The Women’s PGA go off to a chilly, windy, rainy start on Thursday at Congressional but that didn’t stop In Gee Chun from basically lapping the field in the season’s third major championship.
Chun shot a hard-to-believe eight-under par 64 that set the course record at Congressional’s restored Blue Course. No one in the morning wave was even close to her. World No. 2 Nelly Korda and last week’s winner, Jennifer Kupcho, each finished with one-under par 71s.
Korda, one of the longer players on the LPGA Tour, couldn’t believe how long the course played on day one. “Long. It was definitely really, really long. Especially for me,” Korda said. “I am one of the longer hitters on tour. It was long.”
As for Chun, the world’s No. 33, her round was special considering that she tied for 67th at the Meijer last week and tied for 72nd two weeks ago at the Shoprite.
“I felt like I had a good focus on the golf course today because I didn’t know I made that much birdies. I’m trying to focus every tee shot and every chip, putt,” said Chun, who has three career wins — two of them majors — the 2015 U.S. Open and the 2016 Evian.
“I think golf is all about the process,” Chun added. “After I had a couple of not-good weeks before I felt really bad after that, but I’m trying to focus on the course for the process not for the result which helps a lot,” said Chun. “I’m trying to enjoy playing golf on the course and more talk with my caddy and I’m happy with the good round today.”
And calling it a good round was a major understatement — it was a great round considering the conditions and how tough the course played. Late in the day, Hye Jin Choi finished with a three-under par 69 and was the closest player to Chun but still five shots back.
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko was in at even par (72) as was fourth-ranked Lydia Ko. U.S. Open champion and world No. 3 Minjee Lee shot a one-over par 73.
Jay Haas Turns Back The Clock At Soggy Senior U.S. Open:
Jay Haas became the fifth player in U.S. Senior Open history to shoot his age, in this case, he bettered his age by a shot on a rainy Thursday at Saucon Valley.
The 68-year-old Haas posted a four-under par 67 and shared the day one lead with 50-year-old Mark Hensby from Australia.
“That’s a pretty good score to break (your age) on a course like this,” said Haas, who had shot his age six previous times on the Champions Tour, but never in a major.
Haas and Hensby were a shot ahead of Steve Stricker, Rocco Mediate, Paul Broadhurst and Tim Petrovic. Rain drenched Saucon Valley in the morning and left greens receptive even when it lightened, only 11 players managed to break par.
The co-leaders benefited from the later start because of the steady rain all morning that made it difficult to keep clubs dry. Paul Goydos had the low score from the morning wave with 69.
“Wow, did we ever catch a break today,” Stricker said. “The morning wave, it looked like their whole wave played in the rain. t played as long as it could play today with the soft conditions and the green really not rolling out. It was long, but a tough challenge.”
Defending champion Jim Furyk, who missed the cut by a shot last week at the U.S. Open, shot 71 and Schwab Cup points leader Steve Alker opened with 73.
In the morning wave, Bernhard Langer struggled and shot 74, Miguel Angel Jimenez shot 78 along with David Duval.
LIV Players Get Cold Shoulder From Scottish Open:
The Scottish Open has apparently put LIV Series players on notice that they won’t be welcome at the event that is the week before the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews.
This year’s Scottish Open is co-sanctioned by both the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour and the total prize money is $8 million. It already has some big-name entrants including world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, No. 3 Jon Rahm, No. 4 Collin Morikawa and No. 5 Justin Thomas.
The Scottish Open will be held once again at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, just outside Edinburgh.
The DP World Tour has also announced sanctions against members who have joined the LIV Series.
They will be fined 100,000 pounds.
They have been advised that they are suspended from participating in the following DP World Tour tournaments – the Genesis Scottish Open and Barbasol Championship (July 7-10) and the Barracuda Championship (July 14-17) and have been removed from the entry lists of these events where applicable.
The DP World Tour also said that participation in a further conflicting tournament or tournaments without the required release may incur further sanctions.
Money raised from the fines will be shared equally in two distinct ways — It will be added to prize money for upcoming tournaments on the DP World Tour, to the benefit of Members of the DP World Tour who have complied with the Release rules and the fines collected will be distributed through the Tour’s Golf for Good program to deserving charitable causes in the communities that the DP World Tour plays.
Keith Pelley, Chief Executive of the DP World Tour, said: “Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members.
“Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour, but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years.
“Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today.”
Haotong Li Goes Really Low At BMW International:
Haotong Li has been having low rounds in tournaments this season on the DP World Tour but hasn’t been able to get into the winners circle, yet.
On Thursday, Li sped around the Golf Club Munchen Eichenried outside Munich and finished with a 10-under par 72. He kept his momentum going early Friday and added and five-under par 67 on Friday morning that took him to 15-under par for the event and set himself up as the probable 36-hole leader.
Defending champion Billy Horschel opened with a 70 on Thursday. Billy got off to a rough start with a double at the first hole on Friday morning but was working his way back to where he started with birdies at the second and sixth.
Projected 36-hole cut was three-under.