November 29, 2023

Jennifer Kupcho and Minjee Lee share lead in last major at Mission Hills

Jennifer Kupcho shared the lead Thursday in the Chevron Championship in her second – and last – begin at Mission Hills, the tree-lined design she has in practically no time experienced passionate feelings for.

“Truly, I believe it’s simply being agreeable on this green,” Kupcho said. “I arrive and I just, I feel great. I love this spot.”

Kupcho shot a six-under 66 in bright and quiet morning conditions to join individual early starter Minjee Lee on the leaderboard after the first round of the last release of the significant title at Mission Hills.

“I truly like the design of this green, the delightful shape that it’s in consistently,” Kupcho said. “It forever is so enjoyable to be in the vicinity, so exploiting the amount I like the course and the atmosphere.”Unable to observe a support ready to stay at Mission Hills, the competition that began in 1972 as the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle and turned into a significant in 1983 is moving to Houston one year from now under an arrangement with Chevron.

“Certainly miserable,” Carolina Masson said after a 68. “I comprehend the reason why we’re making it happen, yet I’m simply attempting to absorb consistently being around here. The fairway is playing as great as could be expected.”

Reigning champ Patty Tavatanakit was a stroke back, completing late in the early evening in blasting breeze.

“Truly pleased,” Tavatanakit said. “I feel like I truly got my force rolling, was truly present today.”

Kupcho birdied Nos 11 through 14 to get to eight under, then, at that point, came up short the following two openings. She birdied four of the initial five and wrapped up with nine birdies and three intruder.

“You truly need to hit fairways on a significant green, so that resembled my greatest thing today, to hit a lot of fairways,” Kupcho said. “That truly set me up for every one of my birdies.”

Winless on the LPGA Tour, Kupcho brought home the 2018 NCAA individual championship for Wake Forest and took the debut Augusta National Women’s Amateur the next year in the wake of missing a spot that week at Mission Hills.

The 24-year-old from Colorado showed up before the expected time in the desert subsequent to missing the cut Friday in Carlsbad. “I just utilized the two days that I had toward the end of the week to come here and practice,” she said.

Lee birdied every one of the four standard 5s in an intruder free round on the mountain-outlined course.

“It was awesome,” Lee said. “Dislike a breath of wind when we played. Perhaps a smidgen. However, conditions are extraordinary. It are moving genuine ideal to Put greens. I don’t figure you can beat that.”

The 25-year-old Australian, positioned fourth on the planet, brought home the Evian Championship the previous summer for her first significant title and 6th LPGA Tour victory.”I realize I have one added to my repertoire, however I truly do need somewhat more,” Lee said. “I simply think I have somewhat more confidence in myself and my game, so I can be somewhat more agreeable hitting the shots.”

Third-positioned Lydia Ko, the 2015 hero, was at 68 with Masson, Anna Nordqvist, Georgia Hall, Gabriela Ruffels and Pajaree Anannarukarn. Lexi Thompson, the 2014 victor, was one more stroke back with Sarah Schmelzel, Annie Park, Lauren Stephenson, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard and Hinako Shibuno.

Thompson wondered about course she originally played as a 14-year-old novice.

“I’ve never seen it this great,” Thompson said. “It generally astounds me consistently. It’s better 100% of the time. The greens are astonishing. I’m one to putt and typically focus on things en route, and there is definitely not a defect on greens to focus on. It’s a decent issue.”

Schmelzel is showing up.

“This spot is truly unique,” Schmelzel said. “I want to grow up watching the LPGA Tour, these are openings that I recall. These are openings that I needed to be on one day.”

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