Thompson, Miyazato ahead at ANA Inspiration

Lexi Thompson and Ai Miyazato claimed a one-shot lead at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage on Friday. 

The world number three climbed into a share of the lead following her round of four-under-par 68, while Miyazato maintained her position atop the summit despite firing a two-under-par 70. 

Thompson and Miyzato, who are on seven-under, are closely followed by a large group of golfers, which includes world number one Lydia Ko, Suzann Pettersen and Lee-Anne Pace. 

Inbee Park is currently six strokes off the lead in a tie for 34th, while defending champion Brittany Lincicome is four strokes adrift of Thompson and Miyazato in a tie for 20th. 

Thompson, who finished in a tie for 43rd at the Kia Classic last week, did not enjoy a successful front nine as she made a birdie and a bogey. However, her fortunes took a turn for the better on the back nine as the Honda LPGA Thailand champion made a hat-trick of birdies from the 12th to 14th before capping off her round with 30-foot birdie putt at the 18th. 

Miyazato, who was in a share of the lead with Azahara Munoz overnight, stayed atop the leaderboard even though she followed her round of 67 on Thursday with a 70. The 30-year-old had a fairly turbulent front nine as she made three birdies and two bogeys, but her back nine was slightly more successful as she made two birdies and a bogey.

Ko climbed up 11 spots on the leaderboard following her round of 68, which began in style as she made an eagle at the par-five 11th. Even though she faltered at the 13th, where she recorded a bogey after finding a bunker, the Kia Classic winner atoned for her mistake with three birdies on her back nine. 

Pettersen surged up the leaderboard following her round of five-under-par 67, which included six birdies and a bogey, while Pace maintained her position on the leaderboard despite her round of 70, which consisted of five birdies and three bogeys. 

Lincicome also shot up the leaderboard on Friday as she carded a three-under-par 69, during which she made five birdies and two bogeys. 

Meanwhile, Park, who was the runner-up at the Kia Classic, plunged down the leaderboard after hitting a one-over-par 73, which included two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey at the par-five 18th.