BETHESDA, MD – Gee Chun alone tops the Girls’s PGA Championship leaderboard after an thrilling begin.
In actual fact, no participant has ever progressed extra after 18 holes in a girls’s main.
Chun reached 8-under 64 on Thursday to achieve a 5-hit benefit after the primary spherical in Congress. Whereas a lot of the discipline walked throughout the day on the moist blue observe, Chun lower seven out of eight holes in a single stint. She was seven photographs forward when she completed her spherical and ended up setting a document 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 in a single day with extra rain falling throughout play Thursday morning. That softened the observe but additionally made Congress size—6,809 yards within the first spherical—a extra issue.
No massive deal for Chun, the two-time important winner.
“The observe, after a whole 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 a whole 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 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 in every of Wright’s 4 document victories within the occasion. Chun tries to attain it first.
Chun set a serious match document—for males or girls—when she received the Evian Championship in 2016 at age 21 underneath. She additionally received the US Girls’s Open the earlier 12 months.
Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang had been at 2 underneath. Korda and co-playing companion Brooke Henderson had been a part of a bunch of 9 gamers in 1 Underneath. One instance of how laborious 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 recreation 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 subjects with caddies Dean Hurden.
“We’re speaking about kiwis as a result of I prefer to eat kiwis on the course,” she stated. “It is actually laborious to discover a good kiwi from the grocery store. Happily, we’ve got 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 might discover it straightforward to chill out on the observe, however she could have a proficient group of opponents 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 had 72 factors forward of US Girls’s Open champion Minji Lee.
In actual fact, if it weren’t for Chun, a whole lot of gamers would possibly really feel too near the lead.
“I really feel I performed very 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 throughout the tour. … Lizette Salas and Christy Care 80 launched.