Mix outcome for SA pair at suspended ANA Inspiration

Lee-Anne Pace and Paula Reto

South Africa’s Paula Reto made a good start to the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California to finish four shots behind Karine Icher.

Icher grabbed the lead in the first Major for 2017 before play had to be suspended due to high winds.

The Frenchwoman shot a five-under 67 to take the early lead, though four players were nipping at her heels, including American Michelle Wie and South Korean trio So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and amateur Eun Jeong Seong.

Reto made the most of an early start to balance out bogeys at seven and 14 with gains at the first, second and 17th holes at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course for an opening 71 at Mission Hills Country Club.

However, compatriot Lee-Anne Pace, who went off the afternoon field, bore the brunt of the windy conditions.

The Investec Property player dropped two shots at the par-3 fifth and bogeyed the sixth, but got a shot back with a birdie at the seventh. Another bogey at the ninth, though, saw the Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner at three over through the turn when play was called

Icher, who owns 43 career top 10 finishes, is still seeking a maiden LPGA Tour win.

“I’m probably the player with the most top 10s without winning, so I’m used to it,” she said. “I’m going to keep focused and keep my game on and try to sink some putts, and we’ll see from there.”

The French player had only 27 putts on her way to five under.

“I’m an accurate player, so I just aim for the fairway and then for the green,” Icher said. “I try to work on putting to put more putts in. That’s the secret. If you have good putting, you score well.”

American Lexi Thompson – the champion in 2014 – and Jenny Shin from South Africa are in joint sixth at three under. World number one and defending champion Lydia Ko from New Zealand was three back through five holes when play was suspended.

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