LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Someplace, Pat Hurst is smiling.
Seven People completed inside the highest 10 on Day 1 of the Diamond Resorts Event of Champions at Tranquilo Golf Course. Hurst will captain the U.S. Solheim Cup group in September, and if Thursday’s leaderboard is any indicator of what she will be able to count on from her squad, she has cause to be happy.
Danielle Kang, who leads the U.S. Solheim Cup level standings, carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to additionally lead within the season-opening occasion. She is a fiery and feisty competitor who relishes music being performed on the primary tee on the Solheim Cup, very like the ambiance at this week’s occasion, the place a DJ gives leisure on the 18th tee.
The coronavirus pandemic, nonetheless, has tempered Kang’s expectations for this 12 months’s Solheim Cup. The Ryder Cup was initially scheduled to be performed in September 2020 however was postponed a 12 months on the prospect of being held with out followers. Kang hopes the identical destiny doesn’t befall the Solheim Cup, which is scheduled for Inverness Golf Membership in Toledo, Ohio.
“I do not know what it will be like with out followers. I’ve by no means felt something prefer it after I performed my first Solheim Cup in Des Moines [in 2017],” the two-time member of Crew USA mentioned Thursday. “Followers sort of make the event for me. I am unsure. Hopefully there will likely be.”
Potential teammate Jessica Korda carded a 65 on Thursday to take a seat one again of Kang. A two-time Solheim Cup participant as properly, Korda sits at No. 10 within the present level standings. The highest eight will routinely qualify for the group with the subsequent two spots being crammed by way of the Rolex Rankings. The ultimate two gamers will likely be chosen by Captain Hurst. Like Kang, Korda is struggling to look quite a lot of weeks forward, due to the pandemic.
“It’s to this point out we do not know what’s taking place,” Korda advised GolfChannel.com. “A Solheim Cup with no followers? What does that seem like? It’d be like a Ryder Cup with no followers. No thought.”
Occasion or no occasion, followers or no followers, Stacy Lewis thinks in regards to the Solheim Cup on daily basis. Thursday, Lewis opened with a 5-under 65.
“It truly is for me the objective of this 12 months. I need to be on that group,” mentioned Lewis, at the moment 12th within the Solheim standings. “I need to play in Toledo greater than something, the place Marathon has stepped as much as sponsor it. All my household is there. I imply, it is No. 1 for me.”
Jessica’s sister, Nelly, shaeres second place together with her on the Diamond Resorts. Nelly can be second of the U.S. factors checklist. Brittany Lincicome, Lexi Thompson and Angela Stanford are inside three strokes of the lead on the season opener.
Lincicome, No. 20 within the level standings, can have some floor to make up so as to qualify or earn one in all Hurst’s coveted picks. However, a victory on Sunday would go a good distance in the direction of shifting her up the standings and nearer to her seventh Solheim Cup look.
“To be again within the States, there’s nothing higher than taking part in on dwelling soil with all of the followers. Assuming we are able to have followers.” Lincicome advised GolfChanel.com. “Simply to have them rooting for you and cheering for you and sporting these pink white and blue colours and taking part in with the group could be superior.”