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Chun In-gee leads 1R at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Posted June. 25, 2022 07:25,   

Updated June. 25, 2022 07:25


South Korean LPGA player Chun In-gee made a course record in the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship tournament or one of the major LPGA tour competitions, aiming for championship in three years and eight months.

Chun ranked 1st with nine birdies and one bogey to shoot 8-under 64 in the first round of the tournament at Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Maryland, on Friday. She tied the course record. Five strokes ahead Choi Hye-jin and Thai player Pornanong Phatlum who tied for second place by ending up with 3-under 69, Chun increased her chances of winning a third major title or her fourth trophy on the LPGA tour.

Winning the 2015 U.S. Women's Open or the second major of the LPGA season, Chun officially joined the LPGA tour in 2016 when she climbed on top of the Evian Championship, earning a total of two major titles. Since October 2018 when she raised the third trophy at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, she has not been to return to championship yet. The highest record since her winning in 2018 was made in the HSBC Women's World Championship this March when she tied for second place. “I was struggling for the last several weeks with all the pressure on my shoulders,” Chun said, “I will do my best to focus on each shot not thinking of any results.”

Only 14 out of 156 players made an under-par score as the first round was played on the longest course among all LGPA clubs even on a rainy day. Chun recorded a driving accuracy percentage of 100 percent and making the green in regulation at 83.3 percent. “The course, after a lot of rain, feels longer,” she said. “My wood shots worked well. Even long clubs led to a good balance as the green was firm.”

World No. 2 Nelly Korda shot a 1-under 71, tying for sixth place with multiple players including Kim A-rim and Kim Sei-young. Satisfied with her performance on the day, she commented, “I don't know what golf course In Gee is playing. She must be playing really well.” Top-ranked Ko Jin-young and this competition’s three-time winner Park In-bee were tied at 15th place with an even-par 72.

Dong-Wook Kim creating@donga.com