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 Girls’s PGA Championship leaderboard after an thrilling begin.

The truth is, no participant has ever progressed extra after 18 holes in a girls’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 discipline ran through 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 file for probably the most 18-hole lead in a serious 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 stated after she completed within the 71st spherical.

Chun was enjoying the identical observe as everybody else, as soon as she underwent a full restoration final yr. Heavy rain fell within the space all through the night time and rain elevated throughout play Thursday morning. That softened the observe but in addition made Congress size—6,809 yards within the first spherical—extra of an element.

No large deal for Chun, the two-time major winner.

“The observe, after plenty of rain, appears longer,” stated 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 undoubtedly caught the attention.

“I am unable to cease staring on the leaderboard,” Justin Thomas chirp. “Main by 7 in the midst of the day till 1!!!!”

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 one among 4 file victories Wright achieved within the occasion. Chun tries to get it first.

Chun set a serious event file—for males or girls—when she received the Evian Championship in 2016 at age 21 underneath. She additionally received the US Girls’s Open the earlier yr.

Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang had been on the age of two underneath. Korda and co-playing companion Brooke Henderson had been a part of a gaggle of 9 gamers in 1 Beneath. 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 stated. “I used to be blissful to play within the lead 9 up.”

Chun, who began on her again 9, hit the numbers 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 stated 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 stated. “It is actually arduous to discover a good kiwi from the grocery store. Fortuitously, we have now an excellent Korean grocery store close to right here, so I bought an excellent golden kiwi from there.”

If Chun continues to play this manner, she could discover it simple to calm down on the observe, however she can have a gifted group of rivals chasing after her. Jennifer Kupshaw, who received her first main in a chevron earlier this yr, 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 scored 72 factors, 1 level over US Girls’s Open champion Minji Lee.

The truth is, 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 stated. “The course is absolutely powerful.” “I do not actually understand how NJ is underneath 8 now. That is undoubtedly bizarre.”


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