Kraft Nabisco Championship: Sandra Gal posts score to shoot for
Sandra Gal has finished her first round of the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first major of the year, with a five-under par 67 and a (so-far) one-shot lead on the field.
Gal won her first-ever tournament last week at the Kia Classic and she played Thursday's round at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage as if her confidence is even higher now. Gal, a 6-footer from Germany who played in college at the University of Florida, had seven birdies and two bogeys. And if you didn't look closely, you might have thought she was wearing her bathing suit.
With temperatures pushing 100 degrees on the course, Gal's wardrobe choices weren't silly. She had on a tiny black skirt and a shoulder-bearing magenta-colored Lycra top. She wore the same things last week at Industry Hills Country Club at Pacific Palms, but in the cold and rain she accessorized with a long-sleeved black shirt under her top and black leggings under her skirt, with even a scarf and mittens at some points.
Gal has a one-shot lead over a pair of Japanese golfers. Chie Aramura is also finished and has posted a 6. Mika Miyazato is on the 16th hole and is also four-under.
Defending champion and world No.1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan has also finished off a two-under round of 70 and is tied for sixth.
A pre-tournament favorite, third-ranked Cristie Kerr, is already in danger of missing the cut that will come after Friday's second round. Kerr shot a six-over 78 Friday and is tied for 50th with more than a third of the field yet to tee off. Kerr had little to say after her round that included a bogey on her first hole and a double bogey on par-four 15th and only one birdie.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Sandra Gal of Germany tees off on the fifth hole during the first round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, California March 31, 2011. Mount San Jacinto is seen in the background. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Reuters