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Apr 1st, 2022

Big names stack the leaderboard at Chevron Championship

Kupcho and Lee lead by one after round one

There are seven major winners on The Chevron Championship 2022 leaderboard at the end of day one, with Jennifer Kupcho and Minjee Lee tied at the top after shooting opening rounds of 66 in the relatively benign morning conditions.
Jennifer Kupcho shares the lead at Mission Hills

-6 J Kupcho (US), M Lee (Aus); -5 P Tavatanakit (Tha) -4 A Nordqvist (Swe), C Masson (Ger), P Anannarukam (Tha), G Ruffels (Aus), L Ko, (NZ), G Hall (Eng)
Jennifer Kupcho, a 24-year-old from Colorado, recorded five top-10 finishes in 2021, including a season-best runner-up finish at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala and made her Solheim Cup debut last year. She finished tied 6th at the 2022 Honda LPGA Thailand and is seeking her first LPGA victory:
Yeah, I played really well. I really like the layout of this golf course, the beautiful shape that it's in every year. It always is so fun to be here, so just taking advantage of how much I like the course and the atmosphere,” said Kupcho.
“I mean, everyone gets nervous. But, I mean, I think it's more of just getting used to it and figuring out how to deal with it, learning different tactics. That's what I've definitely done through the big events I played in.

Minjee Lee, who won her first major title last year at the Evian Championship and finished tied runner-up at the 2022 HSBC Women’s World Championship matched Kupcho's 66 to share the first round lead.
"I think, yeah. I know I have one (a major) under my belt, but I do want a little bit more. So, yeah, I just think I have a little bit more belief in myself and my game so I can be a little bit more comfortable just hitting the shots that I choose," said Lee.
Last year’s winner, Patty Tavatanakit, is in third place and her impressive opening round of 67 included seven birdies and was the lowest opening round of any defending Champion at Mission Hills since the tournament was upgraded to major in 1983.
"Honestly, after I walked off that 9th hole I was like, it's done. I feel like first round is a little bit nerve-wracking. You want to start off great, if you don't, what can you do afterwards," said Tavatanakit.
"Fortunately, I was able to walk away with a great round. But, you know, another round tomorrow. It's still golf. You still have to execute and play. So it's a long week ahead."

The 2016 Champion Lydia Ko, 2021 and 2018 Women’s Open Champions Anna Nordqvist and Georgia Hall are among six players on four-under in fourth place. Ko, who finished last year’s Championship with a dazzling 62, fired an impressive round of 68 in the trickier afternoon conditions.
"I played really solid overall. When I missed a green I was able to make up and down for most parts, and when I did miss a fairway I was able to recover well with the second shot or third shot coming in," said Ko.
"Overall I think a lot of positives to take from today. On my back nine, there were a couple putts that shoulda, coulda, woulda gone in but didn't. I feel like that's the case in any round."

Georgia Hall, who already has a win under her belt this season, the 2022 Aramco Saudi Ladies International was another afternoon starter who was happy with her day's work.
"A bogey-free was massive for me as well. Just really steady, and obviously I played in the afternoon so the wind got up in the back nine, so hopefully tomorrow morning I've got early and there won't be any wind and try and take advantage of that," said Hall.
"I didn't put myself under too much stress actually. I think I only missed maybe one or two greens, so a lot of times I had birdie chances."

TAGS: LPGA Tour, 2022