BETHESDA, Maryland (AP) – Gee Chun alone is high of the KPMG Girls’s Championship after an thrilling begin.
The truth is, no participant has ever progressed extra after 18 holes in a ladies’s main.
Chun reached 8-under 64 on Thursday to realize a five-stroke benefit after the primary spherical in Congress. Whereas many of the subject walked through the day on the moist blue monitor, Chun lower seven out of eight holes in a single stint. She was seven pictures forward when she completed her spherical and ended up setting a document for essentially the most 18-hole lead in a significant championship.
Mickey Wright led this event by 5 after the primary spherical in 1961.
“I don’t know what golf course NJ is on,” defending champion Nelly Korda stated after she completed within the 71st spherical.
Chun was enjoying the identical monitor as everybody else – as soon as she underwent a full restoration final 12 months. Heavy rain fell within the space all through the night time 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 massive deal for Chun, the two-time most important winner.
“The track, after a lot of rain, seems longer,” stated the 27-year-old South Korean. “At the same time, the greens were softer. So I guess it was just a balance.”
Though there was a variety of golf to play, Chun’s massive lead undoubtedly caught the attention.
Justin Thomas tweeted: “Can’t stop staring at the leaderboard.” “Leading by 7 halfway up the first 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 bonus sufficiently big to hook 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 event document—for males or ladies—when she received the Evian Championship in 2016 on the age of 21. She additionally received the US Girls’s Open the earlier 12 months.
Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang have been at 2 beneath. Korda and co-playing companion Brooke Henderson have been a part of a bunch of 9 gamers in 1 Below. 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.
“This is the longest 5 game I’ve ever played,” she stated. “I was happy to play in the lead nine 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 talking about kiwis because I like to eat kiwis on the course,” she stated. “It’s really hard to find a good kiwi from the supermarket. Fortunately, we have a good Korean supermarket near here, so I got a good golden kiwi from there.”
If Chun continues to play this manner, she might discover it straightforward to loosen up on the monitor, however she can 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 scored 72, higher than US Open champion Minji Lee.
The truth is, if it weren’t for Chun, a variety of gamers would possibly really feel too near the lead.
“I feel I played really well,” Kupshaw stated. “The course is really tough.” “I don’t really know how NJ is under 8 now. That’s definitely weird.”
Notes: Emma Tully (78) completed placing up a wedge after her racket was broken through the tour. … Lizette Salas and Christy Care 80 launched.