Friday’s First-round Recap
South Korea’s Chella Choi fired a 5-under 67 in wet and soggy conditions at Locust Hill Country Club to take a one-shot lead at the Wegmans LPGA Championship. Choi carded six birdies in her first 10 holes and made just one bogey in her round and leads Jiyai Shin and Morgan Pressel, who both shot opening rounds of 4-under 68.
The first round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship kicked off a day late after heavy rain postponed play before it began on Thursday. A total of 2 ½ inches of rain fell in the Pittsford, New York area over 24 hours on Thursday and there were questions as to whether play would be able to resume on time on Friday. Thanks to some tremendous work by the Locus Hill grounds crew staff, players teed off on time at 7:15 a.m. on Friday morning although there were still plenty of challenges with the rain having made the course play even longer than expected.
Early in the week the talk was all about the thick, heavy rough and the rain certainly didn’t make it any easier. Many of the players in the field cited the need to keep the ball in the fairway and it’s no surprise that the first-round leader did just that. Choi hit all 14 fairways on Friday and only missed three greens
“I hit a really good driver today,” said Choi. “I hit 14 fairways. So I'm really happy. My goal is just keep fairway.”
The fifth-year Tour member, who is still seeking her first-career victory, played through rainy conditions for the majority of her round and battled steady rain on the back nine. Still she managed to limit her mistakes to just the one bogey on the par-4 13th.
Pressel held the clubhouse lead for much of the day after closing out her round with four consecutive birdies. She’s tied for second with Jiyai Shin, who had four birdies and no bogeys in her opening round. Shin won at Locust Hill back in 2009, the year before the LPGA Championship moved here.
“I played pretty well out there,” said Pressel, who shot 68 for the first time since the first round of the 2012 Mobile Bay LPGA Classic. “I didn't put myself really in any bad trouble which you can certainly find on this golf course. I hit a lot of fairways, which you need to do. I only missed I think two or three maybe, and the couple that I did, I most of the time saved par.”
Five-time LPGA Tour winner Brittany Lincicome is two shots back at 3-under-par and in solo fourth place. American Jessica Korda and LPGA and World Golf Halls of Famer Se Ri Pak are in a tie for fifth at 2-under-par. Korda is playing for her second LPGA win while Pak is seeking her 26th victory and sixth major championship. Pak is a three-time LPGA Championship winner.
Topics: KPMG Women's PGA Championship