ORLANDO, Fla. — The 2023 LPGA Tour marketing campaign is formally off and operating with the Event of Champions kicking off as we speak at Lake Nona Golf and Nation Membership. Right here’s what you could find out about Day 1 from Flrodia.
Brooke Henderson jumps out to early lead
Brooke Henderson’s 2023 season began about in addition to she might’ve hoped. Within the opening spherical at Lake Nona, the Canadian poured in six birdies en path to a Thursday 67.
“I’m actually excited to be enjoying right here this week,” Henderson stated. “[To] shoot 5 beneath to begin the season off feels actually good.”
Henderson has lengthy been one of many LPGA’s brightest stars, however a strong exhibiting within the season-opening occasion was something however a assure. The 25-year-old went by a wide range of adjustments over the offseason, together with singing on as a TaylorMade staffer, and nobody would’ve been stunned to see her begin the season sluggish.
However on Thursday, it was fairly the alternative. Armed along with her new weapons at Lake Nona, Henderson paced the sphere on Day 1 and holds a one-shot lead heading into Friday.
“I went by quite a lot of adjustments within the low season, however all of the golf equipment labored very well as we speak, which is nice,” she stated. “Right this moment was a superb day. Hopefully simply proceed it the subsequent three days, and like I stated, simply make a bunch of birdies and see what occurs.”
Nelly Korda stays inside placing distance
Very similar to Henderson, Nelly Korda additionally made some large adjustments within the offseason. Along with signing a TaylorMade membership deal, the No. 2-ranked participant on the planet turned a Nike athlete as effectively.
However, very like Henderson, the adjustments didn’t appear to have a lot of an impact on Korda’s sport. The 24-year-old posted 5 birdies in Spherical 1 on her method to an opening-round 68.
“General it was a reasonably good day,” Korda stated. “New golf equipment, new season, form of haven’t been enjoying, clearly, as a lot as I might in a season, however I’m pleased with as we speak’s spherical.”
Korda is on the lookout for her second victory within the final three months after going a calendar 12 months between back-to-back victories on the Pelican Girls’s Championship. Ought to she chase down Henderson and declare the title, it might be her ninth total victory on the LPGA Tour.
The celebs are out
The Event of Champions is perhaps the season opener on the LPGA circuit, but it surely’s additionally a pro-am occasion with loads of star energy. This week’s discipline consists of the likes of former MLB star John Smoltz, actor Alfonso Ribeiro and comic Larry the Cable Man.
With the movie star side of the occasion, there have been loads of autograph-seekers staking out across the course. And, whereas the LPGA professionals seldom give out their John Hancock in the course of the spherical, the celebs had been a distinct story.
The walkway between the ninth inexperienced and tenth tee was a well-liked spot for memorabilia collectors who begged for signatures all through the day. One man even carried a whole binder of baseball playing cards as he sought out the autographs of a wide range of present and former MLB stars.
It’s not usually that pro-am members outshine their pro-golfing counterparts, however at Lake Nona, that’s par for the course.
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