By Jeannie Gregory
It was the first day of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, and the players scored well under sunny skies on the perfectly manicured Blythefield Country Club course. Kelly Shon and So Yeon Ryu went 8-under-par on the day to lead the field of 144. There are four players tied for third at 6-under, three tied for seventh at 5-under, and 15 players tied for 10th at 4-under.
While this week marks the fifth playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, a few changes to Blythefield Country Club are making it a different experience for the LPGA players teeing it up this week. The most noticeable change is on the 16th hole, where the tee box has been moved back to make the hole a reachable par-5 and changing the tournament par from 71 to 72. No. 16 played at 472 yards in Thursday’s first-round and players made 84 birdies and seven eagles at the new distance.
Lexi Thompson is one of the 15 players tied at 10th.
“I love this golf course,” Thompson said. “Like I said, it's always in great shape for us, but I think just the whole tournament in general, it's one of our best. Just the hospitality, the fans and just a great week overall for me to come here.”
Thompson was not only complimentary about the event, but she was also happy with her opening round.
“It was a bit of a slow start,” she shared. “I didn't take advantage of a few of the easier pin locations on the front nine, a few of the birdie holes, but I had an eagle there on 8 and kind of kickstarted things, started to feel a lot more comfortable and just went for it on the back nine. I just fired at all the pins on the back nine and definitely took advantage of hitting it more solid and just being more confident over my shots. I had a very slow start, so I'm definitely happy with the 68. And the way I fought strong on the back nine -- well, really from 8 on, but yeah, I'm definitely never going to complain with a 68.”
Lexi Thompson. Photo by Jeannie Gregory/RockfordRoar.com
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