Lindberg leads ANA Inspiration; Korda two back

Lexi Thompson

Lexi Thompson moving on, letting it go at the ANA Inspiration

It was a controversial finish to a gripping tournament, and the incident led to a change in the rules, per Josh Sens of

The first major championship of the season is upon us - and, as ever, the ANA Inspiration promises to be fascinating.

Brittany Lincicome plays her tee shot on the 13th hole during a pro-am ahead of the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. The South Korean, who eventually beat Thompson in a playoff to lift the trophy previous year, failed to make a birdie in a three-over 75. I was screaming, crying. I don't know. It just came about today.

"I had nightmares about it and I still occasionally do".

But the day belonged to Thompson, who posted her lowest opening-round score in this tournament.

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. At the Masters the following week, Phil Mickelson was among the players to hit out strongly at Thompson's punishment. "I feel really comfortable on it".

"I was admiring the shot, and I didn't imagine seeing it disappear". But the fans were the only reason why I finished the way I did. "I had a great session on the range and went to the tee with a lot of confidence and I putted well". With a win already to her name in 2018 - the 32-year-old won the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic at the end of January - as well as two other top tens finishes, it's little wonder that she is being quietly tipped by those in the know for a big week.

"I started off solid and ended even better", said Lindberg, who has never won in nine seasons on the LPGA Tour. "I'm a happier person now that I wake up with no headaches". "Sometimes you have to knock it back down and just kind of be free and have fun".

USA and South Korea begin low-key army drills amid diplomatic thaw
Easing pressure at this crucial juncture could give Pyongyang an opening to exploit, the thinking goes. The North has fiercely objected to the drills in the past, calling them a rehearsal for an invasion.

Indeed, sofa-sitting golf rules officials got the boot last December when the United States Golf Association adopted a new set of protocols for video reviews of televised competitions. Such interventions have now been abolished by the game's ruling bodies, with the extra penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard having also eliminated for players who signed a card believing it was correct. Asked if she felt the pressure of last year's penalty hanging over her, Lexi said: "I just wanted to get playing".

Wie, the 2014 US Women's Open champion, returned to winning ways in March when landing the HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore.

Thompson also again overpowered Michelle Wie on a hot afternoon at Mission Hills, four years after routing her in a final-round showdown for her first major title.

One of the most popular players on the LPGA, two of Lincicome's eight career victories have come in the ANA Inspiration (2009 and 2015).

"Just seeing what he's gone through with his injuries", said Wie.

Catriona Matthew, the sole Scot in the field, has been paired with Juli Inkster for the opening two rounds, meaning the two captains will get to have an early chat about the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles.

DIVOTS: Laura Davies shot an 81, two weeks after tying for second in the Founders Cup at age 54.

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