The ANA Inspiration lost its first player during the tournament Thursday when Jenny Shin withdrew after completing six holes of the event in the morning. Shin later posted on Instagram that a rib injury knocked her out of the event.
“I am extremely disappointed with how things turned out, this tournament being one of my favorite events, I felt well prepared for this major and envisioned to pan out much different,” she posted.
The tournament lost one player before play began when Charley Hull withdrew after testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Below are other news items from the first round of the ANA Inspiration.
Looking for three
Eight women have won the ANA Inspiration at least twice, with Amy Alcott, Annika Sorenstam and Betsy King all winning it three times. But with Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb not in the field this week, the only golfer in the field with multiple wins in the major championship is Brittany Lincicome, the 2009 and 2015 winner. Those two wins give Lincicome plenty of confidence as the tournament is played this week.
“It’s huge. Like I said, just driving in to Mission Hills and being here and just seeing the mountains and the flowers and how green it is, I really thought it was going to be burned out, honestly, but it’s so beautiful,” Lincicome said. “They’ve done such a great job to keep it so well maintained for us. I think having won twice obviously gives me a huge advantage and just can reflect on all my good shots from the previous years, and hopefully that’ll help me.”
Lincicome fired a 3-under 68 on Thursday.
Q-school to major
Kelly Tan might not be a familiar name for every LPGA fan, but she has made a big run from last year, when she had no LPGA status and was playing in the LPGA’s Q-Series for qualifying. Thursday, she took the tournament lead in the ANA Inspiration for awhile with a 4-under 68 playing in the first group of the morning.
“Just to be honest in general, just very grateful to be playing golf right now,” the 26-year-old Malaysian golfer said. “You know, I just told myself that I’ll take what it gives me this year and try to play hard and see where that puts me. I didn’t really have too much expectation on how many events I was going to get in, but I knew if I played well, I would play my way into the ANA and major championships like this.”
Enjoying the takeout
Lydia Ko enjoys the ANA Inspiration and won the tournament in 2016. But there is another reason she likes coming to Rancho Mirage each year. Ko loves Shabu Shabu Zen in Rancho Mirage, which serves Japanese hot pot meals among other things. Ko thought she might have to miss out on the treat this year, but it turns out she still had the meal.
“(Ko’s mother) has been cooking amazing Korean food, so I’m very grateful that she can travel with me on the road,” Ko said. “I was actually talking about the Shabu Shabu in my press conference a few days ago, and then Miho, (Suma) the owner there, she got me Shabu Shabu last night delivered to my place, so maybe that was the key to playing solid today (a 3-under 69). I was so gutted that I wouldn’t be able to go, so she brought the restaurant to me pretty much.”