Two major champions from South Korea, So Yeon Ryu and Eun-Hee Ji, share the lead with LPGA rookie Anne van Dam after the first round of the Mediheal Championship.
Ryu, whose six LPGA victories include the US Women’s Open in 2011 and the ANA Inspiration in 2017, fired seven birdies and two bogeys en route to a five-under 67.
That was equal to the mark set by Ji, the 2009 US Women’s Open champion, and Dutchwoman Van Dam, who grabbed a share of the lead for the first time in her fledgling LPGA career.
There were plenty of great shots during the first round of the @MEDIHEALChamp. 🏌️♀️⛳️
With a packed leaderboard, the highlights came from all over the course.
DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/5eGDbNJpLI
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 3, 2019
Ryu would have held the sole lead but for a closing bogey on the par-five ninth hole at the Lake Merced golf course.
“It is not an easy golf course,” she said. “You have to drive the ball really well. Everything has to be really great to shoot the low score.”
Ryu has not been in the greatest form so far in 2019, but has tried her best to stay positive.
“It’s really tough, because when you’re dedicated to make your game better and better, and then when you cannot really see the result right away, it can be really easy to get frustrated.” she said. “The thing is, it’s just golf. Nothing’s really guaranteed.”
Van Dam, meanwhile, started with two bogeys in her first four holes, but rallied superbly with an eagle on the par-four eighth and five further birdies.
“It’s nice to finally get off to a good start in the first round,” she said.
Ji had six birdies and a bogey in her round.
“It’s a really nice golf course,” she said. “It’s really challenging on every hole, especially on the tee shot.
“You have to hit the fairways. If not, it gets into trouble on the next shot. So the tee shot is really important. The greens are really tough, you have to read perfect lines.”
We've got a three-way tie on the top of the leaderboard at the @MEDIHEALChamp!
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 3, 2019
The trio lie one shot clear of Frenchwoman Celine Boutier, Taipei’s Peiyun Chien and South Korean Amy Yang.
England’s Charley Hull is among those on three under, two back, alongside Moriya Jutanugarn, Azahara Munoz and Maria Torres.
Lexi Thompson, who recently revealed she was quitting social media because of the hurtful comments she was receiving, opening with a one-over 73, while Lydia Ko, fresh from parting ways with swing coach Ted Oh, is down in 85th place after a three-over 75.
A drama series based on the 2018 Tiger Woods biography written by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian is reportedly in development.
Brooks Koepka is supremely confident that his major tally will reach double figures, but the bookmakers aren’t as convinced.
Justin Rose is the defending champion at this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge, but he knows that doesn’t necessarily give him an advantage.
Rory McIlroy has confirmed his participation in the Scottish Open that is set to take place at the Renaissance Club from 11 July.
Thorbjorn Olesen says he has extra motivation to do well in this week’s Made In Denmark tournament as he wants to win on home soil.
Shane Lowry feels his performance at PGA Championship suggests he is on course for a successful season.
A Surrey golf club is anticipating a flurry of beginners to join after cutting significantly its annual academy membership fee.
While some of his peers can’t help but compare PGA champion Brooks Koepka to the great Tiger Woods, others think it’s far too soon.
In the latest episode of The Round podcast, Richard Kaufman talks to the feisty LPGA star Cristie Kerr about her journey to the top.