22, battled 34C heat, exacerbated by California’s wildfires, to card a six-under 66.

Hall – the 2018 Women’s Open champion – made three birdies in a bogey-free round at Mission Hills Country Club.

Reid picked up three shots on the front nine then one on the 11th in her 69.

Korda, the daughter of 1998 Australian Open tennis champion Petr and whose sister Jessica is also ranked in the world’s top 20, birdied two of her opening three holes and made a birdie at the last to claim the first-round lead.

South Korea’s In Gee Chun, with two major titles and a runners-up spot at the 2016 ANA Inspiration on her CV, is a shot behind Korda on five under along with Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom.

Brooke Henderson of Canada and America’s world number two Danielle Kang – whose sole major wins came in the 2016 and 2017 PGA Championship respectively – are two of five players on four under.

Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland is two under – as is world number 12 Lexi Thompson of America – with England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff a further stroke back after a 71 on Mission Hills’ Dinah Shore course.

Caddies are allowed to use buggies because of the heat and that policy could be extended to players too.

“It was definitely hot at the start of my round,” said US Solheim Cup player Korda.

“Then towards the end of it we got a little bit of cloud coverage, so that was really nice. Just drinking lots of water and staying really patient out there is key.”

Women’s Open champion Sophia Popov has not been allowed to play in the tournament because she was not an LPGA Tour member in March, when the ANA was originally scheduled to begin.

England’s Charley Hull is also absent after testing positive for coronavirus.

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BBC Sport – Golf

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