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

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 ladies’s main.

Chun reached 8-under 64 on Thursday to realize a 5-hit benefit after the primary spherical in Congress. Whereas many 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 report 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 do not know what golf course NJ is on,” defending champion Nelly Korda mentioned after ending her 71st flip.

Chun was enjoying the identical monitor as everybody else, as soon as she underwent a full restoration final yr. Heavy rain fell within the space all through the evening and rain elevated throughout play Thursday morning. That softened the monitor 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 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 assume it was only a stability.”

Though there was plenty of golf to play, Chun’s massive lead undoubtedly 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 large enough benefit to hook Wright’s mark. The 1961 championship was considered one of Wright’s 4 report victories within the occasion. Chun tries to realize it first.

Chun set a significant event report—for males or ladies—when she gained the Evian Championship in 2016 at age 21 below. She additionally gained the US Ladies’s Open the earlier yr.

Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang had been at 2 below. Korda and co-playing accomplice Brooke Henderson had been a part of a bunch of 9 gamers in 1 Underneath. One instance of how troublesome 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 charge ever,” she mentioned. “I used to be completely happy 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 matters with caddies Dean Hurden.

“We’re speaking about kiwis as a result of I wish to eat kiwis on the course,” she mentioned. “It is actually arduous to discover a good kiwi from the grocery store. Fortuitously, we’ve got Korean grocery store close to right here, so I received 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 proficient group of opponents chasing after her. Jennifer Kupshaw, who gained her first main in a chevron earlier this yr, 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 would possibly really feel too near the lead.

“I really feel like I performed rather well,” Kupshaw mentioned. “The course is absolutely robust.” “I do not actually understand how NJ is below 8 now. That is undoubtedly bizarre.”

Notes

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

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