Three share lead at Cambia Portland Classic
Adding to the challenge of a playing a new course, crisp temperatures greeted players who teed off Thursday morning, Sept. 16, at the Cambia Portland Classic.
The conditions didn't keep Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh and Spain's Carlota Ciganda from a solid start to the LPGA tournament being played for the first time at the Oregon Golf Club in West Linn.
"With that cold morning this morning, I got asked if I felt like a summer's day," Dryburgh quipped. "It kind of feels like the U.K. a little bit. I think it's a similar climate. Yeah, it's a good vibes, I would say."
Dryburgh, Ciganda and Pajaree Anannarukarn, who played Thursday afternoon, share the first-day lead after each shot 4-under-par 68s.
Six golfers are one stroke back and five two strokes back after the opening round of the 72-hole tournament.
A total of 27 golfers shot under par on Thursday, when afternoon rounds had nice temperatures but a more wind. Players who played Thursday morning will play Friday afternoon and those who played in the afternoon will play Friday morning.
Dryburgh spent three weeks at home in Scotland fine-tuning her game before returning for this tournament.
"I saw both my putting coach and swing coach while I was home. It was nice to have kind of three weeks with them," she said. "Nothing too major. Just small tweaks here and there, but game has been trending in a good direction this year."
An eagle on the par-4 seventh hole from 98 yards highlighted the round for Dryburgh.
Ciganda, fresh off helping Europe win the Solheim Cup, said she was almost shaking on the driving range and the first few holes because of crisp morning temperatures.
"But then, yeah, I start hitting good shots," Ciganda said. "I think it's important to hit as many greens as you can. The greens are really nice, very fast, one of the fastest we played on tour all year. That's nice to see."
Anannarukarn said she spent time in Portland ahead of the tournament, rather than spending the Solheim Cup break in Thailand. She has a friend who lives in Portland and participated in a fundraising tournament here for the national Thai Golfers Association in America.
Jin Young Ko, ranked No. 2 on the tour, was at 5-under before a trio of bogeys. She is one of six golfers at 3-under.
Canadian Brooke Henderson, a former Portland Classic champion, shot 2-under 70 on Thursday. She, too, pointed to the cold temperature in the morning and to wing that gusted on a couple of holes.
The tournament was moved from its traditional home at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, a decision made in June because of a houseless camp bordering the Northeast Portland course. The Oregon Golf Club is much more hilly, a subject of discussion after Thursday's first round.
Ashleigh Buhai, who finished in second place in the Portland Classic last summer after losing a playoff to Georgia Hall, is at 2-under. The South African called the hills challenging.
"it's not easy. Luckily we get a ride every now and then. But it's the same for everybody. You just got kind of pace yourself and just go slowly I think is the key to it," Buhai said.
Buhai said the greens at Oregon Golf Club are similar to at Columbia Edgewater, "I love quick greens and they're very pure, so I think that's why I felt comfortable coming back and putting well today."
Former Oregon State golfer Ellie Slama, who won a qualifying tournament to play, shot 6-over 78 on Thursday.
The tournament is being televised by the Golf Channel between noon and 3 p.m. each day.
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