KPMG Women's PGA Championship Thursday's first round

LPGA Tour players are a lot more accurate than PGA Tour players

From the inaugural 1955 edition, when Beverly Hansen defeated Louise Suggs 4 and 3 in match play at the Orchard Ridge Country Club for the championship and the $1200 victor share of a $6000 purse, to Brooke Henderson's 2016 playoff victory against Lydia Ko for the $525,000 winners share of a $3.5 million purse, this event has inspired and challenged a championship-level field.

With her 3-under 68 in the first round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Olympia Fields on Thursday, the 27-year-old was off to a fine start. She's two strokes off the lead of Chella Choi, a stroke behind Brittany Altomare and tied with Wie, victor of the 2014 U.S. Women's Open, and several others.

"It was really good", said Henderson, who won the 2016 title at the Sahalee Country Club. I'm not at the very top of the leaderboard, but I'm only a couple of shots back.

Last year, she finished second, losing to Canadian Brooke Henderson in a playoff, while in 2014, she finished third (in 2015 she missed the cut). It calmed down a bit in the afternoon.

"I literally just go and I'm like, "This feels right, ' and I just go with it", she said". "It started a few holes in and we really had to readjust and just stay patient in the wind because it is really tough". You get the picture.

This week, Henderson will try to keep the momentum going and play to her strengths. Playing with world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and American Alison Lee in one of the marquee groups, Henderson pounded the ball by them off the tee as she hit driver whenever she could.

While Yang will have to shake her late bogey as she plays No. 18 and the second round Friday, Choi will start her day with plenty of momentum after birdies on Nos. They were left in Henderson's dust. "If I can hit it straight and I can get it down the fairway, I think I'll take an advantage over the rest of the field". We have some longer holes where we might be coming in with hybrids or even a 5-wood in some cases, and then some shorter ones where you can take advantage and make those birdies.

Ko said she was looking forward to playing on a course that she believes provides a great balance of conditions. That gave her some momentum and she was 4-under the rest of the way.

"I played just 18 holes before the tournament, so I don't remember every hole", said Choi, victor of one LPGA event. Henderson wound up in a bad lie in trampled grass, 25 yards from a downhill pin.

"She needs something to occupy her mind", said Stupples, "when she wants to analyze and overcorrect and do other things".

Jutanugarn appreciated the degree of difficulty and she joined the gallery in applauding the effort.

Yang ends her day on a sour note because she bogeyed the 17th right before play was suspended and lost her solo grip on the lead.



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