Ryann O’Toole finished ninth solo at Portland a week ago. It was only his third top 10 finish this LPGA season. It was also the first tournament he played in a month.
A week later, after opening with a seven-under 64, O’Toole sits tied atop a crowded leaderboard at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
It seems that the four weeks out of the competition was a good restart.
“It just depends on where you are in life. Sometimes you’re at a point where, ‘Hey, I’ve got some personal stuff going on.’ I need to take some time. I need to fix the brain,’” she said.
“It’s hard to get out here and perform, especially if your mind is elsewhere. I was curious how that was going to be. Normally I don’t like to take away so many tournaments, but sometimes it’s good. I guess it’s showing now that it’s important.”
O’Toole is among five golfers tied for the lead after shooting rounds of seven under par, including Megan Khang, Yuka Saso, first-wave Lauren Coughlin and later, Jeongeun Lee5, at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. .
On Friday, O’Toole had six straight birdies in his first nine starting at No. 2 and had eight in total with just one bogey. However, after the round, she spoke as if she might have had more circles on her card.
“I definitely felt like I still had a lot to do,” he said after 18 holes of a 54-hole tournament. “Eight birdies, but I still felt like there was a ton left out there, especially in the back.”
O’Toole, who hit all 18 greens, was among the frontrunners and had a few ideas on how to fill time on Friday afternoon.
“I’m just going to do a cool down practice, a couple of putts, hit some balls and probably go see Bentonville, have tea somewhere, walk around. There is a lot to do here. Rogers, Arkansas is pretty fun. I like coming here,” she said.
ESPN+ Broadcast Coverage
The first round of television coverage on Friday was delayed on Golf Channel, but the network will broadcast the second and final round.
Additionally, for the second week in a row, ESPN+ will have “featured groups” coverage during the morning and afternoon airwaves on all three days of the tournament.
The story originally appeared on GolfWeek