Paula Creamer of Mountain View, CA is your surprise leader after the first round of the 2019 Evian Championship from the Evian Resort Golf Club in Evian-les-Bains, France on Thursday. After not participating at the opening women’s major of the season at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, CA, Creamer missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
However Creamer did head to France with some momentum. She finished in a career high tie for sixth at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at the Midland Country Club in Midland, MI. That was the first time Creamer was in the top 10 of a LPGA event in two years.
During the first round on Thursday, Creamer collected seven birdies and zero bogeys. She birdied the second, fifth, seventh and ninth holes on the front nine and the 13th, 14th and 18th holes on the back nine.
Even though Creamer is the only player on top of the leaderboard, there are many other golfers in contention. South Koreans Inbee Park, Jin-young Ko and Mi-hyang Lee along with Brittany Altomare of Worcester, MA are one shot back at -6. Jennifer Kupcho of Littleton, CO and Melissa Reid of England are two strokes back at -5. Meanwhile there are three players at -4 and three strokes back. They are Austin Ernst of Greenville, SC, and two more South Koreans (Chella Choi and Sung-hyun Park).
Of the 10 players in contention after the first 18 holes in the fourth women’s major of the season, four are major champions. Interestingly, Creamer’s only career major title was back in 2010 when she won the U.S. Women’s Open in Oakmont, PA. Ko won the 2019 ANA Inspiration. Inbee Park has won seven major titles but never the Evian Championship, while Sung-hyun Park won the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2018 Women’s PGA Championship.