The tough weather conditions have been all the talk amongst the players who went out in the morning wave on Thursday at the Portland Classic. But as tough as it was, with temperatures just creeping into the mid to lower 60s along with non-stop rain, leave it to the one player who managed to climb to the top of the leaderboard on Thursday morning to describe her round as ‘easy.’
Perrine Delacour was just in the zone.
Totally unaware and unafraid of what she was achieving on the golf course, the Frenchwoman got off to an idyllic start, beginning her day at Columbia Edgewater Country Club with a birdie at No. 1. She followed that with a par on No. 2, and then rattled off five consecutive birdies to go out in 30. Her game cooled briefly midway through her round and then she added birdies at Nos. 14, 15, and 17 to shoot 63. Her round is two strokes shy of the course record set by Sei Young Kim in 2019.
“When you're in that zone you don't realize your score and you're just scared, not scared of anything,” Delacour said, adding that she had no idea what her score was during the round. “You go to every pin and you know it's going to be fine.”
On a day where she began the round with simple goal of staying dry, Delacour missed just two greens and needed only 26 putts. After her round she said even the few mistakes she made weren’t tough to recover from.
“We knew it was going to be wet, so my main goal was to try to get my club as dry as we can, which we did pretty good with my caddie,” Delacour said about the conditions. “I played solid. I hit 16 greens, and when I was missing them I was pretty easy up and down.”
It’s tough to say whether this round was in the making for Delacour, who said her game wasn’t where she wanted it to be when she arrived in Portland. But she did post on Instagram in recent weeks, following the AIG Women’s Open, where she finished tied for 21st, that her game was trending in the right direction and she left Walton Heath with plenty of positives. Those positives showed up on Thursday in a big way – and on a tough day – to help vault her to the top of the leaderboard early in round one.
“I've been working with my team a lot. I'm just trying my best. We're only Thursday so still a lot of golf going on,” said Delacour, who also went low earlier this season at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club where she closed with a final-round 64. “We're just going to keep focusing and build momentum being on the leaderboard.”