BETHESDA, MD – Gee Chun alone tops the Ladies’s PGA Championship leaderboard after an thrilling begin.
In truth, 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 subject ran throughout the day on the moist blue monitor, 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 essentially 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 mentioned after ending her 71st flip.
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 all through the evening and rain elevated throughout play Thursday morning. That softened the monitor but additionally made Congress size—6,809 yards within the first spherical—a extra issue.
No large deal for Chun, the two-time most important winner.
“The monitor, after plenty of rain, appears longer,” mentioned the 27-year-old from South Korea. “On the similar time, the greens had been softer. So I suppose it was only a steadiness.”
Though there was plenty of golf to play, Chun’s large 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 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 one among Wright’s 4 document victories within the occasion. Chun tries to realize 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 Ladies’s Open the earlier 12 months.
Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang had been at 2 underneath. Korda and co-playing accomplice Brooke Henderson had been a part of a gaggle of 9 gamers in 1 Underneath. One instance of how tough 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 price ever,” she mentioned. “I used to be blissful to play within the lead 9 up.”
Chun, who began on her again with 9, birds quantity 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 mentioned 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 mentioned. “It is actually arduous to discover a good kiwi from the grocery store. Happily, 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 manner, she could discover it straightforward to calm down on the monitor, however she can have a gifted 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 at 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.
In truth, if it weren’t for Chun, plenty of gamers may really feel too near the lead.
“I really feel like I performed rather well,” Kupshaw mentioned. “The course is basically 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 Kristi Care 80 launched.