Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum shot an 8-under par 64 on Thursday to take a one-stroke lead over Lexi Thompson after the first round of the Safeway Classic, at Columbia Edgewater County Club in Portland Oregon.
Pornangong Phatlum / Getty
Pornanong said it was the putting that made the difference;
” Putting was so good, this week I changed putter for this week and feeling very good. And I made many birdies today, like ten birdies today. I just try my best and I’m feeling very good with the course, the golf course. I like the course, very nice.”
Lexi Thompson is alone in second place at -7 under par, after her bogey free opening round of 65.
Lexi Thompson / Getty
Lexi said that she had taken advantage of the par fives;
“I felt great,I felt like a different person out there from last week. Just being focused and I knew what my game plan was. I felt great out there.I would say just my iron shots into the green, I hit a lot of good ones and I played the par fives four under, so I took advantage of those. Overall I’ve just been working on the consistency of my game and working on tightening my shots up. Every round is a learning experience, obviously being close to the lead after the first round, you try to take that momentum into every other round after that. But it’s golf so you have to take one shot at a time and not get ahead of yourself. That’s all I’m going to do and try to take this into tomorrow. I would say last year and this year I have been a lot more comfortable. You know, playing on sponsored exemptions when I first came out here, I had a lot to learn and just trying to make my way around here. I am getting used to the travel life and how to get around by myself.”
Sandra Gall, Cristie Kerr and Lizette Salas are tied in third place at -6 under par following their opening rounds of 66.
Sandra was really disappointed not to be part of the Solheim Cup Team this year;
“I was really disappointed, to be honest with you. I tried to take it as a positive and just be more motivated for the rest of the season and for two years when it’s going to be in Germany. We’re all real excited about that.”
Juli Inkster, Se Ri Pak, Michelle Wie, Yani Tseng and Ai Miyazato, were in the large group at 67, -5 under par.
Michelle was happy with her iron play;
“Just iron play was good, just put in a lot of close shots. Didn’t really take advantage of par fives, which I kind of want to tomorrow. It was a good day. It was consistent.”
Natalie Gulbis, a Winn Grip promoter, had a hole-in-one on the second hole, no need for the Winn Grip on the putter. She finished with a -4 under par,68, and used a 6-iron on the 166-yard hole, with the ball bouncing once and rolling in. Natalie has seven aces in competition and 14 overall, but has yet to win a car;
“I know, no cars yet, but I’ll always take a hole-in-one.”
Inbee Park, top of the Rolex Rankings had to withdraw from this competition with flu-like symptoms.
“I’m disappointed I will be unable to play this week in Portland due to an illness. Safeway is such a great supporter of our tour, and I always look forward to playing in front of the crowds in Oregon.”