Extra Points: Veteran takes early lead at ShopRite LPGA Classic
By DAVID WEINBERG
Golf is a funny game: Once in a great while, everything clicks, Every drive splits the fairway, approach shots land on the green and putts end up in the cup.
LPGA veteran Dani Holmqvist had one of those days Friday in the first round of the 35th ShopRite LPGA Classic. She carded five birdies and an eagle against no bogeys en-route to a career-best 7-under-par 64 on Seaview Hotel and Golf Club's Bay Course.
"This game is tough," Holmqvist said, who is 35 years old. "You've just got to cherish those moments when you actually put together a good (round)."
Holmqvist, who is in her 10th year on tour, has done it before at Seaview. Prior to Friday, her best round on tour was a 65, which she shot on the Bay Course in the second round in 2018. For her to go so low again didn't seem likely this time. She missed the cut in her first five tournaments this year and is still searching for her first career victory.
"Some weeks you're better than others," she said. "And some weeks you feel like you're losing. So it's fun to actually come out on top for once."
Holmqvist owns a one-shot lead over LPGA rookie Yan Liu and veteran Jenny Shin, who both carded a 6-under 65 on Friday. Five players, including two-time ShopRite Classic champion Anna Nordqvist, are two shots behind after shooting 5-under 66. Nordqvist, who won in 2015 and 2016 to become the tournament's only back-to-back champion, is trying to become its second three-time winner. Annika Sorenstam, one of the greatest LPGA Golfers of all-time, won in 1995, 2002 and 2005, respectively.
Defending champion Brooke Henderson shot a 2-under 69 and is tied for 25th after the first round. Play resumes Saturday in the $1.75 million tournament with the top 65 players plus ties advancing to Sunday's final round.