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 a lot of the discipline ran in the course of the day on the moist blue observe, Chun minimize seven out of eight holes in a single stint. She was seven photographs forward when she completed her spherical and ended up setting a file for probably the most 18-hole lead in a serious 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 observe as everybody else, as soon as she underwent a full restoration final 12 months. Heavy rain fell within the space all through the evening and rain elevated throughout play Thursday morning. That softened the observe but in addition made Congress size—6,809 yards within the first spherical—extra of an element.
No massive deal for Chun, the two-time primary winner.
“The observe, after quite a lot of rain, appears longer,” stated the 27-year-old from South Korea. “On the identical time, the greens had been softer. So I assume it was only a steadiness.”
Though there was quite a lot of golf to play, Chun’s massive lead positively caught the attention.
“I am unable to cease staring on the leaderboard,” Justin Thomas chirp. “Main by 7 in the midst of the day till 1!!!!”
Pornanong Phatlum and Hye-Jin Choi shot off stealth-free rounds from 69 to trim Chun’s result in 5, however that was nonetheless a sufficiently big benefit to hook Wright’s mark. The 1961 championship was certainly one of 4 file victories Wright achieved within the occasion. Chun tries to get it first.
Chun set a serious match file—for males or girls—when she received the Evian Championship in 2016 at age 21 underneath. She additionally received the US Ladies’s Open the earlier 12 months.
Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang had been on the age of two underneath. Korda and co-playing companion Brooke Henderson had been a part of a gaggle of 9 gamers in 1 Underneath. One instance of how troublesome the course is: Korda hit a driver, hybrid and seven woods whereas leveling on the ninth gap 587 yards.
“That is the longest 5-time play fee ever,” she stated. “I used to be completely happy to play within the lead 9 up.”
Chun, who began on her again 9, hit the numbers 15, 16, 17, and 18. After bogey in first place, she bounced again with three extra birds in a row.
Chun hit all 14 fairways and stated she spent the time discussing non-golf subjects 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 onerous to discover a good kiwi from the grocery store. Happily, now we have a great Korean grocery store close to right here, so I bought a great golden kiwi from there.”
If Chun continues to play this fashion, she could discover it straightforward to chill out on the observe, however she may have a proficient group of rivals chasing after her. Jennifer Kupshaw, who received 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 scored 72 factors, 1 level over US Ladies’s Open champion Minji Lee.
The truth is, if it weren’t for Chun, quite a lot of gamers would possibly really feel too near the lead.
“I really feel like I performed rather well,” Kupshaw stated. “The course is de facto robust.” “I do not actually understand how NJ is underneath 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 Kristi Care 80 launched.