sunny.png
Monday August 15th, 2022 6:45PM

In Gee Chun shoots 64, races to early lead at Women's PGA

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — In Gee Chun breezed to an 8-under 64 on Thursday to jump out to a big early lead in the first round of the Women's PGA Championship.

While most of the field slogged through the day on the wet Blue Course at Congressional, Chun birdied seven of eight holes during one stretch. She was seven shots better than anyone else who started in the morning, making her a threat to break the record for the largest 18-hole lead in a women's major — set by Mickey Wright, who led this tournament by five shots after 18 in 1961.

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

Chun was playing the same course as everyone else — one that went through a full restoration last year. There was heavy rain in the area overnight and more precipitation during play Thursday morning. That softened the course but also made Congressional’s length — 6,809 yards for this first round — more of a factor.

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

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

Although there was plenty of golf left to play, Chun's early seven-shot lead certainly turned heads.

“I can’t stop staring at the leaderboard,” Justin Thomas tweeted. “Leading by 7 halfway thru day 1!!!!”

Hye-Jin Choi was 3 under through 11 holes in the afternoon, one of several players who threatened to shrink 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 rebounded with three more birdies in a row.

Chun set a major championship record — male or female — when she won the Evian Championship in 2016 at 21 under. She also won the U.S. Women's Open the previous year.

Korda was part of a group at 1 under, along with playing partner Brooke Henderson. One example of how challenging the course was: Korda hit driver, hybrid and 7-wood while making par on the 587-yard ninth hole.

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

Chun hit all 14 fairways and said she passed the time by discussing non-golf topics with caddie Dean Herden.

“We talk about the kiwis because I love to eat kiwis on the course,” she said. “It’s really tough to find a good kiwi from the supermarket. Luckily, we have a good Korean supermarket near here, so I got a good gold kiwi from there.”

If Chun keeps playing like this, she might find it easy to relax on the course, but she'll have a talented group of challengers chasing her. Jennifer Kupcho, who won her first major at the Chevron Championship earlier this year, was 1 under. Pornanong Phatium aced the second hole and was 2 under through eight.

All those players could feel pretty close to the lead — if not for Chun.

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

___

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

___

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

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - PGA, AP Sports - Women's Golf
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
In Gee Chun shoots 64, races to early lead at Women's PGA
In Gee Chun breezed to an 8-under 64 to jump out to a big early lead in the first round Women’s PGA Championship
4:54PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Court: Harvard can be sued for distress over slave photos
A Connecticut woman who says she's descended from slaves shown in widely published, historical photos owned by Harvard University can sue the school for emotional distress
4:53PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Shohei Ohtani has 2 dazzling days to remember for Angels
Shohei Ohtani accomplished two feats that would both be career landmarks for practically any other player in baseball history on back-to-back nights during an otherwise ordinary June homestand for the Los Angeles Angels
4:40PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Freeman HR ahead of emotional return, Dodgers sweep Reds
Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three runs ahead of what’s sure to be an emotional weekend, leading Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Cincinnati Reds 10-5 for a sweep of the season series
4:14PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Salt Lake City Winter Olympics bid more likely for 2034
Recent meetings with the IOC have led U.S. officials to believe all signs point toward Salt Lake City bidding for the 2034 Winter Olympics, though they say Utah’s capital will be ready if asked to host the 2030 Games, too
3:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
Swanson homers twice, Braves hold on to beat Giants 7-6
Dansby Swanson hit two home runs and the Atlanta Braves built a big lead early before holding off the San Francisco Giants 7-6 for their 18th win in 21 games this month
3:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
PGA Tour in 'arms race' of dollars and leaning on loyalty
Commissioner Jay Monahan says the PGA Tour is in an arms race it can't win with LIV Golf when the weapon is Saudi-funded money
7:49PM ( 21 hours ago )
Scheffler, McIlroy highlight strong field at Travelers
This week's Travelers Championship will feature six of the  world’s top 15 ranked players, including No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and No. 2 Rory McIlroy
7:21PM ( 21 hours ago )
Korda set to defend title at Women's PGA Championship
It was just one year ago that Nelly Korda won the Women’s PGA Championship to secure her first major and reach No. 1 in the world
5:29PM ( 23 hours ago )
AP Online Golf
Oh, so, close, Zalatoris finishes 2nd in yet another major
The putt slid an inch — make that a millimeter — outside the left edge of the cup
9:45PM ( 3 days ago )
Carry on: Fitzpatrick's caddie gets major breakthrough
Billy Foster grabbed the flag on the 18th green, pulled it toward his face and gave it a kiss
9:35PM ( 3 days ago )
Masters champ Scheffler ties for 2d in US Open at Brookline
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler tied for second at the U.S. Open, a stroke behind winner Matt Fitzpatrick
9:32PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - PGA
Kee-gan! Bradley feels the love, makes a run at the US Open
Growing up in Vermont, Keegan Bradley dreamed he might find out what it felt like to be Larry Bird or Carlton Fisk or Tom Brady, or any of those Boston sports greats whose posters plaster bedroom walls across New England
9:40PM ( 4 days ago )
Henderson beats Weaver-Wright in playoff in ShopRite LPGA
Brooke Henderson eagled the first playoff hole and beat Lindsey Weaver-Wright to capture the ShopRite LPGA Classic for her 11th win on tour
5:39PM ( 1 week ago )
Grant becomes 1st female golfer to win on European tour
Linn Grant made history by becoming the first female player to win an event on the European tour
11:48AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - Women's Golf
Shohei Ohtani has 2 dazzling days to remember for Angels
Shohei Ohtani accomplished two feats that would both be career landmarks for practically any other player in baseball history on back-to-back nights during an otherwise ordinary June homestand for the Los Angeles Angels
4:40PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Live updates | American Medical Association weighs in
The American Medical Association has called Thursday's Supreme Court ruling a “harmful and deeply disturbing decision
4:38PM ( 27 minutes ago )
Colombia: president-elect looks to build governing coalition
President-elect Gustavo Petro, who has vowed to lift up Colombia’s poor and disenfranchised, has won the support of an influential party of the establishment as he tries to build a majority coalition in Congress
4:33PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Feds search Trump-era official's home, subpoena GOP leaders
Federal agents have searched the Virginia home of a Trump-era Justice Department official who championed efforts by President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 election
4:33PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Settlement would forgive $6B for defrauded college students
The Biden administration has agreed to cancel $6 billion in student loans for about 200,000 former students who say they were defrauded by their colleges
4:31PM ( 35 minutes ago )