A positive mindset has helped In Gee Chun to the top of the leaderboard at the AIG Women’s Open, even though the Korean is not at the very top of her game.
Chun, who claimed her third major title in June at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, began this week with doubts over her form, but she heads the field after 36 holes on eight-under-par, following rounds of 68 and 66.
Her scrambling skills have been particularly impressive and Chun believes that owes much to her upbeat mindset and a focus on what really matters in a major.
“During the beginning of the week, my feel was not super great. But I know golf is a scoring game, not the shot game,” said Chun.
“So I just trusted what I thought and just made a good focus on the course and try to be in a positive way. I don’t want negative things.”
After playing the first eight holes in level par, Chun stormed into contention with birdies at the ninth, 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th.
Her birdie on 13 provided an amusing moment. Chun and playing partner Georgia Hall appeared stunned as the former’s birdie attempt resulted in the ball hanging over the edge of the cup. Yet on another breezy day at Muirfield, the ball soon dropped into the hole, much to Chun’s delight.
“We have a big wind out there, but I have great reason to love the Scottish now, because my ball was sat on the edge of the hole today, and after like three seconds it dropped in,” said the leader.
“Now I can enjoy more Scottish greens.”
At eight-under, Chun has a one-shot advantage over Madelene Sagstrom and Ashleigh Buhai, while seven-time major winner Inbee Park is a shot further back and an ominous leaderboard presence.
“It was a little less windy today. A little bit easier to play than yesterday,” said Inbee, the AIG Women’s Open Champion of 2015 at Turnberry.
“I hit a lot of good shots out there, gave my myself a lot of opportunities at birdie. It was fun playing like that. Yesterday I was in six bunkers. So I was able to avoid a lot of them today.”
Inbee has enjoyed a glorious career and suggested she may bow out at the top of the game should she prevail this weekend.
“I think that will be a very good way to say a farewell,” she added. “I think it's definitely one of my dreams to do it. I know I still have a little bit left in me, so I’m trying to keep that going for now.
“I think I'm in a good position, obviously. And I feel like my game is in good form. I’ve just got to keep doing what I have been doing today.
“So just try to keep it in the fairways, avoid the bunkers, and roll some putts in.”