RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Playing partners Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi took advantage of perfect morning conditions to share the first-round lead with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship on Thursday.
Anna Nordqvist and afternoon starter Amy Yang were a stroke back in the LPGA Tour's first major championship of the year.
Finishing before the temperature climbed into the low 90s in the Coachella Valley, Pettersen and Choi had bogey-free rounds of 4-under 68 at Mission Hills.
"I think I played well because Suzann played well," Choi said. "We had a great round, and we motivated each other."
Ewart Shadoff matched them late in the afternoon in more difficult conditions. "I knew … my game is right there, and I knew I was due to have a really good round," she said.
Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse was at par 72, and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome was at 5-over 77.
Natalie Gulbis opened with 2-over 74 in her return to play after recovering from malaria.
"I'm so excited to get back out here," Gulbis said. "I feel good. It was fun to get out there and play, and it's nice that I still have some good energy."
Infected by a mosquito during the LPGA Thailand in February, Gulbis, 30, withdrew after the first round the following week in Singapore and missed two tournaments.
She had a birdie and three bogeys in her morning round. "I didn't hit it very well," she said.
Amanda Blumenherst shot a 7-over 79 after staying up late to watch first-baseman husband Nate Freiman make his major-league debut with the Athletics. Freiman had an RBI single and finished 2-for-3 in a 6-2 victory over the Mariners.
Sorenstam apologizes to wie: Michelle Wie said Annika Sorenstam apologized to her for comments attributed to her in Golf Magazine. "She … said a couple of things got misquoted," Wie said. Sorenstam's comments appear in a question-and-answer piece in the May edition. She was quoted as saying the talent people thought Wie had as a child prodigy "is not there" and playing in men's tournaments didn't help Wie's career.
PGA: Matt Bettencourt and Peter Tomasulo shot 5-under par 67s to earn the surprising lead after the first round of the Texas Open at San Antonio. They took advantage of warmer, calmer afternoon conditions and held a one-stroke lead over a group of four players, including three-time major winner Padraig Harrington. Rory McIlroy, playing to prep for next week's Masters, shot par 72.