DEFENDING CHAMPION I.K. KIM INSPIRED BY S.Y. KIM’S RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE
Marathon Classic defending champion In-Kyung Kim has settled right back into a seat near the top. Kim took advantage of the morning’s dry and calm conditions to shoot a 5-under 66 and sits one back of first-round leader Thidapa Suwannapura.
Starting on No. 10, Kim birdied five of her last six holes to place herself in early title contention. “It was really exciting playing the front nine,” said Kim, who admitted to battling a head cold this week in Toledo. “I had a good roll, all three birdies in a row. And birdieing the last two par-5s was really fun. On the back, I hit a lot of good shots and good putts.”
Kim drew fuel from Sei Young Kim’s recording-breaking win at last week’s Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, revving up her own confidence coming into her title defense.
“Sei Young played so well last week, and she can shoot 10-under any day,” said the seven-time LPGA winner. “I had a good front nine, and there was some expectation on the back, but I just did my best.”
LEFT-HANDED DAMBAUGH IN EARLY CONTENTION
Left-handed athletes are fairly common in baseball and tennis. Golf? Beyond Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson, it’s mostly a right-hander’s game.
Katelyn Dambaugh hopes to change that on the LPGA Tour. The Tour rookie was in fine form during her inaugural round at Highland Meadows Golf Club. Despite a so-called “greedy” moment on No. 1 when she found water, Dambaugh carded seven birdies in her final 13 holes to finish at 5-under 66 and sit tied for first after 18 holes.
“I’ve been really close all year,” said Dambaugh, who returned the lowest round of her LPGA career. “I’ve either been putting really well or ball striking it really well. Both of those just came together for once today, and I just hope it keeps going.”
Dambaugh and Brittany Benvenuto are the only left-handed players currently on the LPGA Tour. Only Bonnie Bryant has hoisted an LPGA trophy while using a left-handed set of clubs. She won the 1974 Bill Branch LPGA Classic at Lachmoor Country Club in Fort Myers, Fla.
Notable Left-Handed Players on the LPGA Tour
LPGA Tour Starts
T10 (2018 Kingsmill Championship presented by GEICO)
72 (2018 Bank of Hope Founders Cup)
14 (all as non-member)
T33 (2017 MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open)
T20 (2003 Wendy’s Championship for Children)
T46 (2004 Wendy’s Championship for Children)
T15 (2005 Safeway International)
T18 (1992 LPGA State Farm Classic)
Winner (1974 Bill Branch LPGA Classic)