British star Charley Hull made an encouraging start to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship as she left her one shot from the lead at the opening of the four-under 68, while both Jessica and Nelly Korda are in contention.
by Keith Jackson
Last updated: 25/06/21 12:15
Charley Hull gave herself an excellent platform to build on in her quest for a major first title as she finished day one of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with a one-shot lead.
Hull took a birding three of her last six holes and made a save on the ninth to close a four under 68, leaving her behind Lizette Salas at the Atlanta Athletic Club, while both Korda sisters enjoyed encouraging the first few days. .
Jessica Korda, playing alongside Hull, opened with a solid three under 69, with younger sister Nelly pulling a 70, but it was a tough day for Hull compatriots Georgia Hall and Mel Reid while Dame Laura Davies, who won the event for the second time 25 years ago, fought for a 77.
Salas will sleep in the lead overnight after delivering a bogey-free 67, with Hull claiming second overall after his impressive streak of birdies in the second half of his round.
Hull started with a birdie in the tenth only to get a six on the par five in the twelfth, and was one under for the day with six to play before the birds in the fourth, fifth and eighth gave her a chance to equalize the first round lead. .
The 25-year-old stuck her final push in the sand and then overtook her approach in the rear trap but, after splashing to 10 feet, Hull rolled into a safe putt to stay four-under-par.
“I played pretty well,” said the Solheim Cup star. “I feel like I’m in a good headroom at the moment, just out there having fun. I could have been shorter, but then I also scored. good putts, it was good.
“I can’t actually remember much of my round, I felt pretty focused. I wasn’t even sure of my score until I looked at a leaderboard. The key for me was probably my save on the last one. I pushed the my tee shot right with my three woods, and this year I struggled a lot with my bunkers.
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“I actually hit a nice iron bunker in the green, it was just a little too flat, it was kind of like a launch pad so it flew, and then I was downhill on a short pin and I went up and down , I was quite happy with that. “
Hull will now bring “good vibes” into round two alongside playmate Jessica Korda, who mixed five birdies with two bogeys to finish the day just before Race to CMS Globe leader Nelly, who ended her 70 years with a monstrous putt for little bird at 18.
“It’s been a long putt. I’m not sure how long exactly, but it was nice to close on that,” said Korda, winner of the Meijer LPGA Classic last week. “I didn’t do many putts today. I had four birdies in total, two of them made it to par 5 which I reached in two. So it was nice to see that one come in.”
Korda was also rocked by the slow pace of play during her first round, and was relieved to have good friends Lydia Ko and Georgia Hall for company.
“I think the pace of the game played an important role,” added Korda. “We waited a lot of holes today. At one point, there were four groups on one hole.
“It felt like, once we hit the back nine, we just really slowed down. So when you wait a lot, I feel like you’re not performing your shots as well. But I had a great group today. Lydia and Georgia are great and they are good friends, so it was fun. “
Ko shot 72, but Hall didn’t birdie until 18 and signed for a 75, with Reid a better shot after she also caught the bird in her final hole of the day.
Live PGA Women’s Championship
June 25, 2021, 5:00 pm