Korean countrywomen Sei Young Kim and Hyo-Joo Kim both started the 2022 Chevron Championship with matching rounds of 70 and 67, heading into the weekend in a tie for fifth at -7. The two are also both aiming to add a second major title to their resumes.
Hyo-Joo Kim captured the 2014 Amundi Evian Championship in her first major appearance, opening with a first-round 61 that set the mark for the lowest major round, male or female, in professional golf. Her opening nine holes included a streak of five birdies over the last six holes, a run that mimicked the “Happy Birdie Day” slogan printed on her polo shirt.
“Because I started off with so many birdies, I was just in a really good mood,” Hyo-Joo said. “In the back nine there was a mistake but overcame well and just overall I think I played a good round today.”
For Sei Young, her win at the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship came as her 11th LPGA Tour victory, at the time the most wins for an active player without a major title. She got off to a hot start on Friday, opening birdie-eagle and adding three more birdies to just one bogey.
“All my wins, my accomplishments, it's helped a lot for the, in this week, I think,” Sei Young. “But even that, I just try do my best. I don't think much about result. I just, every tee shot I relax, enjoying.”
Should Sei Young Kim or Hyo-Joo Kim take the title on Sunday, she would become the eighth player from the Republic of Korea with at least two major titles. Inbee Park has the most with seven, followed by Se Ri Pak (five), In Gee Chun (two), Jin Young Ko (two), Sung Hyun Park (two), So Yeon Ryu (two) and Jiyai Shin (two).