UPDATE 4:17 p.m. ET - Play resumed at 3:15 p.m. local time.
UPDATE 3:57 p.m. ET - Play will resume at 3:15 p.m. local time.
UPDATE 3:31 p.m. ET - The opening round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G was suspended at 2:29 p.m. local time due to dangerous weather conditions in the area. Updates to follow as they become available.
It didn’t take long for Sung Hyun Park to figure out Pinnacle Country Club.
In her first competitive round at the club, the 2017 rookie posted an eight-under par, 63 to take the lead mid-way through round one of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. Park sits two-strokes ahead of Ally McDonald and Mel Reid at six-under par. Stacy Lewis is part of a group including Juli Inkster, Moriya Jutanugarn, Felicity Johnson and Katherine Kirk at five-under par.
The rookie went out in 31, including a stretch of six consecutive birdies interrupted by her only bogey of the day, and added three more birdies on the back. But Park was scrambling, she hit just eight of 13 fairways, which forced her to make up for it on the greens and she did, making it around in just 24 putts.
“My play was best with putter today, very good,” Park said after her round.
The morning looked to belong to another rookie, Mel Reid, who made birdie on five of her first seven holes. Her good luck kept rolling on the back nine where she made a hole-in-one at the par three, 11th hole to jump to eight-under par and extend her lead. But Reid was unable to capitalize on the momentum and dropped shots on her closing stretch to finish with a six-under par, 65 and two-strokes back of Park. Reid’s 65 is her low round of the year and turns around what has been a rough stretch for the rookie who missed the cut in her last three starts.
McDonald sits in a share of second with Reid at six-under par after posting her low round of the year. In 2015, McDonald earned her way onto the LPGA Tour through the LPGA Qualifying Tournament where she finished tied for 22nd to earn limited status. Instead, McDonald elected to play a full-time schedule on the Symetra Tour in 2016. She finished second on the money list, earning a record $110,359, second only to Madelene Sagstrom who won the money title. This season, McDonald is playing a full schedule on the LPGA Tour and makes her 11th start of the year this week and first appearance in Arkansas. Friday, the Mississippi State alum was happy to be back in the south, which gave friends and family a rare opportunity to come out and show their support for McDonald.
“Means a lot. There are few places that my family can get to with the schedule and with my grandparents wanting to watch me,” McDonald said about her parents, four grandparents and friends who made the trip this week. “I'm happy they could all be here, and hopefully I can play well for them.”