Lexi Thompson birdied the final two holes Thursday for a 3-under 69 and a share of ANA Inspiration lead halfway through the opening round of the first major championship of the year.

The 2014 champion was tied with Jin Young Ko and Hyo Joo Kim after the morning wave at Mission Hills, the tree-lined course made more difficult this year with thick rough, tighter fairways and some lengthened holes.

Top-ranked Sung Hyun Park, Nelly Korda, Inbee Park, Brooke Henderson and Michelle Wie played in the afternoon.

Lexi Thompson hits her tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Lexi Thompson hits her tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Thompson birdied the difficult par-3 17th, with the pin on the far right side, then hit a wedge close on the par-5 18th after caddie Benji Thompson talked her into hitting a lower-lofted club.

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Lexi Thompson hits from the rough on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Lexi Thompson hits from the rough on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Jin Young Ko, of South Korea, watches her tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club, Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Jin Young Ko, of South Korea, watches her tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club, Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Hyo Joo Kim, of South Korea, hits from the fairway on the ninth hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Hyo Joo Kim, of South Korea, hits from the fairway on the ninth hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Jessica Korda watches her tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Jessica Korda watches her tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Stacy Lewis hits from the fairway on the first hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Stacy Lewis hits from the fairway on the first hole during the first round of the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Rancho Mirage, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

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