The first of Morgan Pressel's many challenges yesterday came on the opening hole, when she knocked a birdie putt 6 feet past the cup.
But she recovered nicely -- a theme for her opening round at the ADT Championship in West Palm Beach, Fla. Pressel made that par-saving comebacker and many others like it, putting herself in solid position after one round of the LPGA's season-ending event. Pressel shot a 1-under-par 71 at Trump International, finishing three shots behind opening-round leader Ai Miyazato.
Still, the 18-year-old from nearby Boca Raton is still squarely in pursuit of Sunday's $1 million first prize, the biggest in LPGA history.
Il Mi Chung and Karrie Webb -- who finished with a birdie shortly after waiting out a 31-minute weather delay -- were each one shot off Miyazato's lead at 3 under. Natalie Gulbis, Julieta Granada, and Mi Hyun Kim were 2 under, while Paula Creamer, Se Ri Pak, Wendy Ward, and Pressel were another shot off the pace.
Meanwhile, two-time defending ADT champion Annika Sorenstam and newly crowned player of the year Lorena Ochoa both struggled. Sorenstam was 4 over after 10 holes before rallying to finish 2 over, six shots off Miyazato's lead. And Ochoa was 3 over in her opening round, with four bogeys.
Asian -- Tiger Woods endured an embarrassing incident in the first round of the Dunlop Phoenix in Miyazaki, Japan, when he drove the green on the dogleg 332-yard, par-4 13th hole with the previous threesome still putting.
The gaffe notwithstanding, Woods overcame a slow start and shot a 3-under 67 to sit two strokes behind leader Shingo Katayama after the first round.
European -- Defending champion Colin Montgomerie and Retief Goosen struggled in the first round of the Hong Kong Open as Spain's Jose Manuel Lara and India's Jyoti Randhawa shot 6-under 64s to share a one-stroke lead.
Australasian -- Nathan Green shot a 5-under 67 in cold, windy, and rainy conditions at Royal Sydney to take a two-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian Open.