So Yeon Ryu eventually gave up thinking about his swing and only thought of scoring in time to birdie the final three holes for a six-under 65 and take the lead with Jodi Ewart Schadoff at the ShopRite LPGA on Friday Of.
The scoring on the Bay Course of the Seaview was so low that 20 players shot 67 or better.
Ewart Schadoff, who has missed the cut in his last eight LPGA Tour events, holds the lead with Ryu in par-five 18th.
Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ontario, world number 2 Jin Young Ko, Inby Park and Solheim Cup star Matilda Castren of Finland were one shot behind on 66.
US Women’s Open champion Yuka Sasso followed suit with birdies in four of her last seven holes. She was among them at the age of 67.
Getting off to a quick start at the ShopRite LPGA is important because this is a 54-hole event.
Ryu, a two-time major champion and former No. 1 player in women’s golf, was not the fastest to start. She started at number 10 and was only one under through from hole 12 when she made the eagle on the par-five third hole.
The South Korean player said that she is working on her downswing to prevent it from coming too deep. It seemed like that was all she could think of sometimes.
“Sometimes I get very addicted to the golf swing,” Ryu said. “I try really hard to think about how I’m going to play, rather than how I’m going to swing. So I think what I really struggle with on the golf course is the focus on the golf course.
“I only realize it’s just five holes to go,” she said. “So I just said to myself, ‘So Yeon, let’s just focus on how I’m playing instead of swing.’ I feel like someone really helps me.”
Ewart Schadoff played only four rounds since the beginning of June, yet did not get paid. Playing for Britain at the Olympics against a field of 60 players, she finished 40th.
“This year hasn’t been the best for me, and I’m just working on breathing a lot to settle me down. It was really important to add just that to my routine today,” she said.
She’s also been putting extra time on the green, and she saw that pay off. Ewart Schadoff decided to switch from the cross-handed to what he described as a “Tommy Fleetwood claw pencil grip”. It seemed to be working, at least for the initial rounds.
Lexi Thompson, who hasn’t won since the ShopRite LPGA two years ago, opened with 68.