The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, October 8, 2020
Major golf is back —Interview with Georgia Hall— Must-click links in women's golf
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Major golf is back
Hello! Round one of the KPMG Women’s PGA is wrapping up as I write this. We’ve got early tee times all weekend because of the amount of daylight this time of the year in Philadelphia, so play will be complete by the time you’re reading this. Here are some of the key takeaways leading up to the week and after 18 holes.
Danielle Kang started off her round hot. She has historically played really well on KPMG Women’s PGA Championship courses and always seems to be in the hunt come Sunday. She rattled off three birdies on her front nine and finished the round 1-under. That’s currently good for T7.
After a rough final round in Jersey last week for Carlota Ciganda, she pieced together an impressive round today. Redemption? It’s been a while since we’ve seen her in the winners circle, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she stays in contention for this major championship. She and Gaby Lopez, who both tested positive for COVID earlier in the season, both finished 2-under.
Whether or not a champions hangover is real, last week’s winner Mel Reid got off to a slow start today. However, she finished on a high note with a birdie and is by no means out of it at +4 and T72. An even-par day tomorrow likely means she will advance to the weekend.
As somewhat indicated already, the scores aren’t going to be very low this week. I am guessing around 10-under or below. Aronimink is a beautiful monster. It’s long and difficult and there is a lot on the line on top of that! Even without fans, it has a major championship feel.
Two other players that jump out on the top of the leaderboard are Lydia Ko and Brittany Lincicome. Ko, who has been working on her fitness to help her game, finished 2-under on the day. She has been in this position plenty before; it would be fun to see her hoist a major championship trophy for the first time in a few years. Lincicome, too, is due for a big win after having her first child.
We have a lot to look forward to this week. The course setup is bound to get more difficult over the next few days as it always does for this event. But on top of the course itself, this tournament is highly touted for its attention to detail and the overall player experience.
In listening to a handful of player interviews earlier this week, everyone inside the ropes is very well taken care of: from courtesy cars, to the main hotel, to player dining and overall hospitality. There is always something that separates each major from the next, and this is definitely what sets apart the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship from the other four majors.
It’s a challenge, to say the least, when we are talking about performance. But it’s also a world class experience for the players; an event they all look forward to. This is what it’s all about to me. Women’s golf has its challenges and things to improve upon—but I can sleep at night knowing how many people truly care and how many people want to continue to raise the bar.
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This Week in Women’s Golf
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English revival and other storylines ahead of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. (via LPGA.com)
Check out the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship leaderboard after Round 1. Could very well be a single-digit 72-hole score. (via LPGA.com)
Here’s how you can watch the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. (via kpmgwomenspgachampionship.com)
What to watch for during the third women’s major of the season. (via ESPN)
Mel Reid’s celebration after her win last week was kind of an expensive one. (via Golf Channel)
Mariah Stackhouse, the only LPGA’s full-time black player, is using her platform to inspire the next generation. (via ESPN)
Spotted on tour: Mel Reid’s tie-dye pullover. (via Golf.com)
Lydia Ko is getting stronger in quest to take her game to the next level. (via Golfweek)
Since her unlikely British Open triumph, Sophia Popov is ready for the next major. (via Golf.com)
Mariah Stackhouse joins ESPN’s Sarah Spain on Game Changers podcast. (via PGA.com)
The Kordas just might be the greatest family of athletes. (via LPGA.com)
Annika Sorenstam is turning 50, so now seems like a great time to check out her trophy case. (via Golfweek)
PGA Professional Joanna Coe using her platform to grow the game. (via PGA.com)
Surprise major champions no longer a surprise on the LPGA Tour. (via The Day)
Georgia Hall out to maintain English rule as she begins her LPGA bid. (via EveningStandard)
Brooke Henderson looking forward to the rest of the LPGA season. (via TSN)
Sadly, players and caddies still having to pull out of events due to COVID. (via ESPN)
Arkansas women sweep the Blessings Collegiate Invitational. (via arkansasrazorbacks.com)
Arkansas Brooke Matthews was dangerous on her home course. (via Golfweek)
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Georgia Hall
With back-to-back winners on the LPGA being from England, and plenty of chatter about the revival of British women’s golf, check out Georgia Hall’s post-round interview after shoot even (70) on day one of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Hall won the Portland Classic a couple weeks ago and England’s Mel Reid took home the trophy last week in New Jersey.
On her round: I was really happy with the way I started the round. It was pretty windy and pretty hard. I’m disappointed in my last two holes; shouldn’t have bogey’d them. But I would have taken level par starting the day.
On the positives from Round 1: I played pretty solid. Didn’t make hardly any mistakes. My driving was pretty good just the last couple holes let me down. So going to try not to have that tomorrow and just have to practice a bit today, work on it.
On the length of Aronimink: I agree I think it was quite fair. They pushed the tees up and yeah, it probably will be the easiest today.
Differences between the front 9 and back 9: I think the wind got up a bit more on the back nine. Some of the pins were a little bit tough on the back nine, but also I didn’t play as well.