Karine Icher Takes Early Lead Before Round 1 Play Is Suspended at the ANA Inspiration – First Round Tournament Notes & Interviews, Revised Second Round Pairings

By
Updated: March 30, 2017

ICHER TAKES EARLY LEAD AT WEATHER SUSPENDED ANA INSPIRATION

Play was suspended in round one of the ANA Inspiration at 3:16 p.m. local time due to high winds. Play was called for the day at 4:00 p.m. Round one will resume Friday morning at 7:30 a.m.

 

Karine Icher took the early lead on day one, going out in the morning wave, ahead of the forecasted high winds. She posted a five-under par, 67 to lead by one. Michelle Wie, So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and amateur Eun Jeong Seong sit in a share of second at four-under par after the morning wave of the season’s first major. Icher joined the Tour in 2003 but is still in the hunt for her first victory on Tour. She owns 43 career top-10s on Tour.

 

“I’m probably the player with the most top 10s without winning, so I’m used to it,” Icher told the media. “I’m going to keep focused and keep my game on and try to sink some putts, and we’ll see from there.”

 

To read Amy Rogers’s full recap of Thursday’s first round at the ANA Inspiration, click here: http://www.lpga.com/news/2017-midday-recap-round-one-ana-inspiration

 

SO YEON, SO CLOSE

2, T7, T5, T2 – not a bad start to the 2017 season for Rolex Rankings No. 3 So Yeon Ryu. Ryu has finished inside the top-7 in her last seven starts, and owns the longest active cut streak on Tour, 59 events from 2014-present (all-time record is 299 by Jane Blalock).

 

It’s been three years since the three-time LPGA Tour winner found herself in the winner’s circle, with her most recent victory coming at the 2014 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. In that time span she has collected six runner-up finishes, including two this season.

 

“I believe my time is coming,” Ryu said after her round Thursday. “I just really trust myself, and I think my game is right there, so I really want to keep enjoying it, and yeah, looking forward to having a fourth title on the LPGA.”

 

SO YEON RYU – RECORD IN LAST SEVEN STARTS

Tournament                                                     Finish      

2017 Kia Classic                                               T2

2017 Bank of Hope Founders                      T5

2017 HSBC Women’s Champions                T7            

2017 Honda LPGA Thailand                          2nd

2016 CME Group Tour Championship        2nd

2016 TOTO JAPAN CLASSIC                           T3

2016 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia                 T5

 

WIE-ZY BEATS THE BREEZE

In 12 appearances at the Dinah Shore Course, Wie has positioned herself in the runner-up spot after the opening round twice before, most recently in 2014 where she turned in her career-best ANA Inspiration performance and finished as the runner-up.

 

“I had a lot of fun out there,” Wie said after her opening round four-under 68 playing in the morning wave.

 

“I played steady,” Wie continued. She was bogey-free until her lone setback on No. 16, but she quickly rallied with a birdie on 17 to finish her day. “I’m really happy the way I positioned myself after day 1. It’s a long way until Sunday, but I’m really happy about the position I’m in right now.”

 

SUCCESS TRANSLATES IN WEEK BEFORE ANA

Each of the last five ANA Inspiration winners competed in the Kia Classic the week before and finished 35th or better ahead of their major championship win.

 

Last Five ANA Inspiration Winners in Event Before (Kia Classic)

Year       Winner                                Finish at Kia Classic

2016      Lydia Ko                              Won

2015      Brittany Lincicome           T35

2014      Lexi Thompson                  3rd

2013      Inbee Park                          T17

2012      Sun Young Yoo                 2nd

 

WEATHER WATCH

Winds are expected to weaken on Friday, though a few gusts of up to 20-25 mph remain possible through 4:00 p.m. local time. After4:00 p.m., winds are expected to come down to the 7-14 mph range.

 

QUICK HITS

Karine Icher is the top women’s golfer from France at No. 36 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Icher jumped up 10 spots in the rankings after her T4 finish last week at the Kia Classic.

 

Karine Icher represented France in the 2016 Rio Olympics and finished T44. She was joined by fellow countrywomen Gwladys Nocerawho finished T39.

 

Karine Icher is playing in her 12th career ANA Inspiration and tied her best round in the event on Thursday with her 5-under 67, which she previously shot in the third round in 2012. Icher’s best finish at Mission Hills was T11 in 2015.

 

Karine Icher has never won an LPGA event in her 14-year LPGA career. Icher has 43 career top-10 finishes including one this season last week at the Kia Classic (T4), which was her best result since finishing as a runner-up at the 2016             Citi Banamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by AeroMexico I Delta, one of four runner-up finishes in her career.

 

Karine Icher is a 5-time winner on the Ladies European Tour with her most recent win coming at the 2005 Catalonia Ladies Masters.

 

Michelle Wie is T2 after Rd. 1 of the ANA Inspiration. The last time she was tied for second after the first round of a tournament was in 2014, which is also the year of her last LPGA win (U.S. Women’s Open).

 

Michelle Wie is currently ranked No. 105 in the Women’s World Golf Rankings. The last time she was ranked inside the top 100 was June 27, 2016 when she was No. 99.

 

After missing the cut to open the season at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, Michelle Wie has had a good start to the 2017 season. Her T4 finish at the HSBC Women’s Champions is her best finish since a T3 at the 2014 Blue Bay LPGA.

 

So Yeon Ryu currently leads the LPGA in two statistical categories: greens in regulation (85.07%) and scoring average (67.94). With four top-7 finishes she is also the early money list leader with $387,166 in official earnings.

 

In seven starts at the ANA Inspiration, So Yeon Ryu has collected three top-20 finishes with a career-best runner-up performance in 2013.

 

So Yeon Ryu started the 2017 season ranked No. 9 in the Women’s World Golf Rankings and she has since risen to a career-high No. 3 in the latest rankings.

 

2017 rookie Sung Hyun Park turned in a clean scorecard to continue her hot start to the season. With two top-5 finishes and a T13 finish in three starts this season, she’s the early leader for the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award.

 

Amateur Eun Jeong Seong hit a hole-in-one on the par-3 5th hole from 182 yards out with a 6 iron. Seong’s ace is the 22nd in ANA Inspiration history, the first since 2012, becoming the first amateur in tournament history to score a hole-in-one.

 

Play was officially suspended for the day at 4:00 p.m. local time due to high winds, with winds sustained at 25 mph with gusts ranging from 30-35 mph. Restart will begin at 7:30 a.m. local time on Friday morning. Play was initially suspended at 3:16 p.m. local time, and players were allowed the option to finish the hole they were on at the time.

 

QUOTABLE

“Doing algebra II.”

– 14-year-old amateur Lucy Li when asked what she’ll be doing tonight after shooting one-under 71 on Thursday’s first round.

 

 

Al Lunsford

Tour Media Official