Kelly Shon fires stunning, record-tying, 8-under 63 at KPMG Women's PGA Championship

By T.J. Auclair
Published on
Kelly Shon fires stunning, record-tying, 8-under 63 at KPMG Women's PGA Championship

OLYMPIA FIELDS, Illinois -- Kelly Shon has played in 13 events on the LPGA Tour this season. Nine of those have resulted in a missed cut. Her best finish came last week -- a T35 at the Arkansas Championship.

All told, she has recorded four rounds in the 60s this season.

Yet, on Friday, in the second round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, Shon made history.

With an 8-under 63, she tied Rickie Fowler and Vijay Singh for the Olympia Fields competitive course record. She also joined Patty Sheehan (1984) and Meg Mallon (1999) as holders of the lowest score in tournament history.

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"It's incredible," Shon said. "I'm really honored by joining those names. I wish I had known that I could have beat them all by one shot -- I'm just kidding. I'm just really honored to be amongst those names. Especially in a major."

It was Shon's best round of the year by three strokes and it happened in a major.

Perhaps even more impressive, Shon enjoyed a 14-shot difference from Round 1 to Round 2. She had four holes left to finish in Round 1 after weather forced play to resume Friday morning. Playing her last hole at 8 over for the round, Shon somehow knocked in a 90-foot putt for eagle to finish with a 6-over 77 -- the first of two eagles she would make on that hole Friday -- to sneak into the top 25 and easily make the cut.

How the heck did she do it?

"I just didn't carry myself the way I want to present myself yesterday," Shon said. "I got mad at my caddie. It was not his fault. I got mad at all sorts of stuff and the fault was all mine... I talked to my best friend last night and he asked me to make a promise that even if I got frustrated today to not show it.

"I made some really great up and downs early in my round prior to that eagle and so I have my best friend to thank for that," Shon added.

That eagle early Friday morning -- which Shon described as "pure luck" -- was just the start of the fireworks yet to come for Shon.

Taking an aggressive "go for broke" approach on virtually every hole, playing the back side first in Round 2, made birdies at Nos. 14 and 15 before holing a big swinging, 36-foot, right-to-left eagle putt at No. 18 (126 feet in two putts on that hole Friday).

The front nine -- her back nine -- was just as impressive. Shon birdied holes 1, 2, 4 and 8 before a par at 9 to make the record-tying score official.

Friday's 63 was an amazing 9.78 strokes better than the 25-year-old's scoring average this season. Again... at a major.

Will she take the same aggressive approach over the final two days?

"I think it all depends on the conditions," she said. "We had some rain overnight and the wind had died down. That allowed me to do what I did today. But if the conditions were like yesterday when I started the round, I don't think I could have fired at those pins."