In Thursday’s sensational start, 27-year-old Chun sank nine birdies on her way to carding under eight under 64, the lowest starting round in PGA Women’s Championship history and setting a new record for a Congressional blue field remodeled in 2021.
Incredibly, upon her return to the club, Chun led with seven strokes, and her ferocious start caught the attention of many players in the golf world, including two-time major tournament winner Justin Thomas.
Although the difference was reduced to five by the end of the day thanks to compatriot Hye-Jin Choi and Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum, Chun’s lead still balanced the biggest first-round lead in women’s golf history.
Chun’s feat was made all the more impressive by the fact that many players struggled with the effects of the night’s rain, with Choi and Fatlum being the only other players to shoot up to 70.
“I don’t know what course In Gee is playing”
Defending champion Nelly Korda, who scored 71 shots, admired Chun’s efforts.
“I don’t know what golf course Ying G is playing at,” Korda said on Thursday.
“She must be playing very well. I think that when I take the first shot today, I will be very happy with the score I scored.
“I think you saw slightly higher numbers earlier in the day. Gee just plays very well, and she is applauded. Sometimes it just has to be your week, right? game plan and hopefully a good result on Sunday.”
Champion of the US Women’s Open in 2015 and the Evian Championship a year later, the victory at Bethesda ended Chun’s six-year wait for a new major.
And after a solid second round that saw the South Korean card score five birdies to maintain a healthy lead, Chun is set to focus on her title quest.
“I feel like after having a great first round, now it’s a game where I’m more against myself,” she told reporters on Saturday.
“I keep trying to focus and I just want to keep trying what I’ve been doing the last two days. I think this is the key to winning this week. Just go with the flow, do what I can.”