Azahara Munoz punctuated a brilliant first-round at the Kingsmill Championship with a chip-in birdie on hole eight, her seventeenth of the day, and a great up-and-down for par on nine.
She made seven birdies and turned in a 6-under, 65, her best round of the year.
“Everything was working,” said the always-smiling Spaniard. “I hit a lot of fairways, a lot of greens and hit some beautiful shots and made some nice putts too.”
After a tough 2017 season, which went along without a top 10 finish, Munoz has returned to form this year. She already has four top 20s including a runner-up finish at the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii.
“I feel like I’ve been playing really well all year,” said Munoz, No. 51 in the Rolex world rankings. “I finished 11th in the Bahamas and I know my game has been really close and obviously Hawaii gave me a lot of confidence. I know I can play well out here again.”
Her confidence is beaming and she’s playing on a track she loves in Williamsburg. It's a good combination.
“The greens are amazing here so if you hit good putts you are going to make them. You have to strike the ball well here and I like when a course forces you to do that.”
While Munoz will never admit this, part of her struggles last year stem from Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid condition that she suffered from for years, but just revealed publicly this year.
“I felt like I had a weight on my shoulder (before revealing the disease) and I don’t why know because it’s not the end of the world,” said Munoz, who experienced hair loss before going to the dermatologist to get diagnosed. “Being open about it and sharing it with people will hopefully allow me to help someone.”
Fatigue is a major symptom of Hashimoto’s disease.
“I’m feeling great, of course I still have my days when I’m tired, but I know the reason so I just take it a bit easier,” explained Munoz. “For the most part, I’m feeling really good.”
And she's playing great too.