Regional Sports News
Korea’s I K Kim displayed nerves of steel to hold off the challenge of fast-finishing Englishwoman, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, and win the first major title of her career at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at a wet and windy Kingsbarns Golf Links.
29-year-old Kim started the final round with a six-shot lead over the field but, when Ewart Shadoff became the third player of the week to card a course record 64, the Korean needed to produce nine consecutive pars over her closing nine holes to post a one under par 71 and finish two shots clear of the Englishwoman on 18 under par 270.
Kim’s shot of the day came at the 17th where she hit a 5-wood 197-yards into the wind and over a ditch to set up a 15-foot birdie putt. She did not hole it but her regulation par gave her the luxury of a two-shot lead heading up the last and she went on to play it in text book fashion to bury the inner demons she has harboured since missing a one-foot putt on the 72nd hole of the 2012 Kraft Nabisco (now ANA Inspiration) before going on to lose the subsequent play-off to Sun Young Yoo.
“I feel uplifted and say that because I didn’t expect to win this week,” she said. “I didn’t really have any expectations. I had one of my best warm-ups of the week, so that gave me quiet confidence. But the wind was blowing differently, and I wasn’t hitting the ball as close. I didn’t have many makeable putts, but I think as well as I could with what I had today, I think.”
Ewart Shadoff’s round of the day started with a birdie on the second and she went on to fire five more in succession from the sixth before claiming her share of the course record with two further birdies at the 13th and 17th.
“I just tried to stay in the moment and hit as many good shots as I could,” she said.
“Honestly, I didn’t think I had a shot. IK was so far ahead, and she’s been playing so good recently, so I was just trying to finish as high up as I could.
“It’s been a big boost to me,” she added. “I didn’t have much confidence coming into this week, having missed the cut last week (at the Scottish Open) but I played great. The key was my putting, my putter was on fire.”
Ewart Shadoff’s 16-under par total of 272 saw her finish three shots ahead of compatriot Georgia Hall, Germany’s Caroline Masson and first round leader Michelle Wie from America. Korea’s Jenny Shin posted a 67 to finish alone in sixth place on 276 while China’s Shanshan Feng returned the same score to finish tied seventh on eleven under par 277 alongside Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim, America’s Stacy Lewis and Swede’s Anna Nordqvist.
English international Sophie Lamb faced a Rules query and then an anxious three hour wait before being confirmed as the winner of the Smyth Salver awarded to the leading amateur who plays all four rounds of the Championship.
The 19-year-old from Clitheroe birdied the last to post a 69 and finish on six under par 282 but it was then discovered that she and playing partner Jane Park had signed for their scores on each other’s cards. A Rules official was called to the Recorders Area and she adjudged that the situation was covered by Decision 6-6d/4 and that no penalty should be applied.
Lamb then had to wait for most of the afternoon until her nearest challenger, Irish World No. 1 Leona Maguire, returned a 75 for it to be confirmed that she had won the amateur prize by three shots. Swedish amateur international My Leander also played all four rounds and closed with a 79 to finish on nine over par 297.
“It has been a fantastic week,” Lamb said. “I have played very well and it was nice to finish with a birdie.
“As an amateur, you play a lot of links golf, and I think that helped me this week,” she added. “It’s all been a bit crazy but I’m delighted to know I can compete at this sort of level. It gives me a lot of confidence.”
I K Kim moved a significant step closer to claiming her long-awaited first major title when she carded a 66 to storm into a six-shot lead after the third round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Links.
The 29-year-old Korean goes into the final round on 17 under par 199 and with a great chance to bury the memories of the one-foot putt she missed on the 72nd green at the 2012 Kraft Nabisco (now the ANA Inspiration) where she went on to lose the subsequent play-off to Sun Young Yoo.
In the meantime, she already has a record to celebrate with her 199-aggregate shaving one shot off the previous 54-hole record set by eventual winner, Ariya Jutanugarn, 12 months ago at Woburn. Her six-shot advantage at this stage also equals the previous record, achieved by Lorena Ochoa at St Andrews back in 2007.
Kim’s nearest challengers heading into the final round are England’s Georgia Hall, who four-putted the 17th but still carded a two under par 70 and Thailand’s Moriya Junatugarn, whose 67 gives her an outside chance of succeeding younger sister, Ariya, as champion.
“It was a lot of fun out there,” she said. “I think I’m finally able to let go of that (what happened in 2012) and that’s why I’m playing so well. Now, I just want to enjoy tonight and then whatever happens tomorrow, I’ll take.”
There were also big moves made by 2015 champion, Inbee Park, who equalled the course record 64 set by Michelle Wie in Thursday’s first round to move up into a share fourth place with America’s Ally McDonald on ten under par 206 and by 2013 winner, Stacy Lewis, who carded a 65 to claim sole possession of sixth place on 207.
Kim has won six times on the LPGA Tour but now has a great chance to become the latest Asian major winner after playing her last 35 holes without dropping a single shot. She made her intentions clear when she stormed to the turn in 32 with birdies at the second, fifth, six and seventh and then cruised home with further birdies at the 11th and 12th.
The round of the day came from 2015 champion, Inbee Park, who started at two under par but moved all the way up to ten under with a flawless 64 compiled during the best of the weather in the morning. She was then able to sit back and watch as the late starters were drenched by a series of squally showers for a third day in a row.
Park began the day with birdies on the first and the second and then added three more at the fifth, eighth and ninth to go out in 31 before coming home in 33 with further birdies at the 11th, 13th and 17th.
“The greens were a lot quicker than the last two days and that helped me a lot,” she said. “It was also a good ball-striking day which is something I’ve been struggling with for the last month or so.
“It’s very scoreable out there,” she added. “It doesn’t matter how many back I am. I’m just going to play my own golf tomorrow. That’s all I can do.”
Park had been paired with her great friend Lewis and they seemed to spur each other on with the American carding four birdies over the last four holes to post a 65 and go into the final round just on nine under par.
“I made more putts today,” explained the 2013 champion. “I putted pretty poorly the first two days but my Mom told me I needed to take my putter straighter back and apparently she was right. I hate to give her credit but I might buy her dinner tonight
“The weather was good and you have to take advantage,” she added. “I think Inbee and I both knew that.”
Irish World No. 1, Leona Maguire, is in the driving seat to win the Smyth Salver, awarded to the leading amateur who plays all four rounds, for a second year in a row. Maguire added a two under par 70 to her opening rounds of 69 and 71 to go into the final round on six under par 210.
That leaves her three shots ahead of reigning British Stroke Play champion, Sophie Lamb, and eight in front of Swedish international, My Leander. Lamb recovered from posting a treble bogey seven on the ninth to post a one over par 73 but Leander could only manage a 77 which has surely left her with too much to do.
I K Kim defied torrential rain to card a four under par 68 and open a two shot lead at the half-way stage of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Links.
The Korean goes into the third round on eleven under par 133 with England’s Georgia Hall and American World No. 2 Lexi Thompson heading the chasing pack on nine under par 135 with no less than 20 players heading into the weekend within six shots of the lead.
Hall equalled the low round of the day with a five under par 67 in the more benign morning conditions while Thompson finished right behind her with a 68. They are one shot ahead of Thompson’s compatriot Ally McDonald with Koreans Chella Choi and Ha-Na Jang, England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and 2014 Champion Mo Martin all just four shots out of the lead on seven under par 137.
Kim looked to be destined for a place just behind the leaders when she went out in one under par but an eagle on the par-five eleventh and a birdie in the worst of the weather on the 17th catapulted her to the top of the leaderboard.
“I think it (the rain) was about as bad as it could get, but I was able to manage it just fine,” she said.
“I really enjoy playing out here,” she added. “I don’t know, if I had to play golf anywhere in the rain, this would be the golf course.
“I haven’t really thought about tomorrow yet, but I’ll look at what I did (today), and maybe I can make some kind of plan.”
Both Hall and Thompson went out early in the day before the rain struck but they constructed their scores in altogether different ways.
Hall made her move early with four consecutive birdies from the second before dropping her first shot of the day on the ninth. She made further advances on the 11th, 14th and 15th before giving one shot back when she drove into a bunker on the 16th.
“I think that might be the first time I have ever had four (birdies) in a row in a tournament,” said the Englishwoman who is about to make her Solheim Cup debut for Europe before returning across the Atlantic to play in this year’s LPGA Qualifying School. “I’m playing really well and my putting is especially good.”
Hall went onto confirm she had received some useful advice from Gary Player when they played together during the South African’s recent charity invitational day at Wentworth.
“He said I should take a pad out with me and write down how many times I get up-and-down from one hundred yards. He also said that if I was practising for three hours, I should spend two hours on my short game.
“He said you should never feel sorry for yourself and never give up,” she added. “Those things were kind of big for me. If he tells me that, I’m certainly not going to give up on the golf course.”
Thompson has also had outside help, in her case from her Scottish caddie, Kevin McAlpine, who has been on her bag for a run of eleven tournaments during which she has won once and claimed four second place finishes.
“Kevin and I laugh the whole way round,” the American said after completed a round that included a run of five straight birdies from the tenth. “It helps playing well but we’re always joking around. I think that’s what make our relationship so great out here. He keeps me relaxed but at the same time he’s out there doing my numbers, reading my putts, basically everything.”
The race for the Smyth Salver, awarded to the leading amateur who plays all four rounds, looks set to go to the wire with 2016 Ladies’ British Open Amateur champion, Sophie Lamb, posting a second round 71 to finish tied with World No. 1, Leona Maguire, on four under par 140. They also have My Leander right on their tails after the Swedish international posted a 70 to complete 36-holes on three under par 141.
The cut fell at one under par and among those who made it with nothing to spare were World No. 1, So Yeon Ryu, and one of her predecessors, Lydia Ko.
Michelle Wie carded a course record eight under par 64 to storm into the lead after the first round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Links.
The 27-year old American posted nine birdies and a solitary bogey to shave one shot off the previous course record set by China’s Xiyu Lin at Final Qualifying for this Championship back in 2013 but it was only enough to earn give her a narrow advantage over a packed leaderboard featuring many of the top-ranked players in the women’s game.
Wie went out in the gentlest conditions first thing in the morning but could scarcely have guessed what was to follow when she skulled a lob wedge through the green at the second to record her only bogey of the day. However, she followed that with birdies on the fourth, sixth and eighth to go out in 34 and then stormed home in six under par 30 with further birdies at the 11th, 12th 14th, 16th, 17th and 18th.
“That start got me a bit annoyed for a while but it was fun out there,” she said. “Any time you shoot a 64 on a course like Kingsbarns you’ve got to be happy.
“I think we’ve been very lucky with the British Open. We’ve played some great venues like Lytham and St Andrews and this is definitely one of the great ones as well. It was so gorgeous out there sometimes you get lost in the views. It’s just so spectacular. It’s a really fun golf course. I’m really proud of myself for taking advantage of the conditions this morning.”
Wie’s 64 was enough to see her claim a one shot lead over Korea’s I K Kim with America’s Lindy Duncan third on 66 and Korea’s Chella Choi, America’s Lexi Thompson, Holland’s Anne Van Dam and English duo Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff all sharing fourth place on 67.
Kim completed her opening 65 just before the first of two postponements caused by the threat of thunder and lightning which were to result in play being delayed by a total of one hour and 17 minutes.
The Korean began her round with five birdies in her opening eight holes before coming home in two under par 34 to claim second place just behind Wie.
“The wind was picking up on the back nine but the scenery is so pretty it’s hard to focus on your game,” she said
Reid made her first advance of the day on the third and then carded four consecutive birdies from the seventh before carding further birdies at the 14th and 16th. Her only bogeys of the day came when she three-putted at the 14th and 17th.
“I felt like I struck it pretty well but I definitely left a few out there,” she said. “Hopefully I’m saving them for the next three days.
“It was important to take advantage of the calm conditions and post a good score,” she added. “I want to win this week. I’m trying my hardest to give myself a chance. I’ve started pretty well but I need the same over the next couple of days to put myself in contention on Sunday.
One player who defied the worst of the weather was veteran Englishwoman, Dame Laura Davies, who posted a fine four under par 68 to share ninth place with compatriots Charley Hull and Georgia Hall, Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist and Americans Jaye Marie Green, Morgan Pressel and Ally McDonald.
“I’m very pleased,” said the Englishwoman who is playing in her 37th consecutive Championship after coming through a play-off at Final Qualifying earlier in the week. “I played pretty well but I putted great. It’s the best putting round I’ve had for donkey’s years.
“I love the course,” she added. “This is the first round I’ve ever had on it. I only walked it yesterday because I had to qualify Monday. I loved what I saw then and I loved playing it. It suits the long hitters, so I think it’s a bit of an advantage for us this week.”
World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu will start the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open as the firm favourite but that is not a billing that is likely to phase the South Korean star. There is very little that ruffles Ryu which is no surprise given the outstanding form that has taken her to the pinnacle of the women’s game this season.
Ryu’s season on the LPGA Tour started with a second place finish at the Honda LPGA Thailand and since then she has won twice, at the ANA Inspiration and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, and amassed a further seven top-ten finishes in her eleven other starts. She has also developed into something of a Ricoh Women’s British Open specialist having finished tied-5th in the wind and rain at Turnberry in 2015 and tied-eighth in the more benign conditions down south at Woburn 12 months ago.
“I have been playing well in the major tournaments this year and want to win more no matter what,” she said after completing her final practice round.
“It’s a kind of weird feeling being No. 1,” she added. “It’s always something I’ve dreamt about, so I was happy about, it but now it just feels normal. Maybe I have more interviews. I’ve got more focus on me, but I’m still looking to achieve the same things. It doesn’t really feel different to before.”
The other in-form player coming into the fourth women’s Major of the year is American Lexi Thompson who has quietly moved up to No. 2 on the Rolex Ranking on the back of an equally impressive run highlighted by win at the Kingsmill Championship and five runner-up finishes, including three in her last five starts.
Thompson’s move up to second place on the Ranking behind Ryu came as a bit of a surprise to the player herself.
“I don’t follow the Rankings at all,” she admitted. “My Dad told me because he watches a little bit more but it’s good because it shows how well I’ve been playing.
“I feel good,” she added. “I love the golf course. It’s a great lay-out and I get to hit a good amount of drivers which is nice.”
Local Scottish fans may be interested to learn Thompson also has a secret weapon on her bag in the shape of former Scottish Amateur champion, Kevin McAlpine, who has been working as her caddie during her recent run. For many years, Kevin’s father, Hamish, kept goal for local Scottish league side, Dundee United.
“Having Kevin caddie out here is a huge help,” she said. “Stepping foot out here the first time on Monday, I was like, I have no idea. I mean, there could be a bunker over that hill, I don’t know. So, he was just telling me every line and what every green does hitting the shots into them, so it’s been a huge help. He knows the course very well.”
One player who has struggled to find her best form of late but cannot be discounted is Lydia Ko who missed the cut at last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies’ Open but who believes she is not far from re-finding the form that took her all the way to World No.1.
“I feel like the puzzle pieces are there but sometimes trying to put them together is the hardest thing,” said Ko, who finished tied third the last time the Championship was staged in Scotland in 2015. “I would love to have my name on the trophy one day, but I know it would need four really consistent, great golfing days for that to happen.”
2009 champion, Catriona Matthew, and English Solheim Cup player, Charley Hull, are the main home hopes but there will also be a huge amount of interest in veteran 53-year-old Dame Laura Davies, who makes a record 37th consecutive appearance after coming through a play-off at Final Qualifying.
Davies made it clear it never crossed her mind not to travel north to try to qualify.
“No, I’ll try and qualify for this tournament until I can’t do a good job and represent myself well,” she said. “It’s my favourite tournament of the year, and I want to play in it as many times as I can.
“Realistically, my goal is to make the cut and then see what happens,” she added. “My results haven’t been good but, the way I’m playing, it’s a lot better than the way I’m scoring. One of these weeks, the scoring is going to represent the shot-making. Hopefully it will be this week. I’m not saying I can win it. Obviously, that’s a ludicrous statement but I think I can make the cut and have a good weekend and then you never know.”
Ariya Jutanugarn knows she will have a battle on her hands as she sets out to defend her title at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Links and it will not just be a case of mastering the elements.
The 21-year-old Thai player has been struggling with a long-standing shoulder injury which flared up again while playing in last week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies’ Open and to make matters worse she has also developed a bad cold since arriving in the Home of Golf.
“I’m sick,” she admitted while speaking to the media for the first time this week ahead making the start to her defence alongside Korean World No. 1 So Yeon Rhu and America’s Lexi Thompson at just after mid-day on Thursday. “I’ve got a cold. It’s not an allergy but I don’t feel great.”
Nevertheless, Juntanugarn is boosted by some great memories of her three-shot victory over Mo Martin and Mirim Lee at Woburn last year and by her first visit to St Andrews on Sunday when she walked the Old Course with sister Moriya who is also in this week’s field.
“It was really cool to be there,” she said. “My sister has played the course before so she took me around the 17th and 18th and we took a picture on the Swilken Bridge. “It’s very special. There’s a lot of history there.
“I have some great memories of last year but this week’s going to be very different,” she added. “I like the course but it’s going to be really challenging if the wind picks up. I think it’s going to be very hard but I’m really looking forward to it.”
One of Jutanugarn’s main challengers is likely to be 2015 champion Inbee Park who has seen her profile at home in China soar since she won the Gold Medal at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio.
“When I won (the Gold Medal) suddenly a lot of people who didn’t know golf kind of knew golf. A lot of random people came up to me and said: ‘I watched you playing and know what golf is now.’”
“There’s been a lot of them. The lady in the restaurant. The guy in the gas station. A lot of them talk to me now.”
Park missed last year’s Championship through injury but she believes her previous experience of links golf will stand her in good stead. “I love playing links golf,” she admitted. “Sometimes it fools me. Sometimes I get away (with it). I get some years when I play really well in the wind and some years I get caught up in it and don’t get it but that’s what it’s all about. It’s complicated and very challenging but that’s the point.”
2016 KPMG Women’s PGA champion Brooke Henderson also believes she is slowly but surely coming to terms with this form of the game. She played in the British Amateur at Carnoustie in 2012 and then made her debut in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry two years ago.
“I’ve had a few goes at links golf,” she said. “It’s very different from what I normally play but I feel like I’m getting better at it and understand how to play it a little better.
“It was pretty crazy but I felt playing in the bad weather today kind of got me prepared for the week. But I forgot my rain pants so I’ll make sure they are in the bag for tomorrow.”
Henderson begins her first round at 07.36 on Thursday alongside Michelle Wie and Lydia Ko while Park starts her campaign at 1.38 in the company of Haru Nomura and Nelly Korda.
Dame Laura Davies can look forward to making a record 37th appearance in the Ricoh Women’s British Open after successfully coming through Final Qualifying at the Castle Course in St Andrews.
However, the 1986 champion had to do it the hard way after posting a two under par round of 70 and then coming through a dramatic sudden-death play-off for the last available places.
Davies went out in one under par 36 but then fell back to level with a bogey on the 11th before turning things round with successive birdies on the 12th and 13th. She added another birdie on the 15th but then gave it back on the 16th before beginning the long wait to see if she would make into a stellar field for this week’s Championship at Kingsbarns Golf Links.
“I’ve played in the last 36 Opens and have never had to qualify so this is a new experience for me,” Dame Laura said just after finishing her round just after mid-day.
“I don’t like it very much. I played well but I’m disappointed because I bogeyed 16 and damn near bogeyed 18 as well. It would have been nice to shoot four under. I would have happy as Larry with that, but now we’ll just have to see what the weather brings this afternoon.
“If I had to bet on it, I’d say I will get it, but golf’s a funny game.”
As it transpired, Davies had to make her way back to the Castle Course for a play-off in which 14 players were battling for 11 remaining places. She went on the par the first play-off hole, the 147-yard par-three 10th, and then saw her place confirmed when Nicole Garcia, Laura Murray, Laura Sedda and Amanda Linner all bogeyed behind her. That left this quartet playing for one final place. Sedda went out on the next, the par-4 11th, after missing a tap-in before Garcia grabbed the final place with a four-foot birdie putt on the third extra hole, the par-5 15th.
Davies was not the only high-profile player to come through Final Qualifying. She joined former US Open champion, Paul Creamer, who went out before 08.00 am and posted a four under par 68 which set the pace for several hours before she was joined by her compatriot Tiffany John and South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai and then overtaken by late start, Ursula Wikstrom, from Finland, who posted a five under par 67.
Creamer began her round with a birdie at the first but then dropped shots at the second and third before carded an eagle at the seventh. She went on to birdie the ninth to go out in two under par 35 before finishing the round in style with further birdies on her last two holes.
“I’ve always liked a challenge and I’m very pleased with how I played,” she said. “It’s going to be huge. I haven’t missed a British Open since I turned professional and I didn’t want to start now. It’s good to do it the hard way.
“The eagle at the seventh was pretty cool,” she added. “I hit driver and six-iron and it was literally hanging over the edge. It was almost a two.”
Wikstrom went out in one of the last groups of the day at 13.56 and raced to the turn in three under 34 with birdies at the fourth, sixth and ninth holes. She gained another shot with a birdie on the 11th before claiming outright first place on the leaderboard with a birdie at the last.
Laura Davies and Paula Creamer are two of the biggest names in the field for Final Qualifying for the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open to be played at The Castle Course, St Andrews, next Monday (July 31st)
Both Davies and Creamer play in this week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies’ Scottish Open where three exempt places are available for the Ricoh Women’s British Open but if they do not make it via that route they will be among a strong international field of over 100 players battling for around 20 places in the field for the championship which starts at Kingsbarns Golf Links on Thursday August 3rd.
Davies needs no introduction to golf fans having won the Ricoh Women’s British Open back in 1986 as well as the 1987 US Women’s Open, the 1994 McDonald’s LPGA Championship, the 1996 McDonald’s LPGA Championship, the 1996 du Maurier Classic and almost 80 other titles around the world.
Creamer has also been one of the most popular figures in the women’s game since bursting onto the scene in 2005 and counts the 2010 US Women’s Open among her list of ten Tour titles. Her best finish in the Ricoh Women’s British Open came back in 2012 when she claimed third place behind Ji-Yai Shin at Royal Liverpool.
This year’s Final Qualifying looks set to be a real nail-biter with players of the calibre of Minea Blomqvist, Amy Boulden, Nicole Broch Larsen, Caroline Hedwall, Vicky Hurst, Christina Kim, Bronte Law, Meghan MacLaren, Nanna Koerst Madsen, Belen Mozo, Gwladys Nocera and Luna Sobron also competing alongside Scotland’s own Gemma Dryburgh, Vicky Laing, Kelsey Macdonald, Heather Macrae, Michele Thomson, Jane Turner and Sally Watson.
World No. 1 Leona Maguire is exempt but the Final Qualifier also includes Mathilda Cappeliez, India Clyburn, Julia Engstrom, Sophie Lamb, My Leander, Amanda Linner, Olivia Mehaffey, Kim Metraux, Linnea Strom, Dewi Weber and Annabel Wilson includes in one of the strongest crop of amateurs ever seen in the event. Engstrom and Linner were both part of the Swedish team that were runaway winners of the recent European Girls’ Team Championship in Finland while Mehaffey, Engstrom and Strom are all in the top-20 of the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking.
The field for the 2017 Ricoh Women’s British Open is headed by Defending Champion Ariya Jutanugarn, Olympic Golf medallist Shanshan Feng and 2017 Major winners So Yeon Ryu (ANA Inspiration), Danielle Kang (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship) and Sung Hyun Park (US Women’s Open). It features five former Ricoh Women’s British Open Champions, 24 Major Champions and 22 Solheim Cup players with 78 appearances between them, including 2009 Champion Catriona Matthew from Scotland.
“As a proud Scot, I always fell the Ricoh Women’s British Open is that extra bit special when it is hosted in Scotland and I know the new venue on the rota this year will be well received by the players. Kingsbarns is going to provide a stern test of links golf while also showcasing the amazing beauty of the Home of Golf.”
35 players march on to Final Qualifying for the Ricoh Women’s British Open on Monday 31st July at The Castle Course having successfully negotiated Pre-Qualifying at Hankley Common Common yesterday.
Leading the qualifiers, which includes 24 professionals and 11 amateurs, was French Ladies European Tour professional, Astrid Vayson De Pradenne, who’s looking to make her debut in the world’s most international Major at Kingsbarns Golf Links.
As one of only four players in the 82-player field to break 70, Astrid stormed to the top of the leaderboard with a round of 67 (-5) which included six birdies and a solitary bogey.
Leading the 11 amateurs to qualify, 20 year-old Chiara Mertens from Germany and 22 year-old England international Samantha Giles, both scored rounds of 70 (-2) to finish T5.
Amy Boulden, who finished solo ninth in the 2015 Championship at Trump Turnberry, showed her class and lived up to her reputation as one of the biggest names in the field by posting a round of 71 to progress whilst fellow countryman, Becky Brewerton, who won both Pre-Qualifying and Final Qualifying in 2014 slumped to a round of 82.
The draw for Final Qualifying will be available in due course- http://ricohwomensbritishopen.com/qualifying/
In The Winner's Circle with Stacy Lewis
*Updated winner’s check in U.S. dollars
IN THE WINNER’S CIRCLE with STACY LEWIS
2013 RICOH Women’s British Open
The Old Course, St. Andrews
Born: The Woodlands, Texas
Lives: Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Birthdate: February 16, 1985 – currently 28 years, 5 months, and 19 days
Qualified for LPGA Tour: Earned medalist honors at the 2008 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament
Turned Professional: June 2008
o LPGA: Eighth-career victory; second-career major championship Previous wins: 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship, 2012 Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, 2012 ShopRite LPGA Classic, 2012 Navistar LPGA Classic, 2012 Mizuno Classic, 2013 HSBC Women’s Champions, 2013 RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup
o CAREER: With the $402,583 first-place check, Stacy surpasses LPGA and World Golf Halls of Famer Nancy Lopez to move into the 40th spot on the LPGA Career Money List with $5,412,824
o SEASON: Crosses the $1 million in season earnings for the third time in her career: Stacy has earned $1,319,382 this season and is 2nd on the 2013 LPGA Official Money List
· ROLEX RANKINGS
o Maintains the No. 2 spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
· TOURNAMENT SPECIFIC
o Previous finishes at the U.S. Women’s Open: 2007 - CUT; 2008 – T3; 2009 – T48; 2010 – T14; 2011 – T34; 2012 – T46
· OF NOTE
o Breaks a streak of 10-consecutive Asian-born players winning LPGA major championships and is the first American to win a major since she won her first major title at the 2011 Kraft Nabisco Championship
o First American to win the Women’s British Open since Sherri Steinhauer won in 2006
· SOLHEIM CUP
o Earned 120 points and finishes the U.S. Solheim Cup Team points race ranked first with 977 points
· 2013 IN A NUTSHELL
o 17 events, 17 cuts made, $1,319,382 earned, 3 wins, 12 top-10s
· 2012 RECAP
o Earned Rolex Player of the Year honors, becoming the first American player to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994
o 26 events, 25 cuts made, $1,872,409 earned (3), four victories, 12 additional top-10 finishes, three runner-up finishes
o Placed in the top-10 in nine additional categories including greens in regulation (75%), putts per greens in regulation (1.751), scoring average (70.333), rounds under par (58), birdies (362), eagles (12), rounds in the 60’s (33), sub-par holes (374), and finished third on the money list with $1,872,409