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Heat, course, wind don’t slow down Patty Tavatanakit at ANA Inspiration

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Officials at Mission Hills Country Club thought the Dinah Shore Tournament Course may play so powerful for the ANA Inspiration this week {that a} profitable rating in single digits underneath par for 72 holes could be an inexpensive expectation.

Patty Tavatanakit wanted simply 31 holes to surpass that mark.

Tavatanakit, the 21-year-old Thai golfer who performed her school golf at UCLA, defied the course situations, strengthening winds within the afternoon and temperatures within the mid-90s that brought on her to really feel drained in the course of the spherical to keep up the lead within the LPGA’s first main championship of the 12 months Friday.

She shot a 3-under 69 whereas different golfers had been preventing to remain at or close to even par on the day, placing Tavatanakit at 9-under 135, one shot forward of Sanshan Feng.

ANA Inspiration: Leaderboard | Photos

The key, Tavatanakit stated, was to not take into consideration the magnitude of the occasion.

“I didn’t want to take it like, oh, I’m leading a major championship,” she stated. “I just want to look at it like it’s another round, it’s another tournament. Even though it is a big tournament, I don’t want to put emphasis on it like it’s a major.”

Feng, taking part in within the afternoon, additionally shot 69 regardless of three bogeys in her spherical. Despite taking part in on what is taken into account an extended hitter’s paradise, the place the LPGA’s largest hitters reap the benefits of the par-5s, Moriya Jutanugarn managed a 69 within the morning wave of tee occasions to get to 7-under, alone in third.

Jutanugarn, ranked 131st on the LPGA common driving distance stats at a fraction underneath 240 yards, fired a 3-under 69 on Friday to maneuver to 7-under for the event. She took sole possession of the lead at the first major championship of the year because the morning wave of tee occasions completed their spherical. Jutanugarn had 4 birdies within the spherical, however only one on a par-5, that being the second gap on the Shore Course.

“It’s just about patient out there,” Jutanugarn stated. “I mean, I’m not a long hitter so I just have to take what I can and just trying to play smart and put myself into, you know, like places I can have a good chance.”

Jutaqnugarn, the older sister of Ariya Jutanugarn, is in search of her second LPGA victory and her first main championship. Her sister has 10 wins, together with two majors.

Charley Hull, who missed the 2020 occasion with a constructive COVID-19 check, fired a second consecutive 69 to succeed in 6-under, tied for fourth with Anna Nordqvist.

Other main champions close to the lead halfway via the occasion embody 2020 ANA Inspiration champion Mirim Lee, 2019 ANA champion Jin Young Ko and 2020 AIG Women’s Open Sophia Popov, making her first begin within the Coachella Valley, all at 5-under.

Jutanugarn ended her spherical moments earlier than Tavatanakit started her second spherical. Tavatanakit stumbled with a bogey on the tenth gap, her first gap of the day, adopted by 4 pars. But her spherical modified when she holed a shot from the golf green on the par-4 fifteenth for an eagle from 125 yards, adopted by a birdie on the par-4 sixteenth.

She added a two-putt birdie on the par-5 second gap, then rolled in a 30-foot birdie on the fourth gap to get to 10-under. But a pulled drive into thick tough behind bushes led to a bogey on the seventh gap.

Tavatanakit admits the afternoon warmth began to trigger her to really feel drained halfway via her spherical, so she began consuming extra water. Then she was afraid that she had drank an excessive amount of water and that she would really feel “bloated” in her ultimate 9 holes. But some deep breaths helped her focus and maintain her momentum within the second half of the spherical.

Feng, who sat out all of 2020, going dwelling to China as an alternative, is simply comfortable to be again on the course and in rivalry.

Patty Tavatanakit

Patty Tavatanakit

Patty Tavatanakit tees off on the first gap throughout the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

“My plan was to come back and enjoy the whole time that I’m on the course, and now I have two more days that I can enjoy with my team, my boss (her caddie), and also my playing partners in the group,” Feng stated. “So I’m very happy about that. Result-wise it doesn’t really matter because I’m very happy about what I’m doing as the first tournament coming back.”

Feng had an up-and-down entrance 9 with 4 birdies and three bogeys, But she settled in on the again 9 with two birdies and 7 pars to finish her 69 and keep the second spot she had after the primary spherical.

“I missed a few fairways on the front, so, I mean, on this course if you’re in the rough and then it’s hard to get the ball onto the green in regulation,” Feng stated. “I just missed a few up and downs, but I still think overall I was pretty good. I think I had like six or seven birdies today.”


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