Five Players Tied for Lead After Day One
Five players, including 21-year-old defending champion Lexi Thompson and 52-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, share the lead at 6-under following the opening round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.
“I would just say there’s a lot more confidence, a lot of great memories there from last year,” Thompson said of coming back to Grand Rapids as the defending champion. “I just replayed a lot of the shots I hit basically the last round, I remembered a lot. There was actually a lot of Sunday pins from last year today.”
“It’s fun for me,” Davies, a 20-time LPGA winner, said of competing with the younger generation of golf superstars. “I loved watching that playoff last week; two really great young players, such happy-go-lucky characters as well, it’s good for the game. But there’s room for the likes of myself and Juli Inkster and a few of the other old girls to show what we can still do because we all hit it well, it’s just the short game separates the top players from the ones that are just struggling a little bit sometimes.”
Four time LPGA Tour winner Sei Young Kim, Paula Reto and Carlota Ciganda round out the group at the top of the leaderboard.
“Today I shot pretty steady,” said Kim. “The greens are very easy to hold so it should make birdie opportunity very easier.”
“I was not going to really expect anything, I was just going to try to play my best and one shot at a time because I feel like I couldn’t think too much today because of the last couple weeks, I haven’t felt so good,” Reto said. “So this week I told myself I’m just going to sort of stay patient, stay within myself, and I think that really helped me today.”
The course conditions at Blythefield seemed to benefit the bombers as Thompson (1st), Kim (5th), Ciganda (6th) and Reto (7th) are all tied for the lead.
“Yeah, I think so,” Ciganda said when asked if the course benefits longer players. “I think it’s playing from what I heard a little longer than other years, so it’s a little wet and the greens are pretty soft which I really liked to just hit it to the pin and be a little aggressive. So I think the course is good for long hitters and, yeah, I really like the course.”
Seven players are a shot back at 5-under and seven additional golfers are two back. In total, there are 46 players within five shots of the lead.
Paula Creamer sets the record straight regarding bubba watson’s 2007 oakmont yardage book
After being accused of not returning Bubba Watson’s yardage book from the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, Paula Creamer told her side of the story today at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.
“I mean, Bubba’s a good friend of mine so I know he’s trying to throw me under the bus, but we all know in reality I did give him back his yardage books and he had them,” Creamer said. “It’s kind of funny when you can play games like that. However, he is wrong and he knows it and he has his books.”
The yardage books, which helped Creamer win the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, appear to still have their magic as Watson sits in a tie for second as play was suspended at Oakmont.
DEFENDING CHAMPION LEXI THOMPSON CARDS 6-UNDER, 65 IN FIRST ROUND
The first round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give started out with some rain but that didn’t stop reigning champion Lexi Thompson from posting a 6-under, 65 at Blythefield Country Club. Thompson, ranked No. 4 on the Rolex Rankings, posted a bogey free round making four birdies and one eagle.
“I had a slow start for my first nine there on the back, but hit it very well and then got on a birdie run there on my second nine.” Thompson said.
Even with the winds against her, Thompson said that she didn’t make any adjustments to her game but made sure to stay positive throughout the round.
“I didn’t really change anything, I just made sure I stayed positive,” Thompson said. “I was hitting it well on my first nine, I two-putted every hole on the first nine so I just had to be patient with it. Then ended up holing out for eagle on my 10th hole, on No. 1 today, so that always helps with the putts.”
WORLD’S NO. 1&2 TWO BACK
World No.1 Lydia Ko and No.2 Brooke Henderson both carded a 4-under, 67s, on Thursday and both head into the second round just two shots back from current leaders Carlota Ciganda, Laura Davies, Sei Young Kim, Paula Reto, and Lexi Thompson.
“It was a pretty solid day, Henderson said. “4 under, I’ll take it. Only two back from the lead right now, the leaderboard’s pretty crowded with the top names and a ton of really good scores, so it’s a good first day but I’m excited for the rest.”
Both players are coming off a historic sudden death playoff at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, where Henderson defeated Ko. Henderson had five birdies and one bogey while Ko had four birdies and went bogey free during the round. Ko said that she is happy to start off the first round with a 67.
“Yeah, it was a pretty consistent day,” Ko said. “I had a few putts where it was close to going in but didn’t fall, but I think that’s what you’ve got to do, commit to your lines and put a good stroke on it. But I’m happy to start with a 67. Especially that front nine and those first few holes were tough because the wind was getting up and it seemed like the skies were getting dark, too.”
Numbers to Know
5 – The last two champions of this tournament were five shots off the lead after the first round; Mi Jung Hur, Sun Young Yoo and Anna Nordqvist are all five strokes back and they have a combined 10 career victories
46 – 46 players are within five shots of the lead
13 – The 13th hole played as the toughest hole on the course on Thursday; 18 birdies, 83 pars, 38 bogeys and 5 double bogeys
18 – Lexi Thompson hit every green in regulation (18-for-18)
>> Lexi Thompson has led one time after Round 1 in 2016 and she ended up winning the tournament (Honda LPGA Thailand) with a score of 20-under par
65 – Number of players under par for Round 1 at the Blythefield Country Club; Four more players than a year ago