Steady rainfall throughout the day softened the course at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and Frenchwoman Perrine Delacour fared the best in the wet conditions, shooting a bogey-free, 9-under 63 that featured six birdies in her first seven holes and three more on the back nine to close with her career-best first-round score on the LPGA Tour at the Portland Classic.
"We knew it was going to be wet, so my main goal was to try to get my club as dry as we can, which we did pretty good with my caddie.
“I wasn't really paying attention on how many birdies I was making. I started with birdie on 1 and I was playing pretty solid all day. I was just keep focusing on trying to make as much as I can,” said Delacour. “I didn't know what was my score at some point. When you're in that zone you don't realize your score and you're just not scared of anything. You go to every pin and you know it's going to be fine.”
Delacour, who has been playing on Tour for eleven years, holds an 18-hole lead for the first time and a post-round lead only for the second time.
American Gina Kim carded a career-low round of 64 on Thursday for second place at 8-under one ahead of compatriot Nelly Korda, Sweden's Linn Grant and Germany's Olivia Cowan who closed with 65s.
“I'm really excited," said Kim. "You know, I think today was where I was able to see a lot of my hard work pay off. It's been tough this whole season, and I kept grinding through it. I kept believing in myself that maybe, you know, one of these days I'm going to be able to catch a good round like this. So it's nice to hit the ground running out here. I'm feeling good. I like the golf course. It fits my eye. So it's really exciting. Love to break records.”