LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship - R1

Ryu, Ji & Van Dam tied for lead at 5-under

May 02-05
Lake Merced Golf Club, Daly City, California
$1,800,000
Round 2, Round 3, Round 4


Following the first round of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, three players are knotted at the top at 5-under 67. 2019 LPGA rookie Anne van Dam and major champions So Yeon Ryu and Eun-Hee Ji set the early pace, sharing a one-shot lead over Chinese Taipei’s Peiyun Chien and 2019 winners Celine Boutier and Amy Yang .


The first-round scoring average at Lake Merced Golf Club was 74.072, the highest single-round scoring average among par-72 tournaments in the 2019 LPGA season. The trio at the top each found different ways to cope with the tough golf course.

“Just before the tournament started, I really nervous about it,” Ryu said of playing Lake Merced Golf Club. “When I’m nervous about it, I guess my concentration level is really high. I guess maybe that’s the attitude I need to have, like every round.”

Ji echoed Ryu’s sentiment, saying “I think I focus more if I come to a tough golf course.”

Van Dam, on the other hand, felt right at home at Lake Merced once she settled in. “I love this course, I love playing it,” said the rookie, who leads the Tour in average driving distance at 289.125 yards. “I was too caught up after four holes, not enjoying myself, so I said, just play your game and hit free shots. And that’s what I did after that, so happy with that.”

Confidence is key for So Yeon Ryu

So Yeon Ryu is a six-time LPGA Tour winner, a two-time major champion, the 2017 Rolex Player of the Year and the 2012 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. A player with that resume doesn’t sound like someone who would be lacking confidence, but that’s exactly what the former World No. 1 player says she has been battling with this season.

Despite her self-proclaimed confidence issues, Ryu got off to a hot start on Thursday at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship carding seven birdies on her way to a tie for the first-round lead at 5-under 67. Ryu said she was able to fight off most of the negative thoughts on Thursday.

“Every time when I missed a shot a little bit, or missed a putt a little bit, I have been a little harsh to me, even though I promised myself I wasn’t going to do it,” Ryu said. “Then I was like, you know what, I already promised myself I wasn’t going to do it, be harsh on myself, but that’s what I did the last few holes. And let’s just free up, and then let’s enjoy it. And then I guess that mindset really helped me out to make a lot of birdies.”

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Two exercises Ryu has been using to help her confidence are reading and journaling. She recently finished reading Michelle Obama’s book ‘Becoming’ to pick up some inspiration.

“After I read a book, I always try to write in a journal like what I’m thinking,” said Ryu. “Then if I think anything negative, I just write it down and then I just try to think that’s necessary think or not. And then I sort of can realize myself what I’m thinking about these days, and then if it’s necessary, I’ll take it. If it’s unnecessary, I just throw it away. So reading a book and writing a journal helped me a lot to being more confident and positive.”

Rebuilt swing driving Ji’s success

For the third time this season, Eun-Hee Ji holds a share of the lead following the first round of an LPGA tournament. Her opening-round 5-under 67, which featured six birdies to a lone bogey, continued Ji’s renewed on-course success. After winning the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, the 32-year-old Korean has reeled off three additional top-10 finishes, the best opening stretch in her 13-year LPGA Tour career.

“I changed my swing a lot so that makes it help a lot,” said Ji, who said she made her backswing more compact. “That makes me more confident.”

Since 2017, Ji has enjoyed a career resurgence. After winning twice in her first three seasons, including the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open, Ji had to wait 203 starts between wins. She finally revisited the winner’s circle at the 2017 Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship and claimed victory twice in 2018.

Player Notes

Rolex Rankings No. 9 So Yeon Ryu (67)

She hit 13 of 18 greens and 8 of 14 fairways with seven birdies in the first round

Ryu is in her eighth season on the LPGA Tour; she has six career victories, including major titles at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2017 ANA Inspiration

This is Ryu’s seventh event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she finished T9 at the LOTTE Championship and T19 at the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open

At the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in 2018, she finished T18

At the 2016 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, a separate LPGA event held at Lake Merced Golf Club, Ryu finished solo fifth

Rolex Rankings No. 16 Eun-Hee Ji (67)

Ji’s first-round 67 is her 15th round in the 60s this season

She hit 13 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens

This is Ji’s ninth start of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; she won the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions and has three additional top-10 finishes, including a runner-up finish two weeks ago at the LOTTE Championship

Ji is in her 13th season on the LPGA Tour; she has five career victories, including a major win at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open

At the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in 2018, she finished T43

Ji finished T15 at the 2014 and 2016 Swinging Skirts Classics, a separate LPGA event held at Lake Merced Golf Club


Rolex Rankings No. 69 Anne van Dam (67)

She hit 11 of 18 greens and 15 of 14 fairways with five birdies and an eagle in the first round

van Dam is a 2019 LPGA Tour rookie; her best career finish is a tie for 17th as a non-Member at the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open

This is the first time in her career she has held a share of the lead following any round on the LPGA Tour

This is van Dam’s fifth event of the 2019 LPGA Tour season; her best finish is T28 at the Kia Classic

She is playing in her first LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship

van Dam is also a member of the Ladies European Tour, where she won the 2019 ActewAGL Canberra Classic, the 2018 Andalucia Open de Espana, the 2018 Estrella Damm Ladies Open and the 2016 Xiamen International Open

van Dam currently leads the European Solheim Cup standings, putting her in prime position to play in her first Solheim Cup this September in Scotland 

No player from the Netherlands has ever won on the LPGA Tour


Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
T1
Anne van Dam
-5
67
T1
Eun-Hee Ji
-5
67
T1
So Yeon Ryu
-5
67
T4
Celine Boutier
-4
68
T4
Amy Yang
-4
68
T4
Peiyun Chien
-4
68
T7
In Gee Chun
-3
69
T7
Moriya Jutanugarn
-3
69
T7
Azahara Munoz
-3
69
T7
Charley Hull
-3
69
T7
Maria Torres
-3
69
T12
Amy Olson
-2
70
T12
Morgan Pressel
-2
70
T12
Sarah Schmelzel
-2
70
T12
Inbee Park
-2
70
T16
Louise Ridderstrom
-1
71
T16
Angela Stanford
-1
71
T16
Jenny Shin
-1
71
T16
Kristen Gillman
-1
71
T16
Ariya Jutanugarn
-1
71
T16
Gerina Piller
-1
71
T22
Jaclyn Lee
E
72
T22
Klara Spilkova
E
72
T22
Anne-Catherine Tanguay
E
72
T22
Chella Choi
E
72
T22
In-Kyung Kim
E
72
T22
Brooke M. Henderson
E
72
T22
Pernilla Lindberg
E
72
T22
Mariah Stackhouse
E
72
T22
Gemma Dryburgh
E
72
T22
Austin Ernst
E
72
T22
Cristie Kerr
E
72
T22
Sei Young Kim
E
72
T22
Mi Hyang Lee
E
72
T22
Na Yeon Choi
E
72
T22
Dottie Ardina
E
72
T22
Kendall Dye
E
72
T22
Cheyenne Knight
E
72
T39
Beatriz Recari
1
73
T39
Brittany Altomare
1
73
T39
Brianna Do
1
73
T39
Suzuka Yamaguchi
1
73
T39
Danielle Kang
1
73
T39
Shanshan Feng
1
73
T39
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
1
73
T39
Bronte Law
1
73
T39
Sarah Burnham
1
73
T39
Dana Finkelstein
1
73
T39
Ryann O’Toole
1
73
T39
Linnea Strom
1
73
T39
Jing Yan
1
73
T39
Wichanee Meechai
1
73
T39
Angel Yin
1
73
T39
Gaby Lopez
1
73
T39
Lexi Thompson
1
73
T39
Emma Talley
1
73
T39
Jaye Marie Green
1
73
T39
Madelene Sagstrom
1
73
T39
Haeji Kang
1
73
T39
Lindsey Weaver
1
73
T61
Jenny Haglund
2
74
T61
Lee Lopez
2
74
T61
Brittany Lang
2
74
T61
Brittany Lincicome
2
74
T61
Marina Alex
2
74
T61
Jeongeun Lee6
2
74
T61
Kim Kaufman
2
74
T61
Lizette Salas
2
74
T61
Isi Gabsa
2
74
T61
Mel Reid
2
74
T61
Daniela Darquea
2
74
T61
Jennifer Song
2
74
T61
Karine Icher
2
74
T61
Lauren Kim
2
74
T61
A-Yean Cho
2
74
T61
He Yong Choi
2
74
T61
Nicole Broch Larsen
2
74
T61
Wei-Ling Hsu
2
74
T61
Carlota Ciganda
2
74
T61
Charlotte Thomas
2
74
T61
Hee Young Park
2
74
T61
Aditi Ashok
2
74
T61
Laetitia Beck
2
74
T61
Pavarisa Yoktuan
2
74
T85
Chae Eun2 Lee
3
75
T85
Ruixin Liu
3
75
T85
Kristy McPherson
3
75
T85
Sophia Popov
3
75
T85
Maddie McCrary
3
75
T85
Katherine Kirk
3
75
T85
Lydia Ko
3
75
T85
Hannah Green
3
75
T85
Mina Harigae
3
75
T85
Ayako Uehara
3
75
T85
Robyn Choi
3
75
T85
Ashleigh Buhai
3
75
T85
Stephanie Meadow
3
75
T85
Megan Khang
3
75
T85
Mirim Lee
3
75
T85
Catriona Matthew
3
75
T85
Elizabeth Szokol
3
75
T85
Jane Park
3
75
T85
Tiffany Joh
3
75
T104
Caroline Masson
4
76
T104
Alena Sharp
4
76
T104
Paula Creamer
4
76
T104
Yu Liu
4
76
T104
Minjee Lee
4
76
T104
Jasmine Suwannapura
4
76
T104
Ally McDonald
4
76
T104
Jacqui Concolino
4
76
T104
Mariajo Uribe
4
76
T104
Dani Holmqvist
4
76
T104
Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras
4
76
T104
Stacy Lewis
4
76
T104
Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong
4
76
T104
Dori Carter
4
76
T104
Xiyu Lin
4
76
T119
Laura Gonzalez Escallon
5
77
T119
Tiffany Chan
5
77
T119
Alison Lee
5
77
T119
Annie Park
5
77
T119
Clariss Guce
5
77
T124
Sandra Changkija
6
78
T124
Lindy Duncan
6
78
T124
Muni He
6
78
T124
Haru Nomura
6
78
T124
Anna Nordqvist
6
78
T124
Pornanong Phatlum
6
78
T130
Jessica Korda
7
79
T130
Mi Jung Hur
7
79
T130
Sandra Gal
7
79
T130
Su Oh
7
79
T130
Becca Huffer
7
79
T130
Joanna Klatten
7
79
T130
Da Yeon Lee
7
79
T130
Celine Herbin
7
79
T130
Lilia Vu
7
79
T130
Marissa Steen
7
79
T140
Brittany Marchand
8
80
T140
Christina Kim
8
80
T142
Youngin Chun
9
81
T142
Alana Uriell
9
81
WD
Lee-Anne Pace
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