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.”