Thursday, August 02, 2007

Women’s British Open – 1st Round

World Number One Lorena Ochoa played her first competitive round at St. Andrews bogey-free to post 67 and lead the Ricoh Women’s British Open by two strokes. Louise Friberg, a 27-year-old Swedish LET regular, is tied for second place with rookie In-Bee Park after they both opened with a 69. Ai Miyazato and Rebecca Hudson (another LET player) are tied for fourth after carding 70s. A few players are still on the course as I post this, including Wendy Ward (-2) and Ji-Yai Shin (+2). I would have waited until they all were finished, but our family has dinner plans this evening and I don’t expect to have time for any updates later.

Ochoa took advantage of her early tee time and calmer winds to jump out front in her quest to win her first major championship. Friberg combined six birdies with two bogeys (including the famous 17th, which the ladies are playing as a par-5). She has played well, collecting six Top 10s on the LET this year, but has missed the cut in four of her last five events. Hudson is from Doncaster, England, 28 years old, and currently 10th on the LET money list. She won the Acer South African Women’s Open last year.

The Old Course really “opened up a can” on several big LPGA names on their first time around. The scores included:
71 Brittany Lincicome
72 Annika Sorenstam, Sarah Lee, Jee Young Lee
72 Sherri Steinhauer, In-Kyung Kim
73 Paula Creamer, Se Ri Pak, Natalie Gulbis, Michelle Wie
73 Catriona Matthew, Nicole Castrale, Young Kim, Sophie Gustafson
74 Suzann Pettersen, Stacy Prammanasudh
75 Grace Park, Christina Kim
76 Jeong Jang, Seon Hwa Lee
77 Cristie Kerr, Karrie Webb, Pat Hurst
78 Angela Park, Angela Stanford, Julieta Granada
79 Mi Hyun Kim, Juli Inkster, Laura Davies, Shi Hyun Ahn
80 Morgan Pressel, Meaghan Francella

I’m really surprised by Jeong Jang’s poor start. She’s not doomed yet, but she needs a round in the 60s to get back in contention. Janice Moodie saw her second nasty mess in as many days (at least) as she doubled 5 and tripled 16 on her way to an 83.

Trivia Time – The first player to tee off in a women’s professional tournament at the Old Course at St. Andrews was Nikki Garrett.

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