The first-ever round of play of the Palos Verdes Championship Presented by Bank of America concluded Thursday evening, giving fans and golfers their first look at a brand new stop on the LPGA tour.
This marks the second consecutive tournament played in Los Angeles County, a first for the LPGA. With a 1.5 million dollar purse on the line, some of the world’s top golfers became acclimated with the course during the inaugural 18 holes at Palos Verdes Golf Club.
After a disappointing weekend at Wilshire Country Club, where she tied for 21st at the LA Open, Jin Young Ko showed up Thursday looking to right the ship. The number one golfer in the world managed to finish the round with only one bogey, returning to form after last weekend’s uncharacteristic blow-up.
When playing at her best, she is nearly unstoppable. The world was reminded of this over the six-hole stretch between holes two and seven, where she racked up six straight birdies. She would end the day in second place, shooting a seven-under 64, putting her one stroke behind fourth-ranked Australian Minjee Lee.
Minjee Lee took command of the inaugural Palos Verdes Championship
Minjee Lee entered the tournament Thursday looking to build on a solid third-place finish last week at the LA Open that saw her move up one spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Her seven-under performance was enough to move past 19-year-old Thai native Atthaya Thitikul and secure the fourth-ranked spot in the world.
She would finish the day one stroke clear of Jin Young Ko, finishing a bogey-free round that was the epitome of consistency. At no point in the round did she go more than two holes without a birdie, and she would finish the day with a stress-free 63 on the scorecard.
With second-ranked Nelly Korda still sidelined recovering from a blood clot removal surgery, the stage is set for two of the world’s top three active ladies golfers to battle it out atop the leaderboard this weekend at Palos Verdes.
World number three Lydia Ko finished her first round two-under after an up and down performance and will look to bounce back over the weekend with fellow Aussie Minjee Lee now breathing down her neck in the Rolex Rankings.