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Lexi Thompson grabs first-round lead at Women’s PGA

Lexi Thompson, 10 years removed from her lone major championship, holds a one-shot lead after the first round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Thursday in Sammamish, Wash.

Thompson shot a 4-under-par 68 at Sahalee Country Club to sit just ahead of world No. 1 Nelly Korda and Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit.

Caroline Inglis, Allisen Corpuz, Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, South Korea’s Amy Yang, Thailand’s Arpichaya Yubol, England’s Charley Hull, Ireland’s Leona Maguire, France’s Celine Boutier and three Japanese players, Mao Saigo, Hinako Shibuno and Akie Iwai, are tied for fourth at 70.

Thompson, 29, last won an LPGA tournament in 2019. Her only major title came at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

She began her Thursday round with three birdies in a row. The rest of the way, she had three more birdies and two bogeys.

“It was overall just a great day,” Thompson said. “Can’t ask for better weather out there. I played solid golf. Just tried to stay in the moment. There was a lot of tough holes out there, so just tried to visualize and pick small targets and take advantage of the few birdies today that you get out there.”

Korda, 25, is looking for her seventh victory of the year and her second major title of the season. She claimed the Chevron Championship in April to win her fifth consecutive event, tying the all-time LPGA record.

Starting on the back nine, Korda had a birdie and a bogey before she ran off three consecutive birdies at Nos. 13-15, leaving her 3 under par at the turn. She followed a birdie at No. 3 with a double bogey on the par-4 fourth hole, then closed with a birdie at the par-3 ninth hole.

“Overall, played pretty well,” Korda said. “I think I just had one bogey and one double, which you kind of — if you try to be aggressive when you’ve hit it off line, it just bites you in the butt. So I did on that hole.”

Korda added, “This golf course is really hard enough, and you … even though you have a game plan and you’re on the tee box, you see, visualize your shot, sometimes you’re going to get a bad bounce or hit the shot the way you’re visualizing. You just got to adapt.”

Tavatanakit turned in a bogey-free round that featured birdies to start the front nine and back nine.

“Surprised myself to be able to do that,” Tavatanakit said of avoiding bogeys. “This course has its teeth for sure. I feel like you hit good drives, and a couple of drives I hit really good today and I ended up getting blocked by the trees. So yeah, just got to take it shot by shot and just play what’s in front of you.”

Defending champion Ruoning Yin of China is tied for 15th after a 71.

–Field Level Media

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