What they said: A round-up of the best quotes after round one of the ANA Inspiration

The field went low as it started the first Major Championship of 2021 at Mission Hills Country Club in California.

There was little rust on show in the first round of the 2021 ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills CC in Rancho Mirage, California as 48 players in the field opened their account with a score that bettered par.

It was a day when the stars set a solid base rather than making an electric start, leaving a couple of unexpected names to set the pace.

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko kicked off her campaign with a solid lap of 3-under-par 69 to sit alongside defending champion Mirim Lee and Jessica Korda, plus the English trio of Charley Hull, Georgia Hall and Bronte Law.

Behind them, new mum Michelle Wie, course specialist Lexi Thompson former wonderkid Lydia Ko and last week's winner Inbee Park signed for 2-under 70s.

They're all chasing Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit who claimed the first round lead with a bogey-free round of 66.

Ireland's Leona Maguire, managed by Niall Horan, shares second with China's Shanshan Feng after the pair carded 65s. Feng had visa difficulties last season and therefore opted not to play at all so her score was something of a bolt from the blue.

Making a move on Friday will matter: the last nine winners of this tournament were T3rd or better heading into the weekend.

Ko and Inbee Park (70) are the 8/1 joint favourites with Paddy Power, Jessica Korda is 12/1, Thompson 14/1 and Tavatanakit 25/1.

Here are the best of the first round quotes.

The leader - Patty Tavatanakit (66)

"I just stuck to my game plan and didn't get too greedy out there. I know it's a major, it's tough, and the course is really tough.

"I really want to win out here. I feel like my game is there, just a little bit here and there that's missing. But I can't force the win. It's going to come naturally when I play my best golf. Just got to be patient. I have a long season ahead, need to keep doing what I'm doing, I guess, and be patient with it."

Tied second - Shanshan Feng (65)

"I would say that I'm mentally very fresh because this is my first tournament in, I don't know, 13, 14 months I guess. I was kind of nervous last night, but I said to myself, 'Hey, it's okay. Think about it like you're just an old rookie. Everything is new for you here and just have no expectation. Try your hardest, 100% on every shot, and enjoy the process.' That's it - I'm saying that I'm an old rookie."

Tied second - Leona Maguire (65)

"I've been playing well the last few weeks. Got off to a really nice start this season and trying to build on that momentum. It's nice to come back to a course that I've been to before and I did well on last year.

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"I added some yardage over the winter as well. It's interesting to see some of the numbers into greens we had last year compared to this year. It definitely helps going in with that little bit of a shorter clubs into the greens, especially when they're so firm. It helps the ball stop and you can get close to some of the pins rather than having to play a little bit more conservative like I have in the past."

Returning star - Michelle Wie (70)

"I am just happy to see my name on the first page of the leaderboard. That's really special to me. Been a long time since I've seen that.

"It was fun today making putts out here. I have a lot of great memories, my first one being 18 years ago. I was kind of looking back yesterday. This place a really special to me and I'm just glad to be here. What a great day.

"It's strange with no fans. I mean, you hit great shots out here and you're like 'Was that not good? Was that over the green?' Dead silent. Obviously it's awkward for the couple of people out there to make really big claps. So it's different.

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"And the walk down 18 is definitely different. You don't have that jolt of adrenaline when you're walking past the crowds. At the same time, I have to say, easing back into it, not having crowds, I think makes it a little bit easier for me."

Course specialist - Lexi Thompson (70)

"I feel good. Overall just a very steady day. I had some birdie opportunities out there.

"I've been making some changes and that's always very uncomfortable at first, but my coach keeps it very simple with me. I'm not technical. I just want to gain a little bit more consistency with my ball striking, and we've kind of done that."

READ MORE: Jordan Spieth's so close: His quest for a first Texas Open title off to a strong start

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