Round 1 News Notes


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Aree Wongluekiet was low amateur of the day. Aree played the championship course like a pro ' recording a 1-under 71. Twin sister Naree shot a 4-over 76. Both Wongluekiets recorded 37 on the front nine. It was the back 9 that defined the two golfers and set Aree apart.
Ive been more comfortable every year playing here,' Aree said. 'My swing felt good and everything felt good and I had a lot of confidence out there.
Lorena Ochoa came in second on the day. The University of Arizona sophomore finished at 3-over-par 75, tied with 12 others including Karrie Webb.
Reigning U.S. Girls Junior champion Nicole Perrot of Santiago, Chile was the first amateur to finish her round. She recorded a 4-over-par 76, while Meredith Duncan ' currently the No. 1 ranked woman amateur by GolfWeek ' finished 6-over 78.
Celebrity Spots
Hal Linden (TV's Barney Miller) was spotted spectating on the first tee, while Pete Samparas, fresh off a loss in Florida, was just a stones throw from the 18th green at Mission Hills practicing his serve.
One for the Ages
There are 16 players age 40 or older in the field this week. Of the 16, only Beth Daniel and Betsy King were able to break par during the first round. On the other end of the spectrum was JoAnne Carner who recorded an opening round of 12-over-par 84.
Foreign Affair
Most of the invitees from foreign tours did not fair well Thursday. Of the four - Raquel Carriedo (74), Yuri Fudoh (78), Karine Icher (77) and Suzann Pettersen (74) ' Pettersen had the best round overall. That was until the bitter end.
The European Tour member battled to 1-under by the 17th before recording a gut-wrenching snowman on the last. Her triple bogey dropped her back to 2-over-par.
Something Missing
Laura Davies may not be as hungry for a win at the Nabisco as originally thought. The colorful English woman shot 3-over 75 in the opening round. A win this week would give her the final two points she so dearly needs to get into the Hall-of-Fame; it would also complete the Grand Slam for Davies.
The Big 3
Once again, Annika Sorenstam is making her prescence known. The defending champion slowly crept up to 3-under-par as the day wore on leaving all wondering how to stop the Sorenstam Train until a bogey at the last answered the question ' pray for bad weather.
Se Ri Pak ' tied at 2-over-par 74 - is also in position to make a move over the next few days, while Webb left herself the most ground to make up after finishing 3-over-par 75.
Full-field scores from the Kraft Nabisco Championship