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Women’s British Open. Ayako Uehara Sets the Pace.

 

dragon logo darkRicoh Women´s British Open

Ayako Uehara of Japan has set the pace in the opening round of the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale in England.

A colorful Ayako Uehara / Getty Images

Ayako is a three-time tournament winner on the LPGA of Japan and is currently leading the  Ricoh Women’s British Open with a -4 under-par 68 opening round. She said the fine round was due mainly to solid putting and being in good company;

“I feel so great right now, because I shoot 4‑under today, and I played with Stacy Lewis and Charley Hull today, I enjoyed so much.”

“I had many good birdie chances but I couldn’t make it.  But this week, so good, so I have confidence right now.”

 Mo Martin from the United States in alone in second place, just one shot back at -3 under par following her first round -3 under par 69, while  Mina Harigae, Morgan Pressel and Australian Sarah Kemp are a stroke further behind on -2 under-par.

Sarah was happy with her -2 under par effort, despite getting into trouble a few times, remarking how tough the course is;

“I got into trouble a couple of times but I just tried to make a bogey and not make a really big number, so I think I did that well today.”

“I think it’s one of the hardest golf courses I’ve ever played.  We were lucky today with the weather.  It wasn’t as windy, but I played yesterday, a practice round yesterday, and it was pretty windy.  It’s quite tight and it’s so intimidating off the tee.  There’s a lot of shots where you can’t see the ball land and when you get up there, the fairway looks about ten yards wide, so it’s definitely up there with the top five hardest golf courses I’ve ever played.  But, one of the best golf courses I’ve ever played, too.”

Holly Clyburn finished as the best placed English player at -1 under par 71, she is sharing sixth spot with Stacy Lewis, So Yeon Ryu and Amy Yang.

Holly was also very happy to shoot under par today;

“I am, very happy, to go out there and shoot under par straight off is very nice. I started bogey, bogey, but it’s not really bogey, bogey.  I don’t look at it like that.  I gave myself a lot of opportunities and a lot of just shaving the hole, and after how I’ve putted the past few weeks, I’m very happy.  I’m so much more confident over the ball and I’m happy to go out there and hole some putts.”

Stacy thought anything under par was a good effort today;

“I think anything under par on this golf course is a good score, it definitely could have been better. Didn’t hit the ball great today. But managed to get the ball in the hole and posted a red number, which is good.”

  Charley Hull was one of 23 players to take a double bogey, or worse at the first hole, she admitted to a few nerves in posting her +1 over par first round;

 “I just think because it’s kind of a tight tee shot the first hole, but it’s not that tight, but it’s just, you know, first tee shot can be a little bit nervy.”

Ricoh Womens British Open. Na Yeon Takes Command at Half Way Stage.

RICOH WOMEN´S BRITISH OPEN*

Na Yeon Choi takes command of the Ricoh Womens British Open at St Andrews at the half way stage of the competition.

Na Yeon Choi / Getty

At a fairly breezy St Andrews Na Yeon shot her second consecutive -5 under par round of 67, to lead the tournament at -10 under par. 

Na Yeon said she was pleased with her two rounds, especially the one today in the windier conditions;

“I’m very satisfied the last two rounds.  You know, especially today, the weather wasn’t good, it was very hard.  But my focus was very good and my caddie helped me a lot, and you know, I had a daily goal every day so I just tried to stick with the goal.  It could be like par is 74 or 75 today, but I didn’t care, like every hole, par 3, par 4, par 5, doesn’t matter for me.  I just try to play one shot at a time and I think that’s why I had great results.”

Mikki Saki is in second place following her magical second round of  -6 under par, 66, which included two two’s. A hole out for Eagle on two of the par fours on the front nine of the Old Course at St. Andrews, holes 4 and 7. Both shots came from over 100 yards as she holed one with an eight iron and the other with a wedge. She was asked if she had ever done that in a tournament before;

“First time, because it is a major and we are here at the Old Course and surrounded by so much history then it must rate as my best ever round.”

Morgan Pressel is in third place at -8 under par, she had a more modest second round, -2 under par, 70. Morgan used not to like links golf, a bit like Phil Mickelson, there could be a link there; he also wants to be on the Solheim Cup Team;

” Everything happens for a reason, and I think that my past struggles here at St. Andrews as well as links golf in general my first two years on Tour taught me a lot. At this point, you know, I’ve played well for two days, and I’m more focused on this tournament”

Treble chasing Inbee Park struggled as the winds picked up on Friday afternoon on the Old Course at St. Andrews, carding a +1 over par 73 to put her at -2 under-par for the championship, a long way back;

“When you experience something big like this, some kind of big pressure like this, you’re just really not afraid of any kind of pressure. How can it get bigger than this?  If you experience something like this, you’re just ready to go and ready to experience something, anything’s going to be less than this.”

Good Luck Inbee.

 

Ricoh British Women’s Open, Jiyai Shin of South Korea Wins

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Jiyai Shin 

Hearty congratulations to Jiyai Shin of South Korea, she produced one of the finest performances of her illustrious career when she defied atrocious weather to close with a battling one over par 73 and claim a domineering nine shot victory in the 2012 Ricoh Women’s British Open at a wet and windswept Royal Liverpool Golf Club. Her easy cruise to victory  means that for the first time in golfing history Asians have won all four of the women’s Majors in a single calendar year with South Korea’s Sun Young Yoo winning the Kraft Nabisco Championship, China’s Shanshan Feng claiming the LPGA Championship and South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi beating the field at the US Women’s Open. There was no other competitor who finished in under par, Inbee Park was alone in second place with a tournament total of even par. Third place went to Paula Creamer of America. finishing with a score of +1 over par.

This Jiyai’s second win at this event, last time in 2008, today she was really happy to be a two-time winner of the trophy;

“I can’t put into words how happy I feel to win the title for a second time. My first win in 2008 changed my life. This week, this win, I think it will change it too.  I said at the start of the week I wanted to play every round in one under par so to get to nine under in this weather on a course as tough as this is incredible. Now I know I can get a good score on any course, I’m pretty sure of that. I can’t tell you why so many Asian players are winning majors at the moment, maybe it’s down to hard work. Maybe it’s luck, or a bit of both.”

Lydia Ko arrived at Hoylake having won this year’s US Women’s Amateur and then followed that up by becoming the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour, winning the CN Canadian Open at just of 15 years old. Here at Royal Liverpool she won The Smyth Salver, which is awarded to the leading amateur, putting together rounds of 72, 71, 76 and a last round of 78 for a +9 over par total of 297 and a two-stroke victory over England’s Holly Clyburn.

Lydia said of her first British Open experience;

“I have got the award for the leading amateur and that’s what I wanted after I made the cut. This is my first experience of the British Open, I didn’t play as well as I wanted but I have won the amateur prize so it wasn’t a bad day. It was playing really tough out there, this is one of the hardest courses I have ever played and there were times when the weather made it almost impossible to play.”

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