Golf: Birdie boosts Yang to top after first round of Women’s PGA

Yang was among 30 players unable to complete the first round on Thursday when dangerous weather halted play.
Yang was among 30 players unable to complete the first round on Thursday when dangerous weather halted play.PHOTO: AFP

CHICAGO (AFP) – South Korea’s Amy Yang, seeking her first major victory after 15 top-10 finishes without one, birdied the par-5 18th hole on Friday morning (June 30) to grab a one-stroke lead after round one of the Women’s PGA Championship.

Yang was among 30 players unable to complete the first round on Thursday when dangerous weather halted play early at the year’s second major women’s championship.

Yang finished on six-under-par 65, one stroke ahead of compatriot Chella Choi and two in front of American Brittany Altomare as the second round began Friday at Olympia Fields near Chicago.

With nine top-five major finishes in all, Yang’s best major results have been runner-up showings at the 2012 and 2015 US Women’s Opens.

Yang won her third career LPGA Tour title in Thailand last February. She shared eighth at the ANA Inspiration, this year’s first major, in April.

Choi, with only one top-five finish in 33 major starts, and Altomare, who has yet to post a top-10 LPGA finish, completed their first rounds Thursday.

Defending champion Brooke Henderson of Canada was in a group of Thursday finishers on 68 that included Americans Alison Lee and Michelle Wie and Australia’s Su Oh.

Joining them Friday morning were Kim Kaufman and Denmark’s Emily Pedersen, plus Mexico’s Gaby Lopez thanks to a closing birdie.

France’s Joanna Klatten stumbled with a double bogey at the par-3 17th Friday morning to share 11th on 69.