April 5, 2019

In-Kyung Kim has a score to settle at the ANA Inspiration, and she put herself in a promising position to do that with a seven-under-par 65 on Friday morning to take the lead.

The Korean missed a putt from a foot to secure her first major title here at Mission Hills Country Club in 2012, and she subsequently lost in a play-off to Sun-Young Yoo.

The 30-year-old has not been in contention in this tournament since then, but she put herself right in the mix with a superb round on a warm, windy day in California.

At eight under she leads New Zealand’s Katherine Kirk, who signed for a 68, by one, with American Ally McDonald at four under after a 72 and a group of players including England’s Charley Hull (69) at three under.

Nine birdies and one bogey left Kim very satisfied with her day’s work.

“I wasn’t really paying attention to the leaderboard because I’m just blessed to be here,” said Kim, who claimed her first major title at the 2017 Women’s British Open. “For a long time it was one of my goals (to win), but now I’m just really happy to be out here.

“I was seeing some lines today and getting my putting speed right. I knew my game was getting better since last week. This morning was a little calmer and wasn’t very cold. The ball was actually flying a little shorter than yesterday, so I had to adjust that for a few holes in the morning.”