PATIENCE PAYS OFF FOR NORDQVIST
Eight-time LPGA winner Anna Nordqvist got off to a hot start on Thursday morning at the Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg. Nordqvist carded four birdies in a row (holes 13-16) and hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation with just 27 putts en route to a first-round 65, her lowest round of the 2019 LPGA season, and a share of the lead.
“I feel like I've played a lot of good -- well, can't say good golf, but I feel like I play a lot solid golf,” the two-time major champion said. “Just haven't really got anything out of it. Today was very consist, solid, and didn't make any big mistakes. So definitely nice that two weeks off, but you never like missing cuts, especially when it just didn't feel like I played that bad.”
Nordqvist said the bentgrass greens at the Kingsmill Resort River Course were a welcome sight after she struggled on the Poa annua greens at the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open and the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship where she missed her first two cuts of the season. Despite being at the top of the leaderboard, Nordqvist found the varying winds on Thursday in Williamsburg a challenge.
“I found the conditions really hard this morning, and you have to hit a lot of good shots. Right now I'm just very proud of myself what I did this morning. Not really trying to worry about the past or the future. Just let it be.”
LAW LEARNING FROM LATEST EXPERIENCE
Bronte Law has had two of the best days of any player in the last two rounds on the LPGA Tour. On Thursday in the first round of the Pure Silk Championship Law hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation in a bogey-free round that included an eagle to open with a 65. Three weeks ago in her last start at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, Law closed with a Sunday 65 to vault up the leaderboard and into her first career playoff.
While Law fell short of hoisting her first career LPGA trophy, she said she learned a lot from the experience and hopes she’s still carrying a bit of momentum from her career-best finish in San Francisco.
“You would like to think so, but I think every time you step up on the tee it's a new day and anything can happen,” Law said on Thursday in Williamsburg. “You just try and go out there and play your best golf. I thought I did a good job of staying composed out there today. If I hit a bad shot, not letting myself get ahead of myself or worry about it too much. Ultimately, I'm very pleased with the result.”
This is the first time in her career the Englishwoman has held a share of the lead following any round on the LPGA, but she said she knows better than to get comfortable at the top following just one round.
“Everyone out here is really good at what they do. You have to keep pushing higher and higher, making more and more birdies, until the tournament is over really. You can't sit on it for a second because someone will come up right behind you.”
Rolex Rankings No. 41 Bronte Law (-6, 65)
- Law’s 6-under 65 tied her second-best career low round; her last 65 round was at the 2019 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship. Her career best is a 64 from the 2017 Indy Women in Tech Championship.
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens with 27 putts
- Law is in her third year on the LPGA Tour; her best career finish was a T2 finish at the 2019 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship
- She is competing in her third Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg; her best finish was T36 in 2017
- This is Law’s 10th event of the 2019 season; her season-best finish was a T2 finish at the 2019 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship
- In 2018, Law made 22 cuts in 25 events, with five top-10 finishes
- She represented Team England at the 2018 UL International Crown; the team finished T2 with 11 points
- Law played collegiately at UCLA, where she won the 2016 ANNIKA Award and was the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year
- She holds the UCLA record for most career wins with seven
Rolex Rankings No. 42 Anna Nordqvist (65)
- Nordqvist’s first-round 65 is her lowest round this season, and just her sixth round in the 60s in 2019
- She hit 12 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens
- This is Nordqvist’s ninth start of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has two top-25 finishes in 2019, a solo 21st finish at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions and a T21 finish at the ANA Inspiration
- Nordqvist is in her 11th season on the LPGA Tour; she has eight career victories, including two major wins at the 2017 Evian Championship and the 2009 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
- This is Nordqvist’s eighth start at the Pure Silk Championship, she has never finished outside the top 25 with three top-10 finishes
- This is the first time Nordqvist has held a share of the first-round lead since the 2018 ShopRite LPGA Classic where she ended up finishing T17
- At the 2019 Solheim Cup in Scotland, Nordqvist is looking to make her sixth career appearance for Team Europe
Rolex Rankings No. 61 Jennifer Song (65)
- Song’s first-round 65 is her lowest round this season and ties her career-best round; her last round of 65 was at the 2018 HSBC Women’s Championship, which was also the last time Song held a lead after the first round, she ended up finishing T31
- She hit 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens
- This is Song’s ninth start of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she has two top-30 finishes this year, with her highest finish a T26 at the ANA Inspiration
- Song is in her ninth season on the LPGA Tour; her best result is T2 from the 2018 ANA Inspiration
- This is Song’s seventh start at the Pure Silk Championship, her best finish is T25 in 2012
- Song recorded 12 top-10 finishes, including two wins at the USC
- In 2009, she won the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship and U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links, and was the low amateur at the U.S. Women's Open
Defending Pure Silk Championship winner Ariya Jutanugarn shot an opening-round 71 on Thursday.
The eight players tied for fourth or better represent six different countries: U.S., Sweden, England, Thailand, Scotland, Canada.
64 of the 144 players in the field fired rounds under par on Thursday at the Kingsmill Resort.
Louise Stahle was the last player to gain entry into the Pure Silk Championship when Sei Young Kim withdrew on Wednesday afternoon, and fired a 3-under 68 in the first round, her best round since carding a 68 at the 2010 Navistar LPGA Classic.
The first reshuffle of the 2019 LPGA Tour season will happen after the conclusion of this week’s Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg. Category 8 on the LPGA Priority List will comprise of members in the Top 80 of the current year’s Money List with priority based on the order of the list. In addition, Members in categories 14 through 19 who have earned official money will be re-seeded into Category 13 and ranked in order of their position on the current year’s Money List through the Pure Silk Championship.
Monday qualifiers Katherine Perry (-5, 66) and Simin Feng (-1, 70) are currently No. 368 and No. 452 on the LPGA Priority List, respectively, and were both under par on Thursday.
Perry’s first-round 66 matches her career-best round, which she shot in the first round of the 2018 Cambia Portland Classic where she also had a career-best T14 finish.
Danielle Kang withdrew on Thursday following her round, with no reason given.