Icher takes lead at Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic after early fog delay 

click to enlarge Karine Icher is in the lead at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic after a first-round 66. - ERIC RISBERG/AP
  • Eric Risberg/AP
  • Karine Icher is in the lead at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic after a first-round 66.

DALY CITY -- The first round of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club was delayed two hours due to heavy fog blowing in off the Pacific Ocean.

However, Mother Nature didn't deter the field from producing an exciting first round before play was suspended because of darkness with some players yet to finish their rounds.

Despite getting a late start, Karine Icher of France birdied four of her first seven holes and finished with a 6-under-par 66 Thursday to take a two-shot lead at the tournament. Icher played 18 holes without a bogey, hitting all but one green in regulation. After completing her round in the early evening, she felt good about her first-round results.

"Yeah, it's a good score," Icher said. "Hope to be on the same feeling tomorrow. Probably going to have rain, so we will see."

Icher also touched on the difficulty of playing in those weather conditions.

"It's a tough golf course, especially with the wind and temperature. [It] gets so cold," Icher said. "You try to get to stay warm and try to catch the right wind and you go with it and make some putts."

A group of five golfers sit two shots behind Icher, including Lydia Ko, who celebrated her 17th birthday Thursday. Dewi Claire Schreefel, Maria McBride, Jenny Shin and Ilhee Lee also opened with rounds of 68.

American Mo Martin went into the clubhouse before Icher was halfway through her round at 3-under-69, which at the time was good for the lead. By the end of the day, she was three shots off the lead.

After her round, Martin talked about the challenges of playing on the fast Lake Merced course.

"I think I warmed up four times today," Martin said. "[I] was in the second group, so I was on and off the range. When [the fog] started to burn off, it burned off quickly and then it actually came back."

Stanford graduate Michelle Wie -- who won her first LPGA title on American soil last week in her home state of Hawaii -- finished tied for 24th at even-par 72. She opened her first round with a double-bogey, but didn't falter and stayed in the hunt by shooting 2-under the rest of the round.

Pleasanton native Paula Creamer bogeyed four of her first five holes and finished at 4-over-76, good for a tie at 95th place.

Hall of Famer and Bay Area native Juli Inkster was at 1-over when her round was cut short due to darkness.

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