In exactly three months, the 2017 Solheim Cup will return to U.S. soil at Des Moines Golf & Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa. The American contingent had a strong outing in the first round of the Kingsmill Championship on Thursday, taking up the top four spots on the leaderboard.
Lexi Thompson’s round of 65 puts her one stroke ahead of fellow Americans Gerina Piller, Brittany Lincicome and Angel Yin, who are tied for second at 5-under. When asked what her goal was this week in Williamsburg, Thompson said, “I want to win every week. One week isn’t more than another. It’s always the same attitude: I want to win. Everybody does.”
Through 10 events of the 2017 season, two American players have taken home tournament titles: Brittany Lincicome (Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic) and Cristie Kerr (LOTTE Championship). During the 2016 season, Thompson (Honda LPGA Thailand) and Brittany Lang (U.S. Women’s Open Conducted by the USGA) were the only Americans to win a tournament.
“The only way I would jump out of a perfectly good plane is with a SEAL on my back. There was nothing like it. Words can’t describe the feeling. It was just like a feeling of freedom jumping out.”
–Lexi Thompson on skydiving into her pro-am on Wednesday
FIRST-ROUND STATISTICAL NOTES
- While no player hit all 18 greens in regulation, Lexi Thompson hit the most with 17
- Three players hit all 14 fairways – Mo Martin, Jane Park and Jenny Shin
- Thompson led the field with seven birdies in the first round, followed by Gerina Piller, Angel Yin, Sadena Parks and Madelene Sagstrom with six apiece
- Three players carded eagles on Thursday – Brooke Henderson (No. 15), Celine Herbin (No. 3) and Ally McDonald (No. 7)
- At 308 yards, Joanna Klatten led the field in first-round average drive distance, followed by Jessica Korda at 287 yards
- Lexi Thompson hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation in the first round. The only green she missed was at No. 12, which was her third hole of the day. Through the first 10 events of the 2017 season, Thompson ranks second on Tour in greens in regulation at 79.5 percent, behind So Yeon Ryu’s 81.5 percent.
- Thompson’s first-round 65 is her lowest round ever at Kingsmill. Her previous low was a 66 in the second round in 2014 and the fourth round in 2016
- Gerina Piller and Brittany Lincicome both returned rounds of 66 for the third time at Kingsmill. Piller did so in the fourth rounds in 2013 and 2015, while Lincicome’s marks came in the first rounds in 2007 and 2015.
- Lincicome is looking to become the first repeat winner of the 2017 season after she won the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. With 10 different winners so far, this is the longest the Tour has gone without having a repeat champion since 1991.
- In her seventh season on Tour, Piller is seeking her first LPGA victory. She has 33 career top-10s, including two this season (Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, Kia Classic) and three in her five career starts at Kingsmill.
- LPGA rookie Angel Yin’s first-round 66 is the second-lowest round of her LPGA career. She shot a 65 in the third round of the 2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup, where she went on to finish T19.
- Entering the Kingsmill Championship, Yin is second in the Rolex Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year standings, 181 points behind leader Sung Hyun Park.
- Giulia Molinaro was bogey-free through 16 holes on her way to recording a 4-under 67, which marks her lowest round in three starts on the River Course.