In Gee Chun ties the women’s main record with 5 shots after the first round of the Women’s PGA Championship

BETHESDA, MD – Gee Chun alone tops the Girls’s PGA Championship leaderboard after an thrilling begin.

Actually, no participant has ever progressed extra after 18 holes in a ladies’s main.

Chun reached 8-under 64 on Thursday to achieve a 5-hit benefit after the primary spherical in Congress. Whereas many of the subject walked throughout the day on the moist blue observe, 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 report for probably the most 18-hole lead in a significant championship.

Mickey Wright led this event by 5 after the primary spherical in 1961.

“I do not know what golf course NJ is on,” defending champion Nelly Korda mentioned 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 in addition made Congress size—6,809 yards within the first spherical—a extra issue.

No massive deal for Chun, the two-time essential winner.

“The observe, after numerous rain, appears longer,” mentioned the 27-year-old from South Korea. “On the identical time, the greens have been softer. So I assume it was only a stability.”

Though there was numerous 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 among Wright’s 4 report victories within the occasion. Chun tries to attain it first.

Chun set a significant event report—for males or ladies—when she gained the Evian Championship in 2016 at age 21 beneath. She additionally gained 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 Beneath. 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 mentioned. “I used to be blissful 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 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 laborious to discover a good kiwi from the grocery store. Happily, now we have a very good Korean grocery store close to right here, so I received a very good golden kiwi from there.”

If Chun continues to play this fashion, she might discover it simple to loosen up on the observe, however she may have a gifted group of rivals chasing after her. Jennifer Kupshaw, who gained 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.

Actually, if it weren’t for Chun, numerous gamers may really feel too near the lead.

“I really feel I performed very well,” Kupshaw mentioned. “The course is actually powerful.” “I do not actually understand how NJ is beneath 8 now. That is positively bizarre.”

Notes

Emma Tully (78) completed placing up a wedge after her racket was broken throughout the tour. … Lizette Salas and Christy Care 80 launched.

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