March 17, 2018

Park revives Evian Championship ambitions in controversial first round re-run

17 September 2017, 01:19 | Pamela Mathis

Park revives Evian Championship ambitions in controversial first round re-run

Evian Championship – major backlash as event cut to 54 holes

If you're feeling a sense of déjà vu, you're not alone.

Leading 2017 LPGA money victor Sung Hyun Park shot an eight-under 63 in the first round of the Evian Championship on Friday at Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France, to take the solo lead in the final major of the LPGA season. What she hopes this time around is that she'll be the one holding the trophy, not finishing runner-up.

The US Open champion acknowledged her good fortune. Park started her day on the back nine.

"I chipped in for birdie at the first hole, so that was a good start", she said.

The 23-year-old South Korean was last on the leaderboard in the season's fifth and final major, having slumped to six over par after five holes on Thursday, before all play was cancelled due to the poor weather.

"I forgot about yesterday and just focused on my play today", Park said through a translator, acknowledging she was "surprised" that the LPGA scrapped Thursday's play.

Park shot 8-under-par 63 to take the early lead through the morning wave. Jessica Korda of the United States and Women's British Open victor In-Kyung Kim were a further shot back on 4 under.

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Jutanugarn is in the midst of her career best season with eight top-10s so far in 2017 and continues to work towards her first win on Tour. She shot 75 on Friday.

Park rolled in from six feet to birdie the second but bogeyed the fourth after finding rough off the tee, only to bounce back by picking up a shot at the seventh and adding a two-putt gain at the ninth.

"These major events, the keys are fairways and greens this week. It looks like it's plenty of good chances out there today", Jutanugarn said. It was really solid, and hopefully it's good momentum going into tomorrow.

Korda, who's been battling a forearm injury all season that forced her to withdraw from the Women's British Open and Solheim Cup, gained new fans after sarcastically tweeting her "excited" response to the LPGA scraping first round scores. Her only birdie came at the 16th. She assures her sister, Moriya, the same will happen for her.

With the prestigious event now being contested over 54 holes, the cut will take place after today's second round.

The Thai golfer, whose younger sister, Ariya, won the 2016 Women's British Open, has never won on Tour. "Yesterday the last couple holes we felt like we were playing in a hurricane", said Korda.

Korda was also eight shots ahead of Park on Thursday.

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