RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Michelle Wie West tumbled out of the ANA Inspiration on a sizzling, breezy Friday afternoon within the desert. Patty Tavatanakit stayed up prime with eight main champions shut behind.
Taking part in for the second straight week after a 21-month break, Wie West adopted a gap 2-under 70 with a birdie-less 79 to overlook the reduce at Mission Hills within the first main championship of the 12 months.
“Wasn’t a superb day,” Wie West stated. “Received somewhat mucky from the primary gap. Was proper up in opposition to a tree. … I really feel like I’ve had some actually good moments and a few actually unhealthy moments. Positively numerous positives to take from and positively have my work reduce out for me.”
The long-hitting Tavatanakit took the lead Thursday with a gap 66 and shot a 69 on Friday in 97-degree afternoon warmth to succeed in 9 underneath, a stroke forward of Shanshan Feng. Worldwide gamers held the primary 19 positions on leaderboard.
“I did not need to take it the best way that like, ‘Oh, I am main a serious championship,'” Tavatanakit stated. “I simply needed to take a look at it because it’s one other spherical, it is one other event, regardless that it is a large event.”
Tavatanakit holed out from 115 yards for eagle on the par-4 fifteenth on her first 9, with the ball flying into the opening.
“I believed it was only a good shot,” Tavatanakit stated. “I believed it hit the pin and went someplace else. Nobody clapped, there are not any followers. We could not determine it out. It was so shiny all of us could not see. I walked up and seemed within the gap and I used to be like, `Oh, it went in.'”
The 21-year-old former UCLA participant from Thailand missed the reduce final week in Carlsbad within the Kia Basic with rounds of 71 and 79. She tied for fifth in February within the Gainbridge LPGA for her greatest LPGA Tour end.
“Simply maintain doing what I am doing, specializing in what’s vital, what I can management on the market,” Tavatanakit stated. “There are going to be numerous challenges on the weekend and I am able to face it. It isn’t going to be simple. If I had been going to win it, it should be robust.”
Wie West bogeyed the primary three par 5s, the lowlight a 100-yard drive right into a left-side tree on No. 9. With solely mask-less father B.J. following her at instances with the event being performed with out spectators for the second time in seven months, she opened with bogeys on Nos. 1-3. On Thursday, she made lengthy birdie putts on every of them to start out her again 9.
Wie West, 31, returned to competitors in Carlsbad, lacking the reduce with rounds of 81 and 74. She was taking part in for the primary time since marrying Jonnie West, the son of basketball nice Jerry West, in August 2019 and giving delivery to daughter Makenna in June.
“Making the suitable determination takes apply, too,” Wie West stated. “That is one thing that’s arduous to apply whenever you aren’t taking part in, and that is in all probability the place the rust actually confirmed.”
Feng is also coming off a protracted layoff after sitting out 16 months due to the coronavirus pandemic and a latest visa delay. The Chinese language star birdied the ultimate two holes for a 69.
“Consequence-wise it does not actually matter as a result of I am very glad about what I am doing as the primary event coming again,” Feng stated.
Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand was third at 7 underneath after a 69.
“Simply need to be numerous affected person on the market,” Jutanugarn stated. “I am not a protracted hitter, so I simply need to take what I can and simply attempting to play good.”
Two-time main champion Anna Nordqvist and European Solheim Cup teammate Charley Hull had been 6 underneath. Nordqvist birdied two of the final three holes.
“Having received two earlier than, these are those that inspire me to go apply daily,” the 33-year-old Swede stated. “In case you bought somewhat little bit of a style of it, prefer it’s simply such an unimaginable feeling.”
Hull birdied three par 5s.
“I’ve nice reminiscences right here,” the Englishwoman stated. “I first performed on this occasion I feel after I was 15 years previous as an newbie and my dad was right here with me.”
Prime-ranked Jin Younger Ko, the 2019 winner who was unable to play the occasion final 12 months due to journey restrictions, shot a 70 to affix defending champion Mirim Lee (70) and fellow main champions Inbee Park (69), Lydia Ko (69), Sophia Popov (69) and Georgia Corridor (70) at 5 underneath.
Park, the 2013 champion who received at Carlsbad in her first begin of the 12 months, was weary of the 100-degree warmth anticipated Saturday and Sunday.
“It is simply the warmth that we simply bought to be careful for,” Park stated. “The course goes to play agency and quick, which is an efficient factor, and clearly you simply going to have numerous vitality to play on this warmth.”
Nelly Korda (70), Austin Ernst (68), Jennifer Kupcho (72), Ally Ewing (70) and Megan Khang (73) topped the U.S. gamers at 3 underneath. Lexi Thompson (72) was 2 underneath.