Danielle Kang opened with a par on No. 1 at famed Shadow Creek, and then rolled to a 7 & 6 rout over Albane Valenzuela on day one of the Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play.
Kang, who lives in Vegas and calls Shadow Creek her home course, was comfortable with her surroundings.
“I felt right at home. This is my home golf course. I know to hit it, where to miss it,” said Kang.
“I think that’s a big advantage that I have, knowing the reads, how the greens break.
“I just had so much fun out there. I had a lot of people cheering me on today. Butch [Harmon, my coach] is coming to watch. We had a lot of fun.”
A win for Kang, who owns two U.S. Women’s Amateur titles, would potentially cement her status as the world’s best match player on the women’s circuit.
She continued, “I still need to make birdies. I still want to make birdies. I have to hit good shots.
“I’m mainly focused on playing the game that I need to play, and I let her play her game. But at the same time, I know exactly what I need to do and how many shots I have left.
“That’s the fun of match play. You focus on what you want to focus on.”
Kang will face Madelene Sagstrom in Thursday’s round two of group play.