LPGA returns as Danielle Kang fires bogey-free 66 to steer Drive On Championship

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TOLEDO, Ohio – Danielle Kang went greater than six months with out competing and seemed as if she had by no means been away, taking part in bogey-free at Inverness Membership for a 6-under 66 and a one-shot lead within the LPGA Drive On Championship.
The LPGA Tour’s much-awaited return from the COVID-19 pandemic introduced a right away sense of its new world. Kang had no thought the place she stood after a closing birde.
“There are no leaderboards on the golf course,” Kang stated.

BY Randall Mell

 — July 31, 2020 at 4:25 PM
Danielle Kang likes to have a look at leaderboards, however could not with none on property at Inverness. Regardless of that, she leads after the primary spherical of the LPGA’s restart.

Inverness, the place Paul Azinger beat Greg Norman in a playoff on the 1993 PGA Championship, is internet hosting the Solheim Cup subsequent yr and provided to stage the primary occasion again for the LPGA Tour because the Ladies’s Australian Open on Feb. 16. The LPGA Tour stays in northeast Ohio subsequent week earlier than heading to Scotland.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England additionally performed bogey-free for a 67. Celine Boutier of France and Lee-Anne Tempo of South Africa additionally had been at 5 below till each made bogey on the closing gap. They settled for a 68.
The foremost international tour in golf attracted 130 gamers from some 30 nations, although it was lacking the main stars from powerhouse South Korea. Jin Younger Ko, the No. 1 participant on the earth, and Sung Hyun Park have stayed residence and are taking part in on the Korean LPGA. Neither is predicted to journey to Scotland for the Ladies’s British Open in three weeks.
The lone Korean among the many prime 10 — a rarity given the nation’s energy in girls’s golf — was Hee Younger Park at 70.
Kang, a former Ladies’s PGA champion, paid explicit consideration to the pace of the greens at Inverness, making six birdies and quite a lot of key par putts to maintain her spherical going.
“Even in the event you hit a very good shot, it is not a straightforward putt,” Kang stated. “I nearly three-putted from 9 toes. Undoubtedly had a very good angle, and it was actually enjoyable to be again.”
Full-field scores from the LPGA Drive On Championship
The LPGA Tour is just not permitting spectators, although that wasn’t an issue for Kang. She was extra involved about her etiquette with two different gamers, completely different from a extra informal angle at residence. Kang performed solely twice firstly of the yr within the Florida occasions, together with a third-place end Jan. 23 on the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.
The sector attracted 4 of the highest 10 from the world rating, and Kang (No. 4) Minjee Lee of Australia (No. 8) had been the one ones to interrupt par. Lee shot 69.
Nelly Korda, the highest-ranked participant at No. 2 on the earth, opened with two birdies in three holes and closed with one other birdie. It was the half in between that price her, and she or he had a 76. Lexi Thompson, who has slipped to No. 9, opened with a 73.
For many of them, it was merely good to be again.
Lydia Ko made a protracted birdie to shut out her spherical of 69, becoming a member of Lee and Amy Olson.
“I noticed among the women and I used to be like, ‘Man, it is good to not see you thru a digital app or on social media,'” Ko stated.

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