Round 1 recap
Scoring conditions were perfect Thursday at Highland Meadows Golf Club, with 44 golfers shooting under par. They’re all chasing Thailand’s Thidapa Suwannapura, who bested all 144 players with a 6-under-par 65. She’s only made one cut in three appearances in the Marathon Classic, finishing tied for 45th last year.
Mariah Stackhouse, left, and Emma Talley share a laugh as they head down the number one fairway after teeing off during the first round of the LPGA Marathon Classic.
BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH Enlarge
Good Day Sunshine
Could you ask for anything better? Sunny skies, temperatures in the 80s, low humidity, and afternoon breezes. Sign me up. The patrons must have enjoyed it as well because the galleries were especially large for a Thursday. Dry conditions are expected the rest of the week, but temperatures are going to creep into the 90s with the heat index exceeding 100 degrees. You might want to keep that umbrella handy for shade.
Human beings weren’t the only ones enjoying the golf. A herd of deer also soaked up in the sun. Three deer were spotted streaking across the 18th hole in the afternoon and a lone fawn, presumably in search of its mother, roamed No. 4. All four Cervidae declined to comment.
Hole(s) of the day
How important were the back-to-back par 5 Nos. 17 and 18? Of the 16 golfers in the top 10, eight birdied both holes. They annually play as two of the easiest holes on the course, creating an exciting finish where anything from eagle to bogey is possible. On this day, No. 18 played as the easiest hole, yielding two eagles, 67 birdies, 56 pars, 14 bogeys, and one double-bogey. No. 17 was second-easiest with 59 birdies, 71 pars, eight bogeys, and two double-bogeys.
Lexi Thompson putts on No. 9 in the first round of the LPGA Marathon Classic.
Blade/Katie Rausch Enlarge
Lexi Thompson twice has finished inside the top three at the Marathon Classic, and many prognosticators feel like she’s destined to win at Highland Meadows. If this is the year, the fifth-ranked woman in the world will remember her closing holes in the first round. Hey, the old adage does go, “You can’t win a tournament on Thursday, but you can lose it.” Thompson was 2 over and frustrated when she stepped on the 17th tee. No. 17: birdie. No. 18: eagle. Just like that, she moved into position.
Fan-favorite Paula Creamer, who missed last year’s tournament attending a family wedding, is even par.
Brittany Lincicome’s stayed with the Win family for a dozen years. This year, the house is overflowing with Marathon Classic participants. Lizzie Win, a St. Ursula graduate and a junior at Seton Hall, received a sponsor’s exemption into the field, along with former St. Ursula teammate and future Brown University golfer Pinya Pipatjarasgit. Win shot 4-over 75 and Pipatjarasgit shot 9-over 80.
Jacqui Concolino on her secret to be calmer on the golf course: “A couple beers calmed me down a little bit.”
Numbers for dummies
1: Amount of inches defending champion I.K. Kim missed a hole-in-one on the par-3 No. 14. If it had gone in, she’d be the new owner of a Camaro convertible.
40: The amount of Camaros a group of northwest Ohio Chevrolet dealers has insured this week for possible holes-in-one.
2: Thursday’s first round featured two eagles, both coming on the par-5 No. 18.
859: Miles traveled by one couple from their home in Broken Arrow, Okla., to see the Marathon Classic.
4: The number of major champions in the top 10 — Yani Tseng (five), Ingee Chun (two), IK Kim (one), and Brooke Henderson (one).
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