GINA KIM TAKES OVERNIGHT LEAD AT INOVA MISSION INN CHAMPIONSHIP
After two separate weather delays during Friday’s afternoon wave of the Inova Mission Inn Resort & Club Championship totaling two hours and 10 minutes, first-round action was suspended at 8:09 p.m. ET due to darkness with Gina Kim out front by two strokes. The Duke University alumna shot a 7-under par 66 on the El Campeón Championship Course at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
Kim opened with birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. She made the turn at 3-under par then hit the accelerator on her back nine with four birdies and a bogey-free 32.
“The main thing was staying patient,” said Kim, who hit 15 greens in regulation. “It has only been four months since I turned pro, so trying to be kind to myself because of the learning curve. Sticking with the gameplan and patience throughout the whole 18 holes was key for me.”
The 2022 Epson Tour rookie is making her fifth start on the “Road to the LPGA” and coming off a season-best finish of a tie for eighth at the IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty. Kim has also competed in four LPGA Tour events this season with her best performance a tie for 64th at Cognizant Founders Cup.
“I think the biggest hurdle that I’ve been trying to get over is not being too hard on myself and trying so, so hard,” Kim said. “Sometimes less thinking and more doing is really the best route. It worked out well today.”
Gigi Stoll was 5-under through 15 holes and Sarah White reached that same mark through 14 before the horns blew to signal the suspension of play. Maria Fassi completed 16 holes in 4 under. Six players share fifth place at -3 including Robyn Choi and Michaela Finn, who signed for a bogey-free 70.
A total of 66 players ended Friday at 1-over par or better.