Lexi Thompson had to bring successful a squad manager the past 3 holes erstwhile her caddie succumbed to the heat. Players walked down sunbaked fairways utilizing umbrellas, immoderate of them occasionally holding a container of crystal connected their heads.
Madelene Sagstrom had a blistery commencement of her ain Wednesday successful women's golf.
With a pugnacious transportation to 4 feet for par connected the last hole, the Swede kept bogeys disconnected her paper connected a time of searing vigor for a 5-under 66, giving her a one-shot pb implicit top-ranked Nelly Korda of the United States and Aditi Ashok of India.
Extreme vigor is thing caller for astir of the apical players, with an LPGA Tour docket that includes stops successful Singapore and Thailand. This ranked close up there. The vigor scale topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius), and astatine that constituent caddies were allowed to region their bibs.
Heat wasn't the lone problem. A tropical tempest is approaching, and the existent forecast is for a 70 per cent accidental of dense rainfall connected Saturday, a slighter higher accidental connected Sunday. The contention indispensable decorativeness by Sunday erstwhile the Olympics close.
Heather Daly-Donofrio, an International Golf Federation method delegate successful complaint of the women's competition, said players person been informed astir the anticipation of a 54-hole event.
That depends connected the weather, and a determination apt won't beryllium made until aft the 2nd circular astatine the earliest. The utmost vigor ruled retired immoderate thought of playing 27 holes apiece implicit the adjacent 2 days due to the fact that of subordinate health.
"It's hot, I'm not going to lie. It's precise hot," Sagstrom said. "But it's manageable. Most of america person been successful Asia, played a batch of play implicit here, truthful we cognize what to do. You portion a batch of water, you person cooling towels, umbrella, conscionable maintaining the vigor and not spell crazy. I deliberation astatine this constituent it's harder for the caddies than it is for the players."
No request to explicate that to Thompson. She was walking up the 15th fairway erstwhile she said her caddie, Jack Fulghum, turned to her and said, "Do I look achromatic to you?"
"I didn't truly notice. But helium conscionable didn't look good," Thompson said. "I conscionable privation him to beryllium healthy, that's all."
She had him beryllium down disconnected the greenish and brought successful Donna Wilkins, who works successful subordinate services for the LPGA Tour and is connected the unit for Team USA astatine the Olympics. Thompson birdied 3 consecutive holes, closed with a bogey and changeable 72.
Sagstrom managed conscionable fine, opening with a 4-foot birdie, utilizing her powerfulness to acceptable up a two-putt birdie connected the par-5 5th and navigating a Kasumigaseki people that was drier and faster than it was for the men past week.
Of her 5 birdies putts, the lone 1 extracurricular 10 feet was a 15-footer connected the par-3 10th.
Korda, who reached No. 1 successful the satellite by winning her archetypal large six weeks agone astatine the Women's PGA Championship, overcame a brace of aboriginal bogeys with capable birdies to not autumn behind, and she yet worked her mode up the leaderboard with a 67.
One of her bogeys was connected the par-3 4th hole, playing 205 yards. She deed 5-iron that ne'er strayed excessively acold from the flag, landed good abbreviated of the spread and didn't halt rolling until she faced a birdie putt from 40 feet. She three-putted.
Korda had talked to a fewer of the American men astir Kasumigaseki and heard each astir however brushed it was. The opening 2 rounds of the men's contention was delayed by storms.
"The greens person decidedly firmed up from the men," helium said. "I retrieve JT (Justin Thomas) was saying however brushed it was. And you tin benignant of spot it connected the colour of the greens. They're getting a small browner, and there's immoderate spots that conscionable similar ricochet."
As for the heat? That was much wearisome than worrisome. Korda says she was drinking a vessel of h2o connected each hole, astir to the constituent of being sick of drinking water.
"You person to support yourself hydrated and you benignant of suffer it a small retired there," Korda said. "Like erstwhile I was teeing up immoderate balls, I decidedly felt a small lightheaded. But kept myself successful it."
Jin Young Ko, who was astatine No. 1 successful the satellite for astir 2 years until Korda replaced her, was among those astatine 68. Inbee Park, the Olympic golden medalist from Rio de Janeiro successful 2016, couldn't get a putt to autumn connected the backmost 9 and had to settee for a 69.
Danielle Kang and Sei Young Kim besides were astatine 69.
The astonishment was Ashok — oregon possibly not considering this is the Olympics. She was 18 and caller retired of precocious schoolhouse erstwhile she made her debut successful Rio and opened with a brace of 68s earlier fading connected the weekend.
Now she's disconnected to different bully start, adjacent aft having to deed truthful galore hybrids into the par 4s. She was tied for the pb until missing the 18th greenish to the near and failing to prevention par.
Ashok remembers the absorption from Rio erstwhile she started well, which speaks to however overmuch power an Olympic golfer tin person connected a state wherever cricket is king.
"My societal media pursuing conscionable blew up," Ashok said. "I deliberation a batch of radical were trying to fig retired what play was truthful that they could recognize however I was playing and if I had a accidental to triumph a medal."
She has won 3 times connected the Ladies European Tour since past and became the archetypal subordinate from India connected the LPGA Tour. No matter.
"People inactive retrieve maine arsenic the miss who did good astatine the Olympics," she said. "Just knowing that benignant of motivates maine this week, too."
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