RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) — Shanshan Feng was alone in her opinion about the pin positions in the Kraft Nabisco Championship. She was by herself atop the leaderboard, too.
"The pin positions weren't that hard," the 24-year-old Chinese player said.
Feng had little trouble Thursday in perfect morning conditions at Mission Hills, shooting a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Michelle Wie and Se Ri Pak.
Defending champion Inbee Park voiced the majority opinion after an opening 74.
"The pin positions were very tough for the first day," Park said. "Half of the pins, we couldn't go at. There were very tough pins out there."
Cristie Kerr agreed after her morning round in the first major of the year.
"The pin on 3 today, it doesn't matter if you hit a pitching wedge, it would be hard to get to, and we're hitting 6- and 7- irons in," said Kerr, tied for sixth after a 69. "The pin on 1 is like 2 yards from the right side of the green. ... Do they have to be that severe? Maybe not, but they're probably compensating for the fact that there's not much rough."
Feng had seven birdies and a bogey.
"This morning, it was playing easier because there was no wind," Feng said.
Feng won the 2012 LPGA Championship to become the tour's first Chinese winner and had two victories late last year. She tied for 16th last week in Carlsbad, her best finish of the season.
"The beginning of this year I was kind of a little lost because I lost a little weight and my swing kind of changed a little," Feng said. "I wasn't swinging very comfortably."
Angel Yin, a 15-year-old high school freshman from the Los Angeles suburb of Arcadia, was two strokes back at 68 with Amy Yang.
Yin was asked if there was a player she wanted to meet, but was too shy to approach.
"Michelle Wie," Yin said. "If she sat next to me and said 'Hi' to me, I'd probably run."
The 24-year-old Wie laughed when told about Yin's response.
"It's crazy," Wie said. "These girls are starting to make me feel really old."
Wie played a four-hole stretch in 5 under, showing off all the talent that made her a star in her early teens and helped attract players like Yin to golf.
"I just felt comfortable out there," Wie said.
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