Team USA Solheim Cup stars struggle at Honda LPGA Thailand

The LPGA is back as the women begin their first Asian swing of the 2024 season. This week is the Honda LPGA Thailand event at the Siam Country Club Old Course in Chonburi, Thailand.

Reigning champion and current World No. 1 Lilia Vu struggled on Day 1, along with a majority of the Team USA Solheim Cup members in the field. Vu shot a 1-over 73 to sit tied for 60th, but she wasn’t alone.

Jennifer Kupcho also carded a 1-over 73 Thursday. However, it was Cheyenne Knight who tied for the worst opening round score with a 3-over 75.

Among the six Team USA members playing, only three are under par — Andrea Lee, Allisen Corpuz and Danielle Kang.

Kang posted the best score among them with a 3-under 69. She sits T19 and five shots off Peiyun Chein.

She made a bogey on the par-4 2nd but quickly bounced back, making three birdies in her next five holes. Another birdie came on the 13th, but she coughed that stroke up on 15 for her second bogey. Kang however got back to 3-under with a birdie on 18 to close the day with a bit of momentum.

Lee and Corpuz both signed for 2-under 70s.

What started as a lousy day quickly turned around for the reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion as Corpuz came home in 31, making five birdies, including four of her final five holes.

Meanwhile, Lee, who started on the back nine, quickly dropped a shot on the 13. She made the turn at even par with a birdie on the 18th and picked up two more strokes at the 2nd and 3rd holes, making six straight pars to close out her round.

It wasn’t a great day for the Americans in the field overall, but there is reason for optimism.

The leader after Day 1, Chien, fired off an 8-under 64 which tied her career-low 18-hole score. It is unlikely she replicates that Friday, potentially opening the door to the cut line being moved down.

“I think [this course is] very easy to shot the good score. Everything can happen,” Chien said after her round. “I just need to play every shot I can do and play best — every shot best.”

Last year was her best on Tour, recording five top 10s, and she made her third CME Group Tour Championship.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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