Ally McDonald opened with a 4-under 68, highlighted by a final-hole birdie, to secure the day-one lead at the ANA Inspiration lead.
Firm greens and wind gusts up to 15 miles per hour in the afternoon made scoring difficult, but McDonald was able to take advantage of the par-5s while hitting 11 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation.
“It was good. I played the par 5s really well today, which is exciting,” said McDonald, a former All-American at Mississippi State.
“On a major championship golf course you have to take advantage of par-5s.
“I was a little disappointed with kind of how I handled all the emotion throughout the back nine, because I had a lot of control on the front.
“Overall I’m really excited. Feel like my game is coming around like I want it to.
“Yeah, just looking forward to tomorrow.”
One further back was 2014 champion Lexi Thompson, Jin Young Ko, Hyo Joo Kim and Linnea Strom.
Only 28 of the 112 players broke par in the first major championship of the LPGA season.
Content from the Associated Press wire story and LPGA press release were used to file this report.