The stars of the LPGA Tour are in action for their fourth major of the year this week, competing at the Evian Championship. Hosted in Evian, France, the tournament is one of five majors on the women’s circuit and has held elevated status since 2013.
Here are three things you missed from the opening round in Evian.
Noh, Anannarukarn lead
Yealimi Noh and Pajaree Anannarukarn carded the rounds of the day at Evian Resort, each signing for six-under 65s by day’s end.
Noh, still an LPGA rookie, opened her round by holing out for eagle at the par-4 1st and added five more birdies while carding just one bogey. The round is the lowest of her career in a major championship.
“I think it’s the first time I’ve ever done that,” Noh said of her opening eagle. “I was just like, ‘What? Like, okay.’ It was really cool. Actually, my playing partners, they both stuck it, so I was like, ‘Oh, I hope I stick it, too, I don’t want to be left out,’ and it went in.”
Anannarukarn didn’t have any hole-out eagles, but she also seldom made any mistakes during her bogey-free day. The 22-year-old birdied three of her final five holes to climb to the top of the leaderboard.
“It’s been a good day out there,” she said. “[I’m] just trying to focus on my game pretty much all day and tried to give myself a lot of opportunities. I made some really good putts out there.”
World No. 1 struggles
Nelly Korda rose to the top of the sport last month, winning two events — including her first major championship — to become the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world. But during the opening round of her first major start since reaching that milestone, she couldn’t quite replicate that form.
Korda fired a three-over 74 in Round 1, carding five bogeys and just two birdies en route to the rough start. Her round also featured a whiff from a bunker as she drew a difficult lie against the lip.
Her three-over round leaves her T99 after 18 holes, meaning she’ll need a second round in the 60s if she wants to avoid missing a cut at a major for the second time this summer.
Emily Pedersen dazzles
Although Emily Pedersen couldn’t quite match the 65s of Noh and Anannarukarn, her round was perhaps the most exciting on the course. Pedersen carded two eagles on the day and sits just a shot back of the leaders.
Both of her eagles came on the final hole of each of her nines, making 3s on the par-5 9th and 18th holes.
“It’s great to finish on a high note, and I’d say that was a high note,” she said. “My game was really solid today and I found something in the putting that I’ve been struggling with for a while. I’m really happy with the day.”
“Obviously it worked out really well,” she said.
Pedersen hit 16 of 18 greens and 11 of 13 fairways on Thursday, but it was a tweak to her putting that she credited with the hot start. She explained after the round that she’d switched back to a left-hand low technique last week after experimenting with other methods.