The Annika Sorenstam goodbye tour got off to a great start.
Two days after announcing this would be her final season on the LPGA Tour, Sorenstam shot a 5-under-par 67 yesterday for a share of the first-round lead in the
Sorenstam, the 37-year-old Hall of Famer, came into the $2 million tournament off a dominating seven-stroke victory in the Michelob Ultra Open last weekend, and she was just as good getting around the Upper Montclair Country Club course in the shadow of New York City.
The Swede had five birdies in a bogey-free round.
"I'm just very happy the way I'm playing," said Sorenstam, who has three victories this year after failing to win in an injury-marred 2007 season. "I worked really hard this winter and it's all coming together. My swing fells really good and my putting feels really good. This is the way I enjoy the game. It's fairways and greens."
Song-Hee Kim, a second-year player from South Korea who has two top-10 finishes this year, also was at 67 along with Australia's Rachel Hetherington, who has missed three of eight cuts and finished no better than a tie for 24th this year.
The leaderboard was crowded after the first day of the 72-hole event. Ochoa, a five-time winner this year, was at 68 with Pat Hurst, Catriona Matthew, Brittany Lang, Teresa Lu, and Carolina Llano.
US Women's Open champion Cristie Kerr was in another big group at 69.
PGA - Kenny Perry sloshed through the waterlogged fairways, ducking under an umbrella every chance he got.
He also hit plenty of good shots on a miserable day at the TPC Sugarloaf.
Coming off a final-round meltdown at The Players Championship, Perry endured a steady - and occasionally driving - rain to claim a share of the first-round lead with a 6-under 66 at the AT&T Classic in Duluth, Ga.
The other leaders - Jonathan Kaye, Ryan Palmer, Jonathan Byrd, and Parker McLachlin - all teed off in the morning, before a huge weather system engulfed the suburban Atlanta course.
"I don't like playing in the rain. I can't think of anybody who does," Byrd said. "It's just not a whole lot of fun. It's a lot of work."
European - Richard Green birdied three of the last five holes for a 6-under 66 and a share of the lead with Jeev Milka Singh in the first round of the Irish Open in Adare.