Thidapa Suwannapura fired a 6-under 65 and will take a one-shot lead into Friday’s second round of the 2018 Marathon Classic.
The 25-year old Thai finished her first day at Highland Meadows signing off one colorful scorecard that included 10 birdies, four bogeys, and four pars.
“It’s pretty good, I think,” said Suwannapura when asked how it feels to lead after day one.
“I’m really happy about the way I played today. There was a lot of drop on the back nine, and I just keep playing.
“I didn’t really look at the leaderboard, and did not even expect anything. So I don’t know. I have a chance, so let’s see how it goes.”
One back was defending champion In-Kyung Kim, who headlines a group of seven players tied for second at 5-under par. The 30-year old Korean finished her day with one bogey offset by six birdies, highlighted by five in a six-hole stretch on hole Nos. 13-18 (her 4th-9th).
“I had fun playing today. This morning it was really peaceful and quiet. Not much wind out there. So I took that advantage on the front nine,” said Kim.
“Back nine, the weather was a little bit switching around, and it was a little bit tricky, but back nine I gave a lot of good chances, and I feel definitely good making the birdie on the last hole.”
Brooke Henderson and Annie Park lead a group of eight more players at 4-under par.
Hometown hero Stacy Lewis, making her final start before maternity leave, was one further back at 3-under par, one clear of last week’s record-breaking winner Sei Youg Kim (69), and two ahead of world No. 3 Lexi Thompson (70).
MARATHON CLASSIC: TOP 10
1. Thidapa Suwannapura -6
2. Katelyn Dambaugh -5
2. Jacqui Concolino -5
2. Yani Tseng -5
2. In-Kyung Kim -5
2. Mirim Lee -5
2. In Gee Chun -5
2. Caroline Hedwall -5
9. Xi Yu Lin -4
9. Wichanee Meechai -4
9. Caroline Inglis -4
9. Kris Tamulis -4
9. Brooke Henderson -4
9. Annie Park -4
9. Christina Kim -4
9. Allison Emrey -4
MARATHON CLASSIC: NOTABLES
17. Chella Choi -3
17. Stacy Lewis -3
17. Brittany Lincicome -3
31. Mo Martin -2
31. Sei Young Kim -2
43. Lexi Thompson -1
43. Cheyenne Woods -1
58. Paula Creamer E
58. Angel Yin E
94. Charley Hull +2
- Low Round: 65 – Thidapa Suwannapura
- High Round: 85 – Nicole Jeray
- Hardest Hole: 1st Par 4, 4.371 (0 Eagles, 6 Birdies)
- Easiest Hole: 18th Par 5, 4.607 (2 Eagles, 67 Birdies)
- Four (4) of top-8 leaders are seeking maiden title.
- Three (3) of top-8 leaders are major winners.
HOW THIDAPA SUWANNAPURA SCORED THE LEAD
Driving: 244.0 yards
Fairways: 7/14, 50%
Greens: 12/18, 67%
Par-3 Scoring: -3 (3 Birdies, 1 Par)
Par-4 Scoring: -1 (5 Birdies, 2 Pars, 4 Bogeys)
Par-5 Scoring: -2 (2 Birdies, 1 Par)
Total Scoring: -9 (10 Birdies, 4 Pars, 4 Bogeys)
Key Stretch: Nos. 13-18 (Birdie-Birdie-Bogey-Birdie-Birdie-Birdie)
THIDAPA SUWANNAPURA ON FINAL BIRDIE
“It’s amazing, actually. She was like talking on the fairway like, oh, if you make par this hole, I’ll be happy about it. I was like, yeah, I know. I just want to finish it good. And I see the TV guys here, and just like, oh, a little bit nervous. But, you know, go do it and make birdie.”
– Thidapa Suwannapura