DALY CITY, Calif. » The LPGA Tour made its long-awaited return to the Bay Area on Thursday, and the fog was there to greet a world-class field at Lake Merced Golf Club.
France’s Karine Icher shot a 6-under 66 to take a two-stroke lead in the $1.8 million Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, after players braved a two-hour fog delay at the outset. Teen sensation Lydia Ko, who celebrated her 17th birthday on Thursday, surged into a five-way tie for second place at 68.
With rain in the forecast for Friday, the weather could remain a nuisance for the 72-hole inaugural event, the first LPGA tournament in the Bay Area since 2010.
Michelle Wie, coming off her first victory since 2010 in her home state, shot a 72 and was tied for 24th.
"It’s just a tough golf course," said Wie, who finished with a birdie on No. 18 in pending darkness. "I’ll take an even-par round. It’s a good position in the first round. I just need to make some more birdies (Friday)."
Wie’s day got off to a crazy start. She had a double bogey on the first hole after finding the bunker on an adjacent fairway off the tee.
"I hit it right, and I went in the bunker on the sixth hole," a chuckling Wie said of her mishap. "And then it was like a whole circus because I was trying to hit it down the sixth hole, so I was waiting for them to finish the hole. That took a while."
She hit a 5-iron shot off the lip of the bunker, chipped out and hit a 7-iron to about 15 feet, before just missing a bogey putt.
Play was suspended because of darkness with 24 players still on the course.