McKay Leads First Round in Ohio
Michele Vinieratos posted a 5-under-par 67 to finish alone in third while 2000 winner Lorie Kane, Mi Hyun Kim, Tina Barrett and Michele Redman were tied at 4-under-par 68.
Vinieratos jumped out to the early lead with seven birdies and two bogeys, but McKay soon took control thanks to a tremendous start on the back side at Tartan Fields Golf Club.
McKay drained a 20-footer for birdie at the 11th and birdied the 12th after she hit a sand wedge to 10 feet. At the par-5 13th, McKay reached the green in two with a 3-wood and ran home a 10-foot putt for eagle.
She continued her barrage at the 14th with a birdie to move to 5-under over her first five holes.
At the par-5 second, her 11th hole of the round, McKay hit her second shot short of the green and chipped onto the putting surface for birdie and the outright lead. She added to her advantage with a birdie at the par-3 ninth to complete a bogey-free round.
'I'm drained,' said McKay, who finished tied for ninth at this event last year. 'It's exhausting out there. The heat and humidity really takes it out of you. But I'm ecstatic with the way I played. I struck the ball really well and managed to make some putts, so I'm delighted.'
Jones also played the back nine first and picked up back-to-back birdies from the 12th to quickly move to 2-under. Jones added a birdie at the 16th and hit a 6-iron to 12 feet for birdie at the 17th.
The 42-year-old picked up birdies at four and five before her only mistake of the round at the par-3 sixth. Jones hit her tee shot to the back of the green and three-putted from 45 feet for bogey.
Jones responded well, however, with a birdie at the par-5 ninth to finish one shot off the lead.
'All of a sudden I got here this week and got really sick,' said Jones. 'I was feeling really bad yesterday. This cold has kind of knocked me out. But I think I'm on the upswing now.'
Vinieratos, who tied for 41st at last year's LPGA Final Qualifying School to earn non-exempt status for 2002, turned 34 today and was treated to her best round on the LPGA Tour.
'I was looking forward to today,' said Vinieratos. 'Kind of happy starting out. Just started hitting fairways, hitting greens. I hit it well. Birdies started falling.'
Minny Yeo, Pat Hurst and 20-year-old amateur Virada Nirapathpongporn finished at 3-under-par 69.
Defending champion Wendy Ward managed a round of even-par 72 to finish seven shots off the pace.
U.S. Women's Open champion Juli Inkster posted an opening-round, 1-over 73.
DJ: Kapalua win means nothing for Abu Dhabi
Kuchar joins European Tour as affiliate member
"It's been a passion of mine to explore & see the world, and I'll now be joining the European Tour as an Affiliate Member, which is very exciting." pic.twitter.com/7wDbuGXz8j
Hot Seat: Rory jumps into the fire early
Sahara sizzle: Rory McIlroy
McIlroy will make his 2018 debut with Johnson in his face, literally.
McIlroy will be grouped with Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood in the first two rounds.
And that was an offseason event.
“They want to show this guy, ‘This is what I got,’” Immelman said.
As early season matchups go, Abu Dhabi is a heavyweight pairing that ought to be fun.
Sonoran Smolder: Phil Mickelson
Mickelson will turn 48 this summer.
His world ranking is sliding, down to No. 43 now, which is the lowest he has ranked in 24 years.
It’s been more than four years since he last won, making him 0 for his last 92 starts.
Campaign fever: Jordan Spieth
Spieth’s respect in the game’s ranks extends outside the ropes.
CareerBuilder Challenge: Tee times, TV schedule, stats
The PGA Tour shifts from Hawaii to Southern California for the second full-field event of the year. Here are the key stats and information for the CareerBuilder Challenge. Click here for full-field tee times.
How to watch (all rounds on Golf Channel):
Thursday, Rd. 1: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Friday, Rd. 2: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Saturday, Rd. 3: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Sunday, Rd. 4: 3-7PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Purse: $5.9 million ($1,062,000 to winner)
Courses: PGA West, Stadium Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,113); PGA West, Nicklaus Tournament Course, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,159); La Quinta Country Club, La Quinta, Calif. (72-7,060) NOTE: All three courses will be used for the first three rounds but only the Stadium Course will be used for the final round.
Defending champion: Hudson Swafford (-20) - defeated Adam Hadwin by one stroke to earn his first PGA Tour win.
Notables in the field
* This is his first start of 2018. It's the fourth consecutive year he has made this event the first one on his yearly calendar.
* For the second year in a row he will serve as the tournament's official ambassador.
* He has won this event twice - in 2002 and 2004.
* This will be his 97th worldwide start since his most recent win, The Open in 2013.
* Ranked No. 3 in the world, he finished runner-up in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
* In 37 worldwide starts as a pro, he has 14 top-5 finishes.
* Last year he finished T-34 in this event.
* Last year in the third round, he shot 59 at La Quinta Country Club. It was the ninth - and still most recent - sub-60 round on Tour.
* In his only start of 2018, the Canadian finished 32nd in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
* Only player on the PGA Tour with five top-10 finishes this season.
* Ranks fifth in greens in regulation this season.
* Finished third in the Sentry Tournament of Champions and T-4 in the Sony Open in Hawaii.
* Making only his third worldwide start since last June at the Travelers Championship. He has been recovering from a chest injury.
* This is his first start since he withdrew from the Indonesian Masters in December because of heat exhaustion.
* Hasn't played in this event since missing the cut in 2015.
* Earned his first career victory in this event in 2014, shooting three consecutive rounds of 63.
* This is his first start of 2018.
* Last season finished seventh in strokes gained: putting, the best ranking of his career.
(Stats provided by the Golf Channel editorial research unit.)