In Gee Chun shoots 64, races to lead early in Women’s PGA

0
30

BETHESDA, Md. (TSWT) — In Gee Chun hit an 8-under 64 on Thursday to take a big lead in the first round of the Women’s PGA Championship.

While most of the field worked hard all day on the wet Congressional blue course, Chun birdied seven of eight holes during a streak. She was seven strokes better than anyone else who started in the morning, making her a threat to break the record for the biggest 18-hole lead in a women’s major – set by Mickey Wright, who led this tournament by five strokes after 18 in 1961. .

“I don’t know what golf course In Gee is playing on,” said defending champion Nelly Korda after finishing her round of 71.

Chun was playing the same course as everyone else – the one that underwent a full restoration last year. There was heavy rain in the area overnight and more precipitation during the game on Thursday morning. It smoothed the course, but also made the length of Congress — 6,809 yards for that opening round — more important.

See also  Lakers reportedly talk to Nets about Kyrie Irving again

No big deal for Chun, two-time major winner.

“The course, after a lot of rain, seems longer,” said the 27-year-old South Korean. “At the same time, the greens were softer. So I think it was just a balance.

Although there was plenty of golf to play, Chun’s first seven-shot lead certainly turned heads.

“Can’t stop staring at the leaderboard,” tweeted Justin Thomas. “Lead par 7 halfway through day 1!!!!”

Hye-Jin Choi was 3 under on 11 holes in the afternoon, one of several players who threatened to cut Chun’s lead – but not by much.

Chun, who started on the back nine, birdied Nos. 15, 16, 17 and 18. After a bogey on No. 1, she bounced back with three more birdies in a row.

See also  Indian men's hockey team upset Olympic champions Belgium 5-4 in FIH Pro League | Hockey News

Chun set a major championship record – male or female – when she won the Evian Championship in 2016 aged 21. She also won the US Women’s Open the previous year.

Korda was part of a group at 1 under, along with her gambling partner Brooke Henderson. An example of the course’s difficulty: Korda hit the driver, hybrid and 7-wood while paring on the 587-yard ninth hole.

“It’s the longest par 5 I’ve ever played,” she said. “I was even happy to play the front nine.”

Chun hit all 14 fairways and said she passed the time by discussing non-golfing matters with caddy Dean Herden.

“We talk about kiwifruit because I love eating kiwifruit on the course,” she said. “It’s really hard to find a good kiwi in the supermarket. Fortunately, we have a good Korean supermarket near here, so I bought a good golden kiwi there.

See also  'The biggest thing I've learned...': South African star performs with MS Dhoni at IPL 2022 | Cricket News

If Chun continues to play like this, she may find it easy to relax on the course, but she will have a group of talented challengers chasing her. Jennifer Kupcho, who won her first major at the Chevron Championship earlier this year, was 1 under. Pornanong Phatium hit the second hole and was 2 under at eight.

All of these players could feel pretty close to the lead – if not for Chun.

“I feel like I played really well. The course is really tough,” Kupcho said. “I don’t really know how In Gee is 8 under right now. It’s definitely an outlier.

___

Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

___

More TSWT Golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here