Kraft Nabisco Championship: Sandra Gal surging again
Germany's Sandra Gal,who polished her golf game at University of Florida and then struggled to win during her first three years on the LPGA Tour, seems to feel comfortable at the top all of a sudden.
Gal, 25, who won her first pro tournament Sunday at the Kia Classic at Industry Hills Country Club atPacific Palms, currently has a one-shot lead in the first round of the season's first major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage. Gal, through 11 holes, is five-under par. Par on the 6,738-yard layout is 72. Gal has birdied six holes but stuck in a bogey-six at the par-five ninth hole.
She leads a pair of Japanese golfers, Mika Miyazato and Chie Arimura, who are four-under.
Defending champion and world No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan, is tied for fourth at three-under and two-time Kraft champion and seven-time major winner Karrie Webb is working on a round of two-under through 11 holes.
Also at two-under are a trio of Americans -- new mother Marcy Hart, 33, who only qualified for the tournament at last week's Kia Classic, Reilley Rankin and Kate Futcher.
Cristie Kerr, ranked No. 3 in the world and coming in here after a sizzling 66 last Sunday pushed her into a final tie for third at the Kia Classic, is struggling through her first round. She is two-over par through 12 holes and tied for 42nd. Kerr started slowly last week too when she stood tied for 56th after the first round.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Sandra Gal of Germany tees off on the sixth hole during the first round of the LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship golf tournament in Rancho Mirage, California March 31, 2011. Credut: Danny Moloshok / Reuters