RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. >>Michelle Wie and 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko each shot 72 in their morning pairing at the Kraft Nabisco Championshiπ.
“It was fun,” Ko said. “She’s my idol.”
Ko won the Canadian Women’s Open last August to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner. The South Korea-born New Zealander has two other victories in pro events, winning the New South Wales Open last year and the New Zealand Women’s Open this year.
“It was a pretty solid start,” said Ko, also the U.S. Women’s Amateur winner last summer. “My putts didn’t fall, but I felt like I rolled it really well.”
Playing the back nine first, Wie was 2 under through 13 holes, then dropped back with two bogeys.
“It was a shame,” Wie said. “Unfortunately, made two really stupid mistakes.”
In five events this year, Wie has missed three cuts and also struggled in two no-cut events in Asia. She has broken 70 only once in 15 rounds this season.
“It feels good to show that I could have shot 66 out here, and it feels good that I know I left a lot of birdie chances out there,” Wie said. “I’m just excited for tomorrow. Just can’t wait to go out there and make some birdies.”
Three players are tied for the lead at 4-under.
Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi pushed each other to the top of the leaderboard in perfect morning conditions in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff matched them late this afternoon with a scrambling par on the par-5 18th after her drive went to the right and found the deep rough behind a tall tree.
“There were two options,” said Ewart Shadoff, the 25-year-old Englishwoman in her second full year on the LPGA Tour. “Punch fade it around the tree, left, or punch it right around the tree and keep it over the bunker at the same time. I took the safer route and it paid off.”
It left her with a 187-yard shot into the wind to the water-guarded green. While most players hit wedges on their third shots on the hole, she had to use a 3-wood.
“The wind picked up,” she said.
Her shot settled on the back right of the green, and the newlywed lagged her 30-footer to tap-in range to tie Pettersen and Choi at 4-under 68 at Mission Hills.