KPMG Performance Insights: An Inside Look at In Gee Chun's Six Shot Lead
Sometimes it’s just your week.
And as the KPMG Performance Insights show us, In Gee Chun is having herself a great one through 36 holes at the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Chun, who shot an 8-under 64 Thursday to set the new course record at Congressional Country Club’s Blue Course, backed that up with a 3-under 69 on Friday.
She has a six-shot lead heading into Saturday’s third round, which is just underway.
According to KPMG Performance Insights, Chun’s six-shot advantage is the largest 36-hole lead in any women’s major in the last two decades.
It seems like the pathway to victory is already paved for Chun, as each of the last six winners of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship led or co-led after 36 holes.
“Before I started (on Friday), I got a little pressure for sure because after I had a great first round, everyone talked about how (I had) a five-shot lead. Now I’m in a good position. Everyone’s expectations are really high,” said Chun on Friday afternoon. “It was a little tough to make focus, but I believe it’s another process in my life, so I want to see the big picture.”
Stranger things have happened with respect to major-championship comebacks, of course. Justin Thomas – who gave Chun a shoutout on Twitter on Thursday and had a fun back-and-forth with her into Friday – came from seven shots back in the final round of last month’s PGA Championship to win, for example. But, according to KPMG Performance Insights, the two other players who have led by five or more shots at majors in the last 20 years on the women’s side have won by a combined 21 strokes.
That includes Cristie Kerr at this championship in 2010. She won by 12.
In a fun twist, the last major championship hosted at Congressional was the 2011 U.S. Open which was won by Rory McIlroy – and Chun’s effort mimicked McIlroy’s effort from 11 years ago.
McIlroy was 11 under through two rounds and led by six – the exact same as Chun. McIlroy would go on to win wire-to-wire, which is exactly what Chun is trying to do, too.
Despite Chun’s well-out-front position, there are still plenty of notable chasers at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship through 36 holes.
Lydia Ko and Jennifer Kupcho are tied for second at 5 under. Ko fired a 5-under 67 on Friday which, according to KPMG Performance Insights, was the eighth time since 2018 she shot that number or lower in a major – a feat topped by only three other golfers. Ko trailed after 36 holes in both her major victories.
Sei Young Kim, a past KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner, is part of the group at 4 under and tied for fourth. She fired her 47th round in the 60s in majors since 2015 on Friday, according to KPMG Performance Insights – the most of any player in women’s majors in that span.
So, while Chun is creeping towards a historic result, the KPMG Performance Insights show us the chasing pack has a few nice numbers on their side.