Can you feel the days getting shorter now that we’re past the summer solstice? Soon enough it will be dark at 5 p.m. and we’ll all be stuck inside for winter. Happy Friday, though.

It’s a major award!

The Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club played long on Thursday, but a bunch of different players managed solid first rounds at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Veteran Lizette Salas leads after a bogey-free round of 67. Charley Hull (68), Jessica Korda (69), Austin Ernst (69), Nelly Korda (70), and Ariya Jutanugarn (70) are among those in contention through round one. Leaderboard

The beauty of LPGA Tour events is that they always seem to deliver a good mix of talent around the top of the leaderboard. After 18 holes, the Women’s PGA Championship stars long hitters like the Korda sisters and Maria Fassi as well as shorter, more accurate players like Salas and Gerina Piller. The bombers are favored to win out by week’s end, and they very well may do that. But for now, we have a varied and entertaining lead pack heading into the weekend.

Other notes from Thursday

Fighting for a spot on the American Solheim Cup team, 19-year-old rookie Yealimi Noh fired a first-round 69 and is just two back. Noh was victim to a $10,000 slow-play penalty earlier this year and is still working through the repercussions.

Inbee Park, one of the shortest players on tour, got it around in 71 on Thursday, relying on her otherworldly putter.

ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit started her chase for a second major title in 2021 with a 70 while U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso struggled to a 73.

Neither world No. 1 Jin Young Ko nor No. 2 Sei Young Kim had their best stuff on Thursday. Ko shot 73 to Kim’s 74. Both players will need to play well on Friday to avoid missing the cut.

Sandra Changkija (T-28) shot a 72 on Thursday to lead the group of LPGA club professionals in the field at Atlanta Athletic Club.

Practice with purpose

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Quick Hooks

Satoshi Kodaira and Kramer Hickock lead through one round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Both shot 63, while Brooks Koepka (69), Dustin Johnson (70), and Bryson DeChambeau (69) all failed to do much. Leaderboard

Sam Horsfield, Wade Ormsby, Min Woo Lee, and Beef Johnston are all in the mix at the BMW International Open on the European Tour. Jorge Campillo and Viktor Hovland are a few shots back. Leaderboard

Jimmy “Hard K” Knous and Stevie Fountains (LeBrun) are among the leaders at the Live and Work in Maine Open. Have you decided to live and/or work in Maine yet? Leaderboard

Steve Stricker shot 63 to jump out to a four-shot lead at the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship. Alex Cejka, winner of the first two senior major championships of the year, simply chose not to show up to the Senior Players, which is considered a major. Cejka opted to play on the European Tour instead. This is Major! Leaderboard

Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell were named assistant captains for the European Ryder Cup team, but Kaymer says his first priority is to make the team as a player.

The Latest from The Fried Egg

Municipal Golf in San Diego: Now What? – The question of whether or not Torrey Pines should host another U.S. Open was the center of the conversation last week, but that’s not the biggest question facing San Diego municipal golf at the moment. Garrett Morrison on how San Diego can lift up its other courses with funding from the U.S. Open.

The Fried Egg Podcast: Stretching Routines and Host Family Stories with the PGA Championship’s Breakout Club Pro

PGA professional Brad Marek joins Andy to discuss his great run at last month’s PGA Championship. Brad played for years on the mini tours before becoming a well-regarded teaching pro at Corica Park in the Bay Area. In this episode, he and Andy delve into that transition. They also talk about everything from Brad’s brush with stretching-themed social media fame to his experience at the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.

Shotgun Start will be a mid-morning release tomorrow. Andy isn’t quite sure with what level of enthusiasm he’s going to screech “Brendan!” and needs time to think about it. Listen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify.