In Gee Chun grabbed the early lead in the PGA Women’s Eight-U-64

BETHESDA, MD – At Gee Chun she advanced to the 8 under 64 on Thursday to jump into a big lead early in the first round of the Women’s PGA Championship.

While most of the field walked all day on the wet Congressional blue court, Chun cut seven of his eight holes in one stint. She was seven shots better than anyone else who started in the morning, threatening to break the record for the most 18-hole lead in a women’s major – set by Mickey Wright, who led that tournament by 5 shots after 18 inches. 1961.

“I don’t know what golf course NJ is on,” defending champion Nelly Korda said after she finished in the 71st round.

Chun was playing the same track as everyone else, once she underwent a full restoration last year. Heavy rain fell in the area throughout the night and rain increased during play Thursday morning. That softened the track but also made Congress length—6,809 yards in the first round—more of a factor.

No big deal for Chun, the two-time main winner.

“The track, after a lot of rain, seems longer,” said the 27-year-old from South Korea. “At the same time, the greens were softer. So I guess it was just a balance.”

Although there was plenty of golf to play, Chun’s early lead of 7 shots definitely caught the eye.

Justin Thomas tweeted: “Can’t stop staring at the leaderboard.” “Leading by 7 in the middle of the day until 1!!!!”

Hye-Jin Choi was a Under-3 through 11 holes in the afternoon, one of several players who threatened to curtail Chun’s progress – but not by much.

Chun, who started on her back nine, hit the numbers 15, 16, 17, and 18. After bogey in first place, she bounced back with three more birds in a row.

Chun set a tournament record – both men’s and women’s – when she won the 2016 Evian Championships at the age of 21. She also won the US Women’s Open the previous year.

Korda was part of the group V1 Under, along with play partner Brooke Henderson. One example of how difficult the course is: Korda hit a driver, hybrid and 7 woods while leveling on the 9th hole 587 yards.

“This is the longest 5-time play rate ever,” she said. “I was happy to play in the lead nine up.”

Chun hit all 14 fairways and said she spent the time discussing non-golf topics with caddies Dean Hurden.

“We’re talking about kiwis because I like to eat kiwis on the course,” she said. “It’s really hard to find a good kiwi from the supermarket. Fortunately, we have a good Korean supermarket near here, so I got a good golden kiwi from there.”

If Chun continues to play this way, she may find it easy to relax on the track, but she will have a talented group of competitors chasing after her. Jennifer Kupshaw, who won her first major in a chevron earlier this year, was number one. Pornanong Phatlum got the second slot and was from 2 to 8.

All of these guys can feel very close to the top – if not for Chun.

“I feel like I played really well,” Kupshaw said. “The course is really tough.” “I don’t really know how NJ is under 8 now. That’s definitely weird.”

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