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Noah Trister, The Associated Press

BETHESDA, Md. — In Gee Chun has carved out a dramatic lead at No. 1 in the Women’s PGA Championship after a sensational start.

In fact, no player has had such a huge lead after 18 holes at a Grand Slam tournament.

Chun went 64 (minus-8) on Thursday to take a five-stroke lead after the first round on the Congressional Blue course.

Chun notably shone with seven birdies in eight holes. She was leading by seven strokes when she finished her day.

Mickey Wright also took the lead by five strokes after the first round in 1961.

“I don’t know what course In Gee is playing on right now,” defending champion Nelly Korda said after turning in a 71 (minus-1).

Chun played the round on the same course as everyone else — the latter which was completely renovated last year. There were showers overnight and more precipitation on Thursday morning.

However, that was not a factor for the winner of two Grand Slam tournaments.

“The course, after a lot of rain, seems longer,” noted the 27-year-old South Korean. However some greens were softer. So I think there’s a balance.”

Pornanong Phatlum and Hye-Jin Choi made no bogeys to reduce Chun’s lead to five shots and tie Wright’s mark. The 1961 edition was Wright’s first of four victories at this tournament. Chun tries to get his first title on this one.

Chun set a record at a Grand Slam tournament — any gender — when she won the Evian Amundia Championship in 2016 by going 21 under par. She also won the US Open the previous year.

Paula Reto and Jennifer Chang concluded at minus-2. Korda and her partner, Canada’s Brooke Henderson, are part of a group of nine players at 1 under.

The Quebecer Maude-Aimée Leblanc gave a card of 73 (plus-1).




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