Sei Young Kim takes opening lead in New Jersey

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Cognizant Founders Cup R1
Posted on
May 12, 2023
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

12-time LPGA Tour winner Sei Young Kim got off to a blazing start at the 2023 Cognizant Founders Cup, firing a bogey-free 6-under 66 on Thursday, including a streak of four consecutive birdies at 12, 13, 14 and 15.

The Korean superstar already has a Founders title to her name, capturing the 2016 edition held in Arizona, and is now aiming for her first LPGA Tour victory since 2020’s The ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican.

“This course is (one of my) favorite courses,” said Kim. “This course has kind of lot of trees on both sides, and keeping (the ball in) the fairway, it's really important this week.”

LPGA Tour rookie Hae Ran Ryu, also from South Korea, holds solo second at 5-under, carding eight birdies and three bogeys in her opening round. Sitting at 1-under through 11 holes, Ryu went on the same tear as Kim, dropping birdies at 12, 13, 14 and 15 to vault up the leaderboard.

The 22-year-old, who has five victories on the KLPGA Tour, is looking for her breakthrough moment on the LPGA Tour after earning medalist honors at the 2022 Q-Series.

“At the very first (event) I have really low confidence and I'm always draw a question mark myself, (if) I can do my best or I can do it well,” said Ryu, whose best finish in 2023 is a tie for sixth at the JM Eagle LA Championship. “But after the tournament and after the rounds I'm getting more confidence at the tour, and from now, I'm really doing well I think.”

Nine players are tied for third at 4-under, including defending champion Minjee Lee of Australia and two-time Founders champion Jin Young Ko of South Korea.

Others in the pack at 4-under are U.S. Solheim Cup captain and 2013 Founders winner Stacy Lewis; Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul; The Chevron Championship’s first-round leader Peiyun Chien from Taiwan; and South Korean Hye-Jin Choi, who carded eagles on two of her first four holes.

“Hit a lot of good shots today that ended up on the fringe so the stats maybe don't show the ball striking. I think (stats) showed I only hit 12 greens, but probably putted four or five times from the fringe,” said Lewis. “So the misses were really good, and just took what the course gave me and took advantage of the par-5s.”

Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1 Nelly Korda (USA) is tied for 45th after an even-par 72 on Thursday. Korda’s caddie this week is Joe LaCava, the former looper for Tiger Woods who recently started working with Patrick Cantlay. Jason McDede, Korda’s regular caddie, is out on paternity leave and will return at her next LPGA Tour event, the Mizuho Americas Open.

Pos.PlayerTo ParR1
1Sei Young Kim-666
2Hae Ran Ryu-567
T3Peiyun Chien-468
T3Hye-Jin Choi-468
T3Stacy Lewis-468
T3Minjee Lee-468
T3Nasa Hataoka-468
T3Jin Young Ko-468
T3Cheyenne Knight-468
T3Atthaya Thitikul-468
T3Maddie Szeryk-468
T12Pajaree Anannarukarn-369
T12Yealimi Noh-369
T12Anna Nordqvist-369
T12Narin An-369
T12Grace Kim-369
T12Angel Yin-369
T12Pavarisa Yoktuan-369
T12Luna Sobron Galmes-369
T12Samantha Wagner-369
T12Bailey Tardy-369
T12Aditi Ashok-369
T12Gemma Dryburgh-369
T12Ryann O'Toole-369
T25Perrine Delacour-270
T25Lexi Thompson-270
T25Ruoning Yin-270
T25Wei-Ling Hsu-270
T25Stephanie Kyriacou-270
T30Lauren Coughlin-171
T30Aline Krauter-171
T30Maude-Aimee Leblanc-171
T30Lucy Li-171
T30Haeji Kang-171
T30Frida Kinhult-171
T30Sarah Kemp-171
T30Ashleigh Buhai-171
T30Yu Liu-171
T30Georgia Hall-171
T30Brittany Lincicome-171
T30Azahara Munoz-171
T30Xiaowen Yin-171
T30Maria Fassi-171
T30Madelene Sagstrom-171
T45Polly MackPar72
T45Allisen CorpuzPar72
T45Ariya JutanugarnPar72
T45Gaby LopezPar72
T45Jessica KordaPar72
T45Albane ValenzuelaPar72
T45Minami KatsuPar72
T45Mariajo UribePar72
T45Dani HolmqvistPar72
T45Lizette SalasPar72
T45Lydia KoPar72
T45Nelly KordaPar72
T45Eun-Hee JiPar72
T45Jennifer KupchoPar72
T45Megan KhangPar72
T45In Kyung KimPar72
T45Min LeePar72
T45Amanda DohertyPar72
T45Caroline InglisPar72
T45Jenny ShinPar72
T45Linnea StromPar72
T66Sofia Garcia+173
T66Celine Boutier+173
T66Annie Park+173
T66Lauren Stephenson+173
T66Brittany Altomare+173
T66Kelly Tan+173
T66Celine Borge+173
T66Karis Davidson+173
T66Pernilla Lindberg+173
T66Ally Ewing+173
T66Patty Tavatanakit+173
T66Alison Lee+173
T66Matilda Castren+173
T66Dewi Weber+173
T80Manon De Roey+274
T80Gina Kim+274
T80Cristie Kerr+274
T80Paula Reto+274
T80Lilia Vu+274
T80Jennifer Chang+274
T80Alexa Pano+274
T80Sophia Schubert+274
T80Lauren Hartlage+274
T80Pornanong Phatlum+274
T80Emma Talley+274
T80Ruixin Liu+274
T80Morgane Metraux+274
T80Stephanie Meadow+274
T80So Yeon Ryu+274
T80Yu-Sang Hou+274
T96Riley Rennell+375
T96Dana Fall+375
T96Ines Laklalech+375
T96Amy Yang+375
T96Pauline Roussin+375
T96Lindsey Weaver-Wright+375
T96Mel Reid+375
T96Linnea Johansson+375
T96Marissa Steen+375
T96Wichanee Meechai+375
T96Moriya Jutanugarn+375
T96A Lim Kim+375
T108Karen Chung+476
T108Kum-Kang Park+476
T108Ellinor Sudow+476
T108Roberta Liti+476
T108Carlota Ciganda+476
T108Xiyu Lin+476
T108Esther Henseleit+476
T108Chanettee Wannasaen+476
T108Andrea Lee+476
T108Hannah Green+476
T108Gabriella Then+476
T108Daniela Darquea+476
T108Jennifer Song+476
T108Elizabeth Szokol+476
T108Bronte Law+476
T123Yuka Saso+577
T123Chella Choi+577
T123Charlotte Thomas+577
T123Jaravee Boonchant+577
T123Jasmine Suwannapura+577
T123Kiira Riihijarvi+577
T123Sung Hyun Park+577
T123Mina Harigae+577
T131Alison Walshe+678
T131Yuna Nishimura+678
T131Sarah Schmelzel+678
T131Hyo Joon Jang+678
T131Jeongeun Lee6+678
T131Julieta Granada+678
137Haru Nomura+779
T138Katie Lu (a)+880
T138Paige Crawford+880
140Laura Davies+1082
141Valery Plata+1284
142Yan Liu+1183
W/DPaula Creamer
W/DJodi Ewart Shadoff
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Cognizant Founders Cup 2023

Date: May 11th - 14th 2023

Location: Upper Montclair Country Club, Clifton, New Jersey

Purse: $3,000,000

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