BETHESDA, MD – Gee Chun alone tops the Ladies’s PGA Championship leaderboard after an thrilling begin.
The truth is, no participant has ever progressed extra after 18 holes in a girls’s main.
Chun reached 8-under 64 on Thursday to realize a 5-hit benefit after the primary spherical in Congress. Whereas many of the discipline walked in the course of the day on the moist blue monitor, Chun reduce seven out of eight holes in a single stint. She was seven pictures forward when she completed her spherical and ended up setting a file for probably the most 18-hole lead in a significant championship.
Mickey Wright led this match by 5 after the primary spherical in 1961.
“I do not know what golf course NJ is on,” defending champion Nelly Korda stated after she completed within the 71st spherical.
Chun was taking part in the identical monitor as everybody else, as soon as she underwent a full restoration final 12 months. Heavy rain fell within the space in a single day with extra rain falling throughout play Thursday morning. That softened the monitor but additionally made Congress size—6,809 yards within the first spherical—a extra issue.
No huge deal for Chun, the two-time major winner.
“The monitor, after loads of rain, appears longer,” stated the 27-year-old from South Korea. “On the identical time, the greens had been softer. So I suppose it was only a stability.”
Though there was loads of golf to play, Chun’s huge lead positively caught the attention.
“I am unable to cease staring on the leaderboard,” Justin Thomas chirp. “Main by 7 midway up the primary day!!!!”
Pornanong Phatlum and Hye-Jin Choi each fired stealth-free rounds from 69 to trim Chun’s result in 5, however that was nonetheless a large enough benefit to tie Wright’s mark. The 1961 championship was one among Wright’s 4 file victories within the occasion. Chun tries to attain it first.
Chun set a significant match file—for males or girls—when she gained the Evian Championship in 2016 at age 21 below. She additionally gained the US Ladies’s Open the earlier 12 months.
Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang had been at 2 below. Korda and co-playing companion Brooke Henderson had been a part of a gaggle of 9 gamers in 1 Below. One instance of how exhausting the course was was: Korda hit a driver, hybrid and seven woods whereas leveling on the ninth gap 587 yards.
“That is the longest 5 sport I’ve ever performed,” she stated. “I used to be pleased to play within the lead 9 up.”
Chun, who began on the ninth again streak, did the No. 15, 16, 17, and 18 birdies. After bogey in first place, she bounced with three extra birds in a row.
Chun hit all 14 fairways and stated she spent the time discussing non-golf matters with caddies Dean Hurden.
“We’re speaking about kiwis as a result of I wish to eat kiwis on the course,” she stated. “It is actually exhausting to discover a good kiwi from the grocery store. Thankfully, we have now a superb Korean grocery store close to right here, so I obtained a superb golden kiwi from there.”
If Chun continues to play this fashion, she could discover it simple to calm down on the monitor, however she may have a gifted group of rivals chasing after her. Jennifer Kupshaw, who gained her first main in a chevron earlier this 12 months, was primary. Phatlum’s spectacular run included an ace per second for 199 yards.
Enppi Park, Lydia Koo and world primary Jin Younger Koo all had 72 factors forward of US Ladies’s Open champion Minji Lee.
The truth is, if it weren’t for Chun, loads of gamers may really feel too near the lead.
“I really feel I performed very well,” Kupshaw stated. “The course is absolutely robust.” “I do not actually know the way NJ is below 8 now. That is positively bizarre.”
Emma Tully (78) completed placing up a wedge after her racket was broken in the course of the tour. … Lizette Salas and Christy Care 80 launched.