The Norman Transcript

National Sports

April 5, 2013

Trio leads Nabisco

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Playing partners Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi took advantage of perfect morning conditions Thursday to share the first-round lead with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

Finishing before the temperature climbed into the low 90s in the Coachella Valley, Pettersen and Choi had bogey-free rounds of 4-under 68 at Mission Hills. Ewart Shadoff matched them late in the afternoon with the wind picking up at the first major championship of the year.

“The course is perfect,” Pettersen said. “Greens are rolling pure. If you miss the fairways, you can be in a bit of trouble. The rough is deep. I missed one or two. You really just have to try and advance it somehow up to the greens if you can get that far.”

Pettersen birdied the final three holes on her front nine and got to 4 under with a birdie on the par-4 seventh, her 16th hole. The Norwegian, a 10-time LPGA Tour winner ranked eighth in the world, had consecutive victories late last season in South Korea and Taiwan and won a European tour event last month in China.

“Today was everything I could ask for in the opening round,” Pettersen said. “Just feeling really good all week, and it’s just about kind of trusting what you have, and I couldn’t ask for a better start. Bogey free, gave myself a lot of chances, feeling good with my game.”

The third-ranked Choi fed off the pairing with Pettersen.

“I think I played well because she played well, too,” said Choi, the South Korean player who won the U.S. Women’s Open and the Titleholders last year. “We motivated each other.”

Choi made a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th, matched Pettersen’s birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 and grabbed a share of the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-5 ninth.

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