With the LPGA’s biggest names teeing it up at the first major championship of 2018, Iceland’s Olafia Krstinsdottir stole the show on Thursday at the ANA Inspiration. Fighting all day, Kristinsdottir had been as many as 3-over par three times through her first 16 holes, but she had her watershed moment on the par-3 17th hole.
Coming off of a bogey at the 16th hole, Kristindottir pured her tee shot in front of the giant ANA Airlines backdrop and watched as the ball rolled perfectly into the cup.
“I really didn’t expect it to go in, so I was a bit shocked,” she said after the round. “I’ve never had a hole in one before, so it’s never happened to me. But it was really fun. Gary (my caddie) gave me a huge high five, and everybody was just cheering. It was awesome.”
Olafia Krstinsdottir with a hole-in-one at the 17th, wins a pair first class tickets on ANA flight.
— Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) March 29, 2018
Here’s a full recap of Thursday’s action from ProGolfWeekly.com.
Pernilla Lindberg opened with a bogey-free 7-under 65 and is the surprise leader of the ANA Inspiration after day one.
Lindberg, who has never won on the LPGA Tour, signed for a scorecard comprised of 11 pars and seven birdies, highlighted by gains on each of the four par 5s.
“I started off solid and ended even better. The whole day it was pretty steady. I was never in too much trouble,” said Lindberg, who hit 14 of 18 greens, and needed just 25 putts.
“Sure, I was in the rough a few times and had to make a couple of good up-and-downs around the greens, but I never put myself under too much stress. Rolled in a few good putts and just gave myself a lot of good chances.”
One stroke back at 6-under 66 were two more longshots: Ayako Uehara, a 34-year-old from Japan, who has also never won on the LPGA, and Beatriz Recari, a three-time Tour winner, but whose last win came in 2013.
“Overall I just played really solid, and I’m very happy with how I went on my first round, and I just want to keep it up the next few days.” said Recari, whose best ANA finish in eight starts is T25 (2013).
Albane Valenzuela, a 20-year-old amateur from Switzerland who plays at Stanford University, posted a 5-under 67 to sit T4 alongside Jessica Korda and Ha Na Jang.
At 4-under par is a star-studded group that includes Lexi Thompson, Cristie Kerr, Sung Hyun Park, In Gee Chun, Chella Choi and Brittany Altomare.
Defending champion So Yeon Ryu struggled to a 3-over par 75 and sits T94.
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