Despite rainy conditions for much of her round, Australia's Hannah Green leads the now 154-player field after 18 holes at the 2019 KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Hazeltine National in Chaska June 20.
Green fired a 4-under 68, good for a one-stroke lead over Hyo Joo Kim and Mel Reid after the first round. Green is ranked No. 114 in the world and has never won a LPGA event.
Hitting just six of 14 fairways, Green's stellar play came on the greens, of all places, putting just 23 times. She played bogey-free golf by converting all nine of her scrambling situations.
"Today was one of those days where I was hitting good shots and managing to hit six-footers," Green said to GOLF Channel’s Steve Sands following her round.
"One of those days that I literally holed everything that I saw besides the putts that were outside 20-30 feet, so I’m really happy with how that was. I just hope that maybe I can hit some more greens and be a bit more solid with my long game," she added.
Other top rounds came from Hyo Joo Kim and Reid (-3), Annie Park, Ariya Jutanugarn, Xi Yu Lin, I.K. Kim, Sung Hyun Park, and Amy Yang.
Through 18 holes of play, only 16 players currently sit under par, marking the second fewest through the first round since 2015.
Some of the game's top stars struggled on Thursday, including Michelle Wie, who is fourth-from-last with a 12-over par score of 84.
Stacy Lewis shot 77 with Brooke Henderson at 76 with Lexi Thompson and Inbee Park playing even-par at 72.
Sarah Burnham, of Maple Grove, the lone Minnesotan in the field, finished with a trio of birdies, tying for 116th place with 78 strokes.
Haru Nomura and Mi Jung Hur withdrew from the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on Thursday due to back injuries. Both players completed nine holes before their withdrawals.
Two additional players, Klara Spilkova and Anne-Catherine Tanguay, exited the tournament on Friday due to injury and illness.
Officially, Hazeltine picked up four-tenths of an inch of rain on Thursday.
"Hazeltine held up extremely well today. This is a long golf course though. I don’t remember seeing an LPGA course play as long as this one has today in a long time," Mark Rolfing of the GOLF Channel said.
Round two begins at 7:30 a.m. Friday. The field will shrink in half for the final two rounds on Saturday and Sunday.