Ladies Euro Tour. Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open.

Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open presented by EventScotland

The Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open at Archerfield Links in Scotland has completed the first round.

Cassandra Kirkland / Getty

Cassandra shot a first round -4 under par 68, on the Fidra Course at Archerfield Links to take a one stroke lead of the Ladies Scottish Open at the conclusion of play on day one. The 28 year-old Parisian said she was full of confidence, and has fond memories of two holes in one here;

” I’m hitting really well so I’m very confident with my long game and I made a couple of putts. This is my fourth time here and I’ve had two holes in one on this golf course so every time I go on a par three it’s kind of nice, Today, I almost made it on 13, with my 8-iron. Conditions were okay until number 12 and it started being very windy on hole 13, so the last six holes were tough. On 17 I hit a 5-wood but it was short, I should have hit a 3-wood, so the wind is really, really strong.”

Sharing second place at -3 under par are, Frenchwoman Anne-Lise Caudal, South African Lee-Anne Pace and England’s Trish Johnson. They all had to play later in the day, in a strong wind that needed at least three extra clubs to make the distance.

Lee-Ann explained it;

“It was pretty tough and quite windy, especially on the back nine. It does affect the ball quite a bit but I got through that in one under and a solid front nine. That last hole played a good 25 metres extra into the wind, but I finished birdie, birdie. The last hole was a hybrid into the green and I hit it well so was happy about that. On a course like this, you can’t go for it. You just have to play one shot at a time and make your birdies where you can.”

Anne-Lise was happy with the changes she has recently made to her game;

“I’m very happy because it was tough today and it’s a long time since I had a score under par, because I’m struggling this year. I made some changes, changed coach, changed many things in my swing, so I’m very happy. I’ve played well in this tournament and I’m trying to be patient. I try to keep my concentration.”

Solheim Cup heroine Catriona Matthew from nearby North Berwick was locked in a four-way share of eighth position on 71 with Camilla Lennarth, Florentyna Parker and Hannah Burke.  

Catriona said she had played well in the tough conditions;

 “I thought I played well because it was tough. It got very difficult after the wind picked up after four or five holes. It was a three club wind. The back nine was more exposed, so I’m quite pleased.”

Tee times switch around for tomorrow, so the late winds will affect the other side of the draw and even things out.

Scottish Open, Molinari misses out in Play-Off

Francesco Molinari lost the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in a play-off to Indian Jeev Milhka Singh.

Singh hits winning note

Jeev Milkha Singh (Getty Images)

Jeev Milkha Singh had set an early clubhouse target of -17 under par, and was drinking tea watching the rest try and catch him. Francesco finally did, forcing the play-off. Jeev won with a birdie at the first extra hole, the 18th, in the play-off against Francesco, Jeev calmly sinking a 15 foot putt. Francesco’s birdie attempt, from 25 feet had come up well short of the hole, giving the chnace to Jeev, which he took.

Both players had finished the tournament at -17 under par, Jeev shooting a final 67, -5 under par. Francesco could only manage a par round of 72, that’s 10 shots more than his opening round of 62.

With this win Jeev gains a place in the Open next week, and thinks God has been kind to him;

“I was just enjoying a cup of tea and some chocolate cake and watching it on television, and suddenly got excited. I think God has been kind, and I think the field came back and I put myself in a to go in for a play-off , I’m very fortunate.
I would like to thank a lot of people who have been by my side the last three, four years that have been a struggle for me with the injuries: My family, my friend who coaches me. Janet, who was on my bag, my sponsors who stood by me like Callaway, UPS, Societe Generale, golf in Dubai. All of these guys have been great and supported me through a tough time and I want to thank them all for this. It has been really tough, frustrating more than anything else. You feel like your game is coming back and another injury creeps up, but I just stuck myself in there and said that you need to work on the physical side, and I worked hard on that. Everything has paid off, and I just want to think about the good things and not what’s past and I want to look towards the future now.”

Francesco was obviously disappointed;

“It was a good week, positive. It’s obviously disappointing at the moment not to finish it off. The two putts at 15 and 16 that I missed made all the difference in the end.”

Alex Noren and Scotland”s Marc Warren were tied in third place at -16 under par. World Number One and defending champion Luke Donald  finished tied for 16th with, among others, Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington.

Scottish Open, Marvelous Molinari in Control

Molinari lights up Inverness to lead at Castle Stuart

Francesco Molinari (Getty Images)

Marvelous Francesco Molinari has taken control of the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart in Inverness, Scotland. Francesco had a sparkling third round of -5 under par, 67, to lead the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at -17 under par. Francesco has enjoyed arguably the best run of his career with the putter recently, which has been a key factor in his success this week in the first three rounds. He is obviously aiming to win tomorrow, but takes heart at the way he is playing going into The Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes.

” My golf and my form are getting better and better. Obviously it’s a very good time to be playing this well, and I’ll just see how it goes tomorrow. But however it goes, I know I’m going to be at Lytham playing well and so it’s just a case of keep doing the same stuff and see what happens. I think for the moment, obviously to win here is the first goal.  But it’s good to know, not only from this week, but from last week, as well, that I’m playing well and putting well.”

Dane Anders Hansen is in second spot on his own, thanks to a -7 under par, 65, third round score, and a total of -16 under par.      Anders said of his steady round;

“I played steady today and did not make many mistakes and just kept the ball in play and gave myself some opportunities, and so it was pretty steady. It’s a new day tomorrow.  We’ll see what is going to happen. Francesco is obviously playing very, very good golf at the moment. I had a great finish last week, so it’s going to be fun to play with him. It’s very, very difficult to pick a winner. The scores are so low. It’s very difficult to keep making putts and to keep making birdies.”

Soren Kjeldsen and Scotland’s Marc Warren share third place at -15 under par, Soren is aiming for a good day tomorrow as he targets the one qualification spot available for the Open. He reported;

“I would love to play. If I play well tomorrow and I get in, it’s a bonus, but I have plans to have a little bit of a rest and be away from the game a little bit. If I get the chance to go to Lytham, I will obviously smile and go at it.”

As a local boy, Marc would love to win his home tournament and admitted he had a lot of chances today;

” It was one of the most stress free days really. I felt really in control of everything I was doing, which was different from the first two days. I felt like I was fighting it a little bit, especially off the tee.  But today drove it really well and had a lot of chances. “

There are four players at -14 under par, including another two Scotsmen, Martin Laird and Peter Whitehead, who would also be very keen to win their home Championship. With the same score are American Phil Mickelson and Alexander Noren.

 Alexander, who was Francesco playing partner today, and was really matching Francesco shot for shot until he suffered the ignominy of losing a ball, due to a poor tee shot on the 12th hole. That mishap, which resulted in Alex carding an eight on the hole leaves him three shots off the lead at -14 under par. Martin Laird said he thinks his friends in the gallery will help him tomorrow;

“I did exactly what I needed to; to get myself back in the mix here. My goal was to shoot a low one, and I obviously did that and I’m happy. I’ve got friends and family in the gallery but also the local people cheering me on.  It was great, seemed like every birdie I made, I picked up a few more people and it was great to hear them willing you on.”

Everyone will still be acutely aware of the presence of Phil Mickelson, at just three shots back he is a fierce competitor. Also one shot further back is World number one Luke Donald, I think he will be firmly in the mix coming down the stretch Sunday afternoon.