Hurst birdied seven holes during the opening round. Two bogeys, both recorded on the backside, left her with a two-stroke lead over Dina Ammaccapane, who recorded a 3-under-par 69.
Wilshire Country Club, featuring its small greens, was playing tough in the first round. In fact, Hurst and Ammaccapane were the only two players with a morning tee time who were able to score sub-70 rounds. Over all only a handful of players managed to shoot par or better.
With half the field still on the course, the trio of Amy Alcott, Annika Sorenstam and defending champion Grace Park played their rounds with somewhat less privacy than usual.
Alcott was wired for sound during the opening round, wearing a remote microphone usually reserved for on-course reporters. Miking players, a trend started during The Golf Channels telecast of the Canadian Tour this spring, allowed insight into a very private world on Thursday ' Annikas.
Sorenstam has worked hard on elevating her game through practice, mental focus and a strick workout regime. Hiring a personal trainer was a decision that has helped her game tremendously.
He stretches me a lot, Sorenstam said to Amy Alcott in between shots today. Im very tight in my hamstrings.
Yoga and boxing are among some of the activities that her trainer incorporates into her workout routine.
After two weeks off, Sorenstam had a slow start on the front side. By the time she made the turn, the rust had been rubbed off and she was 1-under-par through 14 holes.
Sorenstam has lofty goals on her mind. 'Ms. 59' is looking to become No. 1. The Swede is trying to add her name to another page in the history books by winning four consecutive titles in a row ' a feat last completed by Mickey Wright in 1969.
The question now is will she have the same focus that carried her to a victory at the Nabisco Championship, or will the two weeks off and time to think about her accomplishments have derailed her?
Full-field scores from The Office Depot