RANCHO MIRAGE, United States - World number one Lydia Ko equalled Annika Sorenstam's LPGA record with her 29th straight under-par round on Thursday in the ANA Inspiration.
Ko, the 17-year-old sensation from New Zealand, scrambled to a one-under-par 71 in the first major championship of the season.
Ko equalled the record set by Sweden's Sorenstam in 2004 to finish the day tied for 10th, four off leader Morgan Pressel, who shot a 67.
"I really wasn't hitting my driver well, and here the rough can get pretty thick," said Ko, who had five birdies and four bogeys.
"When you're in that position, a record was the last thing I was thinking about." Ko teed off on the 10th hole at Rancho Mirage Country Club's Dinah Shore tournament course.
She was at even par - with four bogeys and four birdies - when she found herself behind the trees to the left of the seventh fairway.
"It was a pretty nasty place to be, but I had my driver. There were two gaps. I said I hope I at least have one that I can go through," she said.
"I said I'm going to try to hit the biggest hook I could, and it would have probably looked really bad, that swing on camera, but it ended up being OK." She found the green and two-putted for par, then birdied the eighth to get back in red numbers.
Even when she left herself a tap-in for birdie at the eighth, Ko said she wasn't thinking about tying Sorenstam's record.
"It felt like a long time since I made a birdie. I was just excited that I hit a good shot in there. The record really wasn't in my head." Instead she was just trying to keep herself in contention for a first major title - one of the only accolades missing from the teenager's already stunning resume.
Ko played her first nine in tricky winds that had calmed down for the afternoon starters.
Despite trailing the leader by four strokes Ko sounded far from discouraged.
"We've got a lot of golf left to play," Ko said.