PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Coming into the day, Katherine Perry didn’t even know if she would have the chance to play golf.
Constant, heavy rain flooded Blythefield Country Club in Belmont to the point where the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give had no choice but to delay tee times. Puddles were building on the fairways and putting greens had visible water. Hole 14 had to be adjusted from 530 to 400 yards due to standing water in the middle.
When the rain finally let up, Perry and the rest of the field teed off seven hours after their original start times. While the water slowed play down, it didn’t stop what Perry had to offer in the first round.
Perry finished six under par after 18 holes in the first round of a delayed start on Thursday. She tied with Jenny Shin for the lead.
This comes after a shaky 2018 campaign when she only made three of 10 events she tried out for. After being cut for the Kia Classic in March, Perry has turned her tour around. She has now made the cut for three consecutive tournaments, finishing tied for ninth in the Pure Silk Championship presented by Visit Williamsburg and tied for 26th in the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer.
After day one at the Meijer Classic, she feels she’s showing progress from the work she puts in.
“I’ve been just working really hard on my swing with my coach and just having the opportunity to be out here,” Perry said. “I’m here with this opportunity to play and I’m looking forward to taking advantage of it.”
Right out of the gate, Perry did just that. Three of her first four holes were birdies, including a near 30-foot putt. It got her ahead of the pack quickly. Perry later said those holes were huge to her confidence on the greens.
After a bogey on hole six, Perry regrouped to get birdies on three of the next four holes.
Following three straight pars, she countered a birdie on hole 14 with a bogey on hole 15. After paring hole 17, she finished with a birdie on 18 and a smile.
After eight total birdies, it was without a question it was a momentum boost.
“I have to go hit golf shots tomorrow just like I did today and see where it gets me,” Perry said.
Perry started her day around 5 a.m. before hearing the rounds would be delayed. She took a nap and woke up only to find out the tee times were still getting pushed back. While it was an odd start for the three-year pro, she said everyone had the same day.
“You kind of just have to take it as it is and go play golf,” she said.